Latest addition to the bookshelves of the leading book shop in Peasedown St. John!
Civilized Magic: An Interpretive Guide to Australian Paintings by Ronald Millar
London: Thames & Hudson, 1975
Hardback with Dust Jacket over Blue boards with Gilt titling to Spine
Illustrated by way of: Colour Plates; Black & White Plates;
From the cover: If paintings could always be explained, nobody would bother to paint any. Civilized Magic is not a set of explanations, therefore, but simply an interpretive guide for those people who need to look at, think about and live with paintings. It is a collection of good pictures, with words. The author takes a searching look at each painting, gives each its own detailed commentary, involves the reader with many different points of view, suggests alternatives. He writes about the emotional direction of each work, about the object itself, its effect and its scope; about its quality. Such direct comment about specific pictures is too seldom attempted in art books.
In Civilized Magic Ronald Millar stimulates, interprets, probes and provokes. He makes it clear that seeing a painting means more than merely glancing at it from time to time. He introduces the work of artists whose work, though sometimes familiar, may yet be unknown; and also prepares the reader for the more complete but often disconcerting experience offered only by originals. He shows also how a verbal response to images may enlarge and enrich our total experience of the work of art itself. These commentaries were begun in front of the originals in the various State and private collections.
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