Norman Rockwell: The Underside of Innocence (Hardback)Richard Halpern (author)
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Norman Rockwell's scenes of everyday small-town life are among the most indelible images in all of twentieth-century art. While opinions of Rockwell vary from uncritical admiration to sneering contempt, those who love him and those who dismiss him do agree on one thing: his art embodies a distinctively American style of innocence.
In this sure-to-be controversial book, Richard Halpern argues that this sense of innocence arises from our reluctance-and also Rockwell's-to acknowledge the often disturbing dimensions of his works. Rockwell's paintings frequently teem with perverse acts of voyeurism and desire but contrive to keep these acts invisible-or rather, hidden in plain sight, available for unacknowledged pleasure but easily denied by the viewer.
Rockwell emerges in this book, then, as a deviously brilliant artist, a remorseless diagnostician of the innocence in which we bathe ourselves, and a continuing, unexpected influence on contemporary artists. Far from a banal painter of the ordinary, Halpern argues, Rockwell is someone we have not yet dared to see for the complex creature he is: a wholesome pervert, a knowing innocent, and a kitschy genius.
Provocative but judicious, witty but deeply informed, Norman Rockwell is a book rich in suggestive propositions and eye-opening details-one that will change forever the way we think about this American icon and his works.
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Number of pages: 218
Weight: 510 g
Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 2 mm
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