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JOE BRAINARD: A RETROSPECTIVE

Constance M. Lewallen

What’s clear now about Brainard ... is how searing and retinal he was, the nimbus effect of his accumulated work is shorthanded by Carter Ratcliff in the exhibition catalogue as ‘quiet dazzle’ ... if you walk briskly through a room of Vermeers ... without even staring at them, you still catch flashes of luminescence peripherally. A walk through a roomfull of Brainards has the same allover halo effect.

  • Artforum

Joe Brainard: A Retrospective documents the major exhibition organized by the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum. The catalogue includes an overview of Brainard’s life and work, as well as essays by John Ashbery and Carter Ratcliff. This dazzling volume also provides selections from Brainard’s writing on art, two bibliographies and over 100 illustrations in color and black-and-white.

Artist and writer JOE BRAINARD (1942-1994) grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In late 1960 he moved to New York City, where he had his first solo exhibition at the Alan Landau Gallery in 1965. Holland Cotter, reviewing a 1995 mini-retrospective, said, “Metaphor and sensuality are the hallmarks of this beautiful show.” And Peter Schjeldahl described Brainard’s work as “things that just about buckle my knees with pleasure.” His drawings, collages, assemblages, and paintings are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, and the Joe Brainard Archive at the University of California-San Diego, among others.

CONSTANCE M. LEWALLEN is Senior Curator at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum. Exhibitions include: “Mistaken Identities” (co-curated with Abigail Solomon-Godeau) 1992; “John Cage,” Mills College Art Gallery; and “Jay DeFeo: Works 1952-1989,” Moore College of Art and “The Dream of the Audience: Theresa Hak Kyung Cha (1951-1982).”

This book was co-published with the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum in association with the Mandeville Special Collections Library, University of California, San Diego.

Art • 2001 • ISBN 1-887123-44-X • $29.95 PB • 9 1/4" x 11 3/4" • 156 pp

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