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Clive Head Hardcover – 1 Oct 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Lund Humphries (1 Oct. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848220626
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848220621
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 26 x 29.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 930,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Dr Michael Paraskos was born in Leeds in the north of England, and he studied at the School of Fine Art at the University of Leeds. Later he gained his doctorate, researching the aesthetic theories of Herbert Read, from the University of Nottingham.

He was previously Head of Art History for Fine Art at the University of Hull, and has been Henry Moore Fellow in Sculpture Studies at the University of Leeds and Henry Moore Institute. He was Director of the Cyprus College of Art and the Cornaro Institute, and he has lectured on art at universities and other institutions around the world, including the
University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, University of Nicosia, the American University of Beirut, University of Graz, National College of Art and Design in Dublin, Tate Britain, the Whitechapel and the Academie Minerva, to name but a few.

He is a regular contributor to newspapers, magazines, radio and television, including the BBC, The Spectator, The Epoch Times and The British Art Journal, and academic journals including The Art Book, The Sculpture Journal and The Journal of the History of Education amongst others. He is the founder and lead organiser of the annual conference Othello's Island.

His first job, however, was as an apprentice butcher. Despite his Grandfather also being a Master Butcher, this was a short lived experience that turned Michael into a life long vegetarian.

Product Description

About the Author

Michael Paraskos is one of a new generation of writers on art associated with the New Aesthetics. He is a regular contributor to newspapers, magazines, radio and television. He was editor of the book Re-Reading Read: New Views on Herbert Read, and author of Steve Whitehead, The Table Top Schools of Art and Is Your Artwork Really Necessary? He has organised conferences at Tate Britain and the Whitechapel Gallery, and is Director of Programmes for the Cyprus College of Art.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Peter Wilson on 5 Nov. 2011
Format: Hardcover
I'm neither qualified nor loquatious enough to risk becoming embroiled in the intriguing debate on the subject of Clive Head - the artist, the academic, the friend of essayists, the non-photorealist, the purveyor of truth....which, very interestingly, has even prompted the artist himself to bear a little more of his soul in the comments section of some of the more erudite reviews here.

All I can say is that I saw some of Clive's work at the "Scarborough Realists Now" exhibition in October 2008 and, along with some other artists' work, such as Steve Whitehead, it has left a lasting impression on me. Although this particular collection of his work is not encyclopaedic, it is certainly the most complete treasure-house available currently and the most affordable way of enjoying again and again the visual brilliance and impact of his work.

As one or two other reviewers have hinted, I wouldn't worry too much about the merits or otherwise of the sensitive Mr Paraskos' contribution to the book. For those who appreciate his ability to represent the artist's intent and world view with a greater proliferation of words than is probably warranted, you'll no doubt enjoy the challenge of deciphering his contribution.

For me, this is a just beautiful and constantly rewarding collection of pictures which excite, amuse, arouse and entertain. That's worth 30 pounds of anyone's money. Thank you, Mr Head, for sharing your work with us.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Robin Benson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Feb. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An interesting monograph about one of Britain's best realist painters. The book does, though seem to be about two art styles: Photorealism and photo-rendering realists. Clive Head, through the essays of Michael Paraskos, says he is not a Photorealist but for my money, I think it's a term he's going to have to live with. For me the style is essentially American, evolving originally around the late sixties. Head, like the first and second-generation Photorealist artists use photos to create their own interpretation of reality (mostly of the commonplace environment). They use them to get a correct fix on the huge amount of detail required for this painting style.

Throughout the three chapters, there is a reference to Photo-rendering realists and explained in a footnote quoting from a 2005 Damian Hirst New York exhibition: "Take a photograph, and copy it meticulously, until your painting and the photograph are indistinguishable". This is not Photorealism at all but copying a photo, hardly even an art form and certainly nothing like Head's complex paintings though his work would be impossible without photos for reference.

The essays by Michael Paraskos fill ninety-eight pages and I thought they could have done with some editing because they take ten more pages than Head's paintings. The first (rather exotically called Metastoicheiosis) takes a lot of text to reveal that the paintings are not precisely like real life but a creative montage of reality. Pages ninety-one and two show thirteen transparencies that were used to create the 'Coffee at the Cottage Delight'. Looking at the painting (Plate ninety-five) it's easy to see how Head picks and mixes the visual information in these photos to make his wonderful picture. Just like any Photorealist would do.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Benedict Read on 19 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover
I am baffled by DP's review. This book is very well written and we learn a lot about the artist and his art that wouldn't be known without it.

It is usual to read a book in full before reviewing it. I cannot help wondering if DP has done this when he says Head is a photorealist when a whole chapter in this book explains very clearly why Head's work is not photorealist. Then DP complains that Head repeatedly says he is not a photorealist! With people like DP choosing to ignore that claim it is not surprising Head has to say it so many times.

As for DP's claim we learn what Head dislikes and not what he likes, again this suggests DP did not read the book in full. Yes Head has his dislikes, and who can blame him for not liking painters who copy photographs. He has every right to do so. But to suggest that the book is negative because of that is ridiculous. In fact it is full of wonderful sections on Head's sense of joy in handling paint, how he admires artists like Frank Auerbach, Lopez Garcia, Lewis Chamberlain and even historic modernists like Matisse and Delaunay, and a long discussion on his deeply felt admiration for old masters like Titian and Poussin. But you would have to read ALL the book to know this.

That makes you wonder where DP is coming from. Certainly he does not review the book from a position of knowledge or intelligence. That is proven by his criticism of Head being too Ruskin-like! How can you criticise someone for being too much like Ruskin? Or is it possible to dismiss Turner's greatest champion so easily?

So is DP a put up job (especially as he hasn't the courage to sign his review)? What makes me suspicious is how personal the attack on both Head and Michael Paraskos seems to be.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. Clarke on 23 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wasn't aware of Clive Head's work until I saw a copy of "Exactitude" by John Russell Taylor and then bought this both stimulating and slightly disappointing book. My disappointment stems from the impression created by the photos of Head at work, and the preparatory studies included, that the book would offer more insight into his methods. There is a lot of reference to what Head doesn't do but little detail of how he moves from photos of a scene to the finished work. Instead, the bulk of the discussion is about fairly esoteric theory. Having said that, this is one of the most stimulating books about painting I have read for a while, and Clive Head is clearly a masterful painter.

Although both Head and Paraskos make some bold claims about the uniqueness of Head's work, Head is not particularly unique in his approach to the depiction of a three dimensional world on a flat surface. I'm thinking here of Turner and contemporary painters like Rackstraw Downes and John Wonnacott who is surely one of the most underappreciated British painters at work today.

In recent years, I've read a few books that made me think carefully about painters and their work. The first was David Hockney's "Secret Knowledge", which explored the role of lenses and mirrors in Art. The second is "Rackstraw Downes" which contains excellent discussions about the problems of depicting space as we perceive it. Lastly, I should mention James Gurney's books. Gurney is a great painter who thinks deeply about his craft and, like most illustrators, is happy to share his knowledge with others. In each of these books we get the benefit of a painter writing about painting in an insightful way.
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