The first is All in Line by Steinberg. This book was on Dad’s shelves as far back as I can remember. It contains no preface or explanatory notes of any kind, so you can’t tell which of the works were previously published, and where or when. A good deal of Steinberg’s work, though, was published in The New Yorker. I spent plenty of time looking at these drawings as a young teen. The first half of the book has a decidedly whimsical air. There are a few of the ‘paradox’ type drawings — a figure drawing itself, or drawing a figure that’s drawing a figure that’s drawing a figure... There are cute little dogs and tiny, tiny children. Steinberg liked to exaggerate size differences.
There follow some sections on World War II, where the theme is grimmer, but still satirical, with caricatures of Hitler and a little tiny Mussolini. Finally there are sections depicting American troops in places like China and India. These pictures have more of an ‘artist’s notebook’ feel.
Everyone knows about the curate’s egg. But how many know it derives from a Punch cartoon? Again, the picture really isn’t needed. It dates from 1895:
· Then there's this one by R. Taylor:
The Graphic Work of M.C. Escher is another book I bought in America. Escher, born in 1898, was a Dutch graphic artist, most recognised for spatial illusions, impossible buildings, repeating geometric patterns (tessellations), and his incredible techniques in woodcutting and lithography. There is a lot to see in these works, and the contradictory perspectives in many of them are the sort of thing to make your head go round and round. His work is incredibly painstaking both in concept and execution. Descriptions would be woefully inadequate — you’ll have to take a look for yourself if you’re not familiar with his work.
© Copyright 2016 Clyde Donard. All rights reserved.
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