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Illustrating America

Peter Campbell, 21 March 1985

Willem de Kooning: Drawings, Paintings, Sculpture 
by Paul Cummings, Jorn Merkert and Claire Stoullig.
Norton, 308 pp., £35, August 1984, 0 393 01840 7
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Abstract Expressionist Painting in America 
by William Seitz.
Harvard, 490 pp., £59.95, February 1984, 0 674 00215 6
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About Rothko 
by Dore Ashton.
Oxford, 225 pp., £15, August 1984, 0 19 503348 5
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The Art of the City: Views and Versions of New York 
by Peter Conrad.
Oxford, 329 pp., £15, June 1984, 0 19 503408 2
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... the pictures. (They eventually came to the Tate Gallery as a gift from the painter.) Although Dore Ashton’s ‘critical biography’ is not very informative about the contradiction which Rothko felt existed between the spirit in which he had made the paintings and displaying them in the restaurant, the implications of his decision are ...

At the Royal Academy

Peter Campbell: Philip Guston fouls the nest, 5 February 2004

... the pictures are still rude, and rude is always in some way or another funny. A catalogue essay by Dore Ashton details Guston’s response to a vast range of literature – mainly European – and in particular his search for accounts of the working of the imagination which tallied with his own experience. This is not uninteresting, but in the end the ...

Boxing the City

Gaby Wood, 31 July 1997

Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell 
by Deborah Solomon.
Cape, 426 pp., £25, June 1997, 0 224 04242 4
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... because he felt, as Solomon writes, ‘they could understand their purity of spirit.’ His friend Dore Ashton wasn’t sure that he ‘exactly’ saw himself as an artist but felt there was ‘considerable reason to believe that he saw himself as a magician. On occasion he hinted that what he made could transform the right recipient.’ One woman had a ...

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