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Nicholas Penny

18 February 1988
Painting as an Art 
by Richard Wollheim.
Thames and Hudson, 384 pp., £28, November 1987, 0 500 23495 7
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... In the Preface to his new book RichardWollheim tells how he ‘evolved a way of looking at paintings which was massively time-consuming and deeply rewarding’. He looked at them for a very long time – longer than us – and then they told him ...

Art’s Infancy

Arthur C. Danto

22 April 1993
The Mind and its Depths 
by Richard Wollheim.
Harvard, 214 pp., £19.95, March 1993, 9780674576117
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Psychoanalysis, Mind and Art: Perspectives on Richard​ Wollheim 
edited by Jim Hopkins and Anthony Savile.
Blackwell, 383 pp., £40, October 1992, 0 631 17571 7
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... I have always thought of RichardWollheim as embodying the values and interests of a particularly urbane kind of British intellectual, typified by and possibly originating with the members of the Bloomsbury Circle. It encompasses a serious ...

I am them

Richard Wollheim

7 October 1993
Love of Beginnings 
by J.-B. Pontalis, translated by James Greene and Marie-Christine Régius.
Free Association, 260 pp., £13.95, May 1993, 9781853431296
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... J.-B. Pontalis is a Parisian intellectual de pur sang. Born into a wealthy upper-middle-class family, he was brought up in Neuilly, and, as a child, spent long summers at a family house in Cabourg, Proust’s Balbec. He studied philosophy under Sartre, and taught it for some years. He entered psychoanalysis under the aegis of Lacan, and having weaned himself from that unfortunate affiliation, is now ...

Richardson’s Rex

Richard Wollheim

10 October 1991
A Life of Picasso: Vol. I 1881-1906 
by John Richardson and Marilyn McCulley.
Cape, 548 pp., £25, September 1991, 0 224 03024 8
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... Written in a strong, clear, slightly salty style, carrying effortlessly a great deal of information, much of it new, and illustrated so profusely that at every turn the narrative seems to play itself out before our eyes, the first volume of John Richardson’s long-awaited Life of Picasso will leave its readers waiting impatiently for Volume Two. Long may it go on. Meanwhile it is a special kind of ...


Richard Wollheim: On A.J. Ayer

27 July 1989
... In the late afternoon of Wednesday, 28 June, a television channel rang me. Would I say a few words on their news programme about Freddie Ayer? It was the first I heard of his death. Then the Independent, for which I had written an obituary a year before, asked me if I would write 600 words for their front page. Then another television channel rang. Freddie’s death was about to become, I could see ...


Richard Wollheim: In South Africa

3 July 1986
... the heart of Afrikanerdom. I went to one austere Afrikaans university in the north. There was an exhibition of an incredibly talented black weaver. People asked me how my ideas related to Foucault or Richard Rorty. A painter, Swedish by origin, of great intensity as was his work, talked to me of the problems of South Africa. They were not political problems, he said, they were cultural problems. They ...

This Charming Man

Frank Kermode

24 February 1994
The Collected and Recollected Marc 
Fourth Estate, 51 pp., £25, November 1993, 1 85702 164 9Show More
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... Cambridge Boxer was sent down for publishing in Granta a poem by Anthony de Hoghton. It was held by the proctors to be intolerably rude to God. There was a legendary mock-funeral in King’s Parade. RichardWollheim, who was at Oxford, approaches Boxer slowly by way of de Hoghton, the rich fat poet, maintaining, rather against the evidence adduced, that de Hoghton was interesting and talented. He is ...
7 February 1980
... It might be supposed that in a liberal society, such as ours professes to be, the attitude of the state towards obscenity, or the function of the public censor, should not give rise to problems of any great difficulty – details apart – and that there is a widely accepted model to which thinking on these issues would try to conform. The model is that provided by John Stuart Mill’s essay On Liberty ...


Richard Wollheim

19 March 1987
Semites and Anti-Semites 
by Bernard Lewis.
Weidenfeld, 288 pp., £15, August 1986, 0 297 79030 7
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After the Last Sky 
by Edward Said and Jean Mohr.
Faber, 224 pp., £6.95, September 1986, 0 571 13918 3
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... Professor Bernard Lewis enjoys a worldwide reputation as a scholar of Near-Eastern history, and in his most recent work, Semites and Anti-Semites, he has chosen to concentrate his formidable powers of analysis, and a massive accumulation of fact, upon a relatively restricted topic, which nevertheless raises large questions of historical and political understanding. The book deals with the widespread ...


Richard Wollheim

22 June 1995
Theory and Philosophy of Art: Style, Artist and Society 
by Meyer Schapiro.
Braziller, 253 pp., £19.95, October 1994, 0 8076 1356 8
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... One of the essays included in this volume is entitled ‘Eugène Fromentin as Critic’, and it opens: ‘The Old Masters of Belgium and Holland is the first and perhaps the only book of its kind: a critical study of painting by an accomplished artist who is also a first-rate writer.’ Anyone acquainted with Meyer Schapiro will be amused. For, whether or not this is a correct assessment of Fromentin ...

Yellow Sky, Red Sea, Violet Sands

Richard Wollheim: Nicolas De Staël

24 July 2003
Nicolas de Staël 
by Jean-Paul Ameline et al.
Centre Pompidou, 252 pp., €39.90, March 2003, 2 84426 158 2
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... Nicolas de Staël was an experimental painter. The first half of the 20th century abounded in experimental artists. Not so the second half, which abounded in innovatory artists of one sort or another, and the difference is that the innovatory artist innovates in order to give his work a distinctive look, whereas the experimental artist innovates in the hope, later to be confirmed or disconfirmed, that ...
23 May 1985
The Thread of Life 
by Richard Wollheim.
Harvard, 288 pp., £20, January 1985, 0 06 748875 7
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... Reading RichardWollheim’s study of what it is to live the life of a person was a frustrating, painful experience. Perhaps it can best be summarised by saying that while the book goes to great lengths to ensure precision ...

A Bed out of Leaves

Richard Wollheim: A dance at Belsen

4 December 2003
... spring day in the early 1990s, I was having lunch at the Getty Research Center in Los Angeles, where I had spent profitable time in the library, and, on this occasion, I found myself sitting next to Richard Meier, the uncompromising Modernist architect. Meier, who had just won the commission to build the new complex on top of the Santa Monica mountains, was expanding on the content of his brief, and ...

Works of Art

Peter Lamarque

2 April 1981
Art and Its Objects 
by Richard Wollheim.
Cambridge, 270 pp., £12.50, November 1980, 0 521 22898 0
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Works and Worlds of Art 
by Nicholas Wolterstorff.
Oxford, 372 pp., £20, December 1980, 0 19 824419 3
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... things or entities works of art are. Are they physical objects, ideas, universals, classes, or what? There is perhaps no better guide to the dauntingly complex issues involved in these questions than RichardWollheim’s Art and Its Objects. First published over twelve years ago, this concise, elegant and wide-ranging book has established itself as an indispensable text for undergraduate courses in ...

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