SYSTEM & DIALECTICS OF ART, by John Graham - 1971 [1st Ed]


System & Dialectics of Art 

by John Graham

annotated from unpublished Writings with a critical Introduction by Marcia Epstein Allentuck 

First Edition Thus with Annotations and a Documentary on John Graham. Baltimore, MD and London: The John Hopkins Press, 1971.

Hardback is overall in VERY GOOD++ condition with VERY GOOD+ DJ.

  • ISBN: 0801811007
  • Volume features colorful DJ wrapped in Mylar, and purple covers with design in gilt and metallic red on front, as well as gilt and metallic red and purple on spine.
  • Book displays minimal overall aging and wear. 
  • Board edges show minimal fading.
  • Spine displays light softening of ends. 
  • Binding is secure. 
  • Back pastedown has sticker from previous retailer near foot of hinge, from Jaap Rietman, Inc., New York. 
  • Inside pages are free of writing and intentional marks.
  • Pages 120-121 have a couple small smudges along fore edge. (See photos)
  • DJ looks great wrapped in Mylar and is backed with archival paper. 
  • DJ displays light edgewear, with rubbing along shoulders, edges and spine ends, as well as some sunning to spine, and gentle toning to back. 
  • Back of DJ shows a couple small smudges to fore edge. (See photos)
  • Book may exhibit additional minor signs of age or wear.
  • SC20191003

213 pages. 6.25 x 9.25 inches.

Includes a lengthy (80+ pgs) and detailed Introduction and Commentary by Marcia Epstein Allentuck on the Life and Works of the Artist. Illustrated with some B&W reproductions of Graham's works. Also includes a Selected Bibliography and an Index.

First published in 1937, John Graham's enigmatic work on the theory of art attempts to establish a basis for the evaluation of art, as well as provide a terminology and classification of the various periods of art. It allows a rare insight into the thought process of that singular and somewhat mysterious artist, who was an early supporter of the Modernist painters and an eccentric given to strong enthusiasms and dislikes. The commentary and lengthy introduction by Marcia Epstein Allenstuck provides the reader with priceless information and insight into the life and artistic personality of the author, that will be found essential to understand his work. Acquainted with many persons who knew the artist, she delivers a version of his work that is also biographical in the strongest sense. 

John D. Graham (1886-1961) was a Russian Empire-born American Modernist/figurative painter. Also an aesthetician, connoisseur, and collector of African art, he was noted for his eccentric personality, and was considered a mentor figure for the Abstract Expressionist generation of American painters and sculptors. After a tumultuous political life in his native country he emigrated to the United States where he became a citizen in 1927, taking on the name of John Graham.

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