Book gives fresh look at frames. - Defining Edges: A New Look at Picture Frames - book review
Art Business News, March, 2003 by Kevin Lo
Harry N. Abrams Books recently released Defining Edges: A New Look at Picture Frames by frame consultant W.H. Bailey. In coming months, major art and decorating publications like House & Garden will spotlight the book. Recently, the Lenox Hill Bookstore in New York hosted a reception for the author to introduce the new book. As one of the few framing books on the market, the attention comes as a pleasant surprise to Bailey who said, "The reason I wrote the book is simply because it didn't exist."
The 130-page book features 83 illustrations examining more than 50 works of art. Bailey explores how their frames, many of them designed or made by the artists themselves, relate to the pictures they surround. The works include famous masterpieces, such as "Doni Madonna" by Michelangelo, "Fulang-Chang and Me" by Frida Kahlo, "Judith I" by Gustar Klimt and "Couple with Their Heads Full of Clouds" by Salvador Dali, as well as lesser-known pieces.
The book is broken down into eight chapters, including The Story of the Picture Frame, The Frame as Content, The Frame as Altarpiece, Frames Found by Artists, The Frame as Window, Frames Designed by Artists, The Frame as Decoration and Frames Made by Artists. Each chapter provides a history of the piece and a discussion of the relation of the artwork to its framing. Bailey said, "It is certainly not a how-to-frame book. I hope it offers a sensibility of putting a picture and frame together."
He continued, "There is very little that you see anywhere of pictures and frames together. The art book has a bias against frames. There are so many books with thousands and thousands of pictures out of context, without frames, surrounded by a white border. Over time, this builds a visual bias. You are looking at what the art book feels is the ideal of the image on white pages."
Bailey is a frame consultant to collectors, galleries and museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, for which he designed new frame solutions for works by Cezanne, Picasso and Van Gogh. Currently, he teaches display design at Parsons School of Design and has taught and lectured at Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Hunter College and The Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design and Culture, all in New York.
Defining Edges: A New Look at Picture Frames retails for $39.95. For more information, visit www.abramsbooks.com.
COPYRIGHT 2003 Advanstar Communications, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group
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Kevin Lo "Book gives fresh look at frames. - Defining Edges: A New Look at Picture Frames - book review". Art Business News. March 2003.