The Cutting Edge
Contemporary Wood Art and the Lipton Collection

Kevin Wallace

The Cutting Edge: The Lipton Collection and Contemporary Wood Art traces the growth of contemporary wood art through our shared relationship with trees, traditions of woodworking, influential art movements, and the cultural milieu of the 20th century. At its height, the Lipton Collection featured over 2,000 works by 115 artists. Building the collection during a period when the field had not yet coalesced into a major movement, Dr. Lipton was instrumental in developing the careers of leading figures and bringing attention to their work. As these individuals in turn had a major impact on the field, Dr. Lipton s value as a patron of the arts was invaluable. I viewed writing this book to be a tremendous responsibility, says the book s author, Kevin Wallace.

Dr. Lipton s legacy was so intimately intertwined with the legacies of the artists, and I sought to accurately record the history of the contemporary wood art field. Toward this end, Wallace created a work that is essentially an oral history of the field of contemporary wood art, told by the artists who created the field, and with commentary by museum curators and directors. From his first acquisitions, Dr. Irving Lipton saw the importance of sharing the works. At any given time over the decades, large numbers of works from the collection were touring internationally. He ultimately donated works to a number of organizations and institutions. The largest numbers of works are divided between five museums across the United States: The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, the Long Beach Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and the Yale University Art Gallery. The works in these museum collections trace the evolution and emergence of the field of contemporary wood art over the last quarter of the 20th century, when many of those who are now considered the elder statesmen of the field were beginning their careers. Dr. Lipton collected work as it was being created, from the early 1970s through the beginning of the new century, and focused on the artists with whom he maintained personal relationships. As a result, the collection became a repository of work, documenting the evolution of specific artists as well as the larger field. Ultimately, the collection is defined by Dr. Lipton s interest in the cutting-edge of contemporary wood art.

214 pages, Paperback, Full Color, 9.5" x 12", 2011
Order Number: CB2832...........$35.00


 
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