Published to accompany a major exhibition of Weber’s work at Ben Uri (“The museum foreveryone”), this heavy volume examines the artist’s influence on European rather than solely American art and includes works not only by Weber, but also Duncan Grant, Wassily Kandinsky and Henri Matisse, with whom Weber initially studied. There are also plenty of examples of the work of the photographer Alvin Langdon Coburn, Weber’s champion in England.
This is not, it should be said, an introduction to Weber’s work and to understand the artist himself, it would probably be advisable to look elsewhere. However, as a study of Weber’s place in twentieth century art and his influence on it, it is hard to fault. Books of this kind often fall into the trap of talking, frequently extensively, of what was happening around the subject, but not of illustrating it. This can be down to availability of material and the cost of permissions. One suspects that this one would have been similar were it not for the Ben Uri exhibition. As it is, if you’re familiar with Max Weber and want to see him in a broader landscape, you should snap this up before it goes out of print. It’s an expensive production and it’s hard to see it making a reprint.
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