Cover for James Brooks: A Painting Is a Real Thing
Parrish Art Museum
James Brooks: A Painting Is a Real Thing
A much-needed reexamination of one of the earliest exponents of Abstract Expressionism.
Edited by Corinne Erni and Kaitlin Halloran. Foreword by Mónica Ramírez-Montagut. Text by Klaus Ottmann, Mike Solomon
Designed by Eileen Boxer
Published 2023 | ISBN: 9781938922053

This ambitious catalog spans the seven-decade career of the American Abstract Expressionist painter, James Brooks (1906–92), providing an overdue reappraisal of this artist who boldly disrupted any tendency toward repeated formulas. After discarding the Social Realist style of his early career, Brooks pioneered the use of staining, dilution and accidental deterioration of canvases.

Boasting an 8-page gatefold, and a detailed chronology and bibliography, this fully illustrated catalog features a generous sampling of Brooks ever-evolving oeuvre: murals for the procurement division of the Treasury Department in the 1930s; paintings created in the Middle East during his military service as a combat artist for the War Department’s Art Advisory Committee in the 1940s; early lithographs and paintings influenced by the Southwestern regionalism of his formative Dallas years; abstract expressionist works of the 1950s; and his later colorful abstractions that presaged some of the art of today.