Stone Is Not Cold
M. Sasek ~ Citadel, 1961
Since we were talking M. Sasek last week, thought I'd dig this up for a bit of sunshine. Similar to what Wilson did for architecture with What It Feels Like To Be a Building, here Miroslav takes on stone sculpture, bringing it playfully into the everyday while exposing children (grownups?) to works of art from London, Rome and the Vatican City.
It was on my wish list for a long time (along with Mike and the Modelmakers), so it's great to finally have it in the collection. The website devoted to Sasek's work points out that the book contains an extensive bio in the back...
M (for Miroslav) SASEK grew up in Prague, where in the days before World War II, he was employed by a large publishing house. He wanted to be a painter, but this idea didn't appeal to his parents, and he studied architecture instead.
Most people in this country first became acquainted with Mr. Sasek through his remarkable series of travel books, "This Is Paris", "This Is London", "This Is Rome", and "This is New York" - a series which was intended for children but which beguiled their parents, too.
Although Mr. Sasek now thinks of Paris as his home, he doesn't spend much time there. Most of the time he is travelling about the world doing sketches for his books and for the paintings he regards as his major work. These paintings, he says, are 'very gray and black - very sad, as life is.'
The drawings in Stone is not cold are very gray and black, too - but no one would ever call them sad.
Interesting that a man of such color would describe life as "very sad" when his work held so much humor and humanity within it. Sad, really. You never can tell. I suppose to have eyes to see all the beauty, you can't escape all the pain.
This is New York
This is Texas
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