Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey

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Pomegranate, 2009 - Art - 124 pages
The delightful tales and theatrical drawings of Edward Gorey (American, 1925–2000) reflect a special kind of genius for what is left unwritten and unseen. In Gorey's vaguely Victorian world of well-tended gardens and opulent estates, smoke-belching factories and fog-shrouded streets, nothing seems certain or quite as it should be. Chaos lurks just beneath life's tidy surface, occasionally erupting in surprising events with unexpected, often horrific consequences. But when tragedy befalls Gorey's quirky cast of characters—hapless waifs, dusty dowagers, scheming tycoons, and unhinged maidens—somehow we can't keep from laughing. Far from casting us into the abyss, Gorey reminds us to contemplate mortality with a smile.In Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey, more than 175 reproductions include samples from Gorey's books, illustrations produced for other writers, theatrical sets and costume designs, and a wealth of individual pieces, many never before published. Sketches, typewritten manuscripts, doodles, and musings join the generous selection of finished works.Published on the occasion of the first retrospective of Edward Gorey's work, at the Brandywine River Museum, Elegant Enigmas is a tribute to a master artist and writer, who with murderously dry humor created a body of work singular in its brilliance and charm.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - PandorasRequiem - LibraryThing

How Gory is Gorey? The answer of course, depends entirely on you. How gory or bloody is your imagination? What's the worst your imagination can feed you? There's your answer. You see, Edward Gorey's ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - GirlMisanthrope - LibraryThing

Every Goreyphile I know is rabid about owning his work. I think this volume was beautifully assembled. While a lot of it is already in my collection, I was transfixed by the decorated envelopes that he created before sending his letters. Absolute treasure. Read full review


Books by Edward Gorey

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About the author (2009)

Karen Wilkin is a New York based critic and curator, specializing in 20th century modernism. She has organized exhibitions and written books on Helen Frankenthaler, Kenneth Noland, David Smith, and Anthony Caro among others. Ms. Wilkin writes regularly for "The New Criterion, Art in ""America,"" ""Hudson"" Review" and "the Wall Street Journal."
John Yau has published more than thirty books of poetry, fiction and criticism, and has contributed essays to monographs on Richard Pousette-Dart, Helmut Federle, Morris Graves, Brice Marden, Pat Steir, and Hiroshi Sugimoto. He teaches at Mason Gross School of the Arts (Rutgers University). Both a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters and a Guggenheim Fellow in Poetry (2006-7), he is currently working on a book on Jasper Johns.

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