Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey
, 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.