Robert Willson, Image-maker by Matthew Kangas

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Glass artist Robert Willson (1912-2000) was one of the most complex and contradictory American artists of the past century. He was at once regional and international, steeped in Pre-Columbian art as well as Texas folklore. Educated in the Southwest and 1930s Mexico, he discovered the glass studios of Murano, Italy, and became one of the first American sculptors to use solid glass in a small factory setting. This lavishly illustrated monograph, with examples from American and Italian art museums, brings the expatriate Texan's story home to America. Diarist, correspondent, art magazine contributor, museum catalog author, and loquacious television interview subject, Willson is heard here in his own words. As a young man, Willson was swept up in the Mexican Revolution; his photographs of his friends Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Jose Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Rufino Tamayo are published here for the first time. Throughout his career, his art blended ancient Maya imagery with ancient Venetian glassmaking techniques.
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