This comprehensive look at the breadth of art that Theodor Geisel created over his lifetime is an eye-opening peek behind the public persona into the real story of the man who was Dr. Read more...
This comprehensive look at the breadth of art that Theodor Geisel created over his lifetime is an eye-opening peek behind the public persona into the real story of the man who was Dr. Seuss.
Illustrator by day, surrealist by night, Ted Geisel created a body of previously little-known work during his leisure hours that he called his Midnight Paintings, and which is now known as The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss. This irrepressible and soulful collection redefines Ted Geisel as an iconic American artist. For sixty years, his Secret Art allowed Geisel to expand his artistic boundaries without the confines and pressures of commercial deadlines and influences. These paintings afforded the peaceful distraction that he craved, and through this work, the tenets of surrealism surprise and juxtaposition energized his sensibilities.
This volume exuberantly juxtaposes Geisel s Midnight Paintings with his best-loved children s books because this was how Dr. Seuss constructed his creative life his days devoted to literature for children, his nights to letting his mind and palette wander to even stranger shores. Inevitably, Geisel created images in his private artworks that would find their way into his literary projects. Though he fiercely protected his Secret Art from criticism during his lifetime, his intention all along was for these works to be seen when he was gone.
It is downright absurd to make an art book on Dr. Seuss that attempts a straight chronology on the life and work of this multitalented author, illustrator, painter, sculptor, political cartoonist, adman, doodler, practical joker, and Cat Behind the Hat. Chronology is, in this case, an elusive term. His life meanders between so many facets of artistic impulses, with images cross-pollinating over years and even decades, that the chronological line of his life is as dippy and curved as the architectural elements of a house in Who-ville.
Therefore, this book is chronological-ish. That is to say, some things come at the right time and some at the wrong time. But just as Dr. Seuss taught us to look at life through the wrong end of a telescope, the iconic artwork packed into these pages helps us understand that it isn t always a straight line from here to there that matters . . . but rather the fun of the journey that really counts.
As Early as It Gets
Dr. Seuss and His Midnight Paintings
Advertising and Editorial Work
Collection of Unorthodox Taxidermy
Secrets of the Deep
The War Years
No Longer Early
The Post-War Years
La Jolla Birdwomen
A Little Later
The Cat Behind the Hat
A Smidge Later Than That
Happy Birthday To You
Somewhat Later Still
Green Eggs and Ham
As Late as it Gets
Oh, the Places You ll Go
This book is published by Chase Art Companies and distributed by Andrews McMeel Publishing."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-08-27
- Reviewer: Staff
Those who know Dr. Seuss mostly via his Cat or Grinch will appreciate the portrait of the artist as a young man named Ted Geisel contained in this volume of reminiscences and art work (originally published as Secrets of the Deep). Geisel graduated from Dartmouth in 1925 and pursued graduate studies at Oxford, hoping to become a professor. A suggestion from his classmate and future wife prompted a move to New York City, where Geisel drew advertisements and cartoons. His early work balances naïveté and sophistication: the marrying bugs in "The Flit Gun Wedding" live under threat of insecticide, while a Ballyhoo magazine cover boy reads The Facts of Life. Even in his so-called serious artwork, Geisel seemed compelled to embellish his images with clever turns of phrase: a man carrying a very large, long-necked, yellow bird is described as "A Man Who Has Made an Unwise Purchase." Geisel's animal sculptures—the heads of imaginary creatures mounted like game for display—have wonderful monikers, such as "Semi-Normal Green-Lidded Fawn." The book also features original layouts from Geisel's most famous children's books. Altogether, this collection makes it easy to fall in love with Dr. Seuss again. Illus. (Nov.)