David Lynch is internationally renowned for his films and music, but he began his creative life as a visual artist and has maintained a devoted studio practice, developing an extensive body of painting, prints, photography, and drawing. The first major U.S. museum exhibition of his work, David Lynch: The Unified Field, opened at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) this weekend. The show is creating buzz in the New York Times, Slate, Art in America, Philly.com, and elsewhere.
Featuring work from all periods of Lynch’s career, David Lynch: The Unified Field, forthcoming from UC Press, documents the exhibition, which brings together works held in American and European collections and from the artist’s studio, many of which have rarely been seen in public.
Preorder David Lynch: The Unified Field now and save 30% with discount code 15W3183!
View a selection from the 95 paintings and drawings showcased in the exhibition:
Watch a preview of the exhibition:
Follow along with #PAFADavidLynch on Twitter:
by Caitlin O’Hara
Can’t Catch a Break, publishing this month, is a brilliant book that teases out the nuanced relationship between gender, drugs, and jail in many women’s lives.
We asked coauthor Susan Starr Sered the story behind the cover image, which features an abstract image of bold colored stripes, dripping paint, and few hints as to how to contextualize what we’re seeing.
In an email, Susan describes her search in vain for appropriate images dealing with women and prison. The results depicted literal prison imagery that didn’t capture the range of experiences of the women her book profiles, or “disgustingly voyeuristic male-fantasy pornography.”
And then she came upon “this gorgeous image.” The piece is part of an installation by artist Markus Linnenbrink, at the JVA/Prison in Düsseldorf, in a 132 ft long underground tunnel that connects its security check to the visitors’ area. The artist explains that the JVA prison is considered “a model institution and has been designed to deal with security and humanity as best as possible, thus the desire for a unique approach [to its visitor entrance].” You can find more images and information about the project at this Colossal profile.
“It’s hard for me to describe why this image struck me so forcefully,” Sered writes. “Perhaps the vertical lines look like bars made out of women’s make-up and nail polish. The color dripping down from the horizontal stripes looks as if it’s weeping. The ambitious horizontal stripes decaying down into drips on the wall evoke, for me, the mess that’s come of the good intentions behind trying to cut down on crime, drug use and so on. And finally, people in prison spend so much time with nothing to do but stare at blank walls, so I love imagining those walls as color drenched acts of resistance.”
And with that, Sered cuts to the heart with precision, as she does so often throughout the book. Beyond interpretations of line, color, drip, and context, what captivates is the image’s undefinable power: inviting yet defiant; strong despite, and owing to, its imperfections. Just like the women this book profiles.
Caitlin O’Hara is a Senior Publicist for UC Press.
Last week at San Francisco’s Castro Theater, the Commonwealth Club hosted a conversation with Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook and Lean In fame and Marianne Cooper, the lead researcher on Sandberg’s book and author of the new UC Press book Cut Adrift.
Cooper’s book explores what keeps Americans up at night. Through poignant case studies, she reveals what families are concerned about, how they manage their anxiety, whose job it is to worry, and how social class shapes all of these dynamics. Watch their conversation below:
In a recent profile on Bill Gates, the New York Times explored the emerging subject of Big History, and Gates’ project with UC Press author David Christian to introduce Big History into high school curricula across the country. Christian, who pioneered the field, surveys the universe from the beginning of time to the present day in his book Maps of Time, integrating cosmology, geology, archeology, and population and environmental studies.
According to the Times, Bill Gates was an immediate fan of the approach, and “found himself marveling at the class’s ability to connect complex concepts. ‘I just loved it,’ he said. ‘It was very clarifying for me. I thought, God, everybody should watch this thing!’” Gates and Christian started slow, establishing Big History courses in just a few high schools at a time and letting the project grow organically. Now, writes the Times, “it will be offered free to more than 15,000 students in some 1,200 schools” this fall.
Read more about Gates’ ambitious plan to advance the field, and stay tuned for Teaching Big History, forthcoming in November 2014 from UC Press, a powerful and comprehensive guide for teaching Big History, as well for sharing ideas about the subject and planning a curriculum around it.
Thanks to everyone who came to see us at ASA’s annual meeting in San Francisco, Hard Times. For our parting shot, here’s Executive Editor Naomi Schneider with some of our illustrious authors:
(L-R) Timothy Black, Annette Lareau, Naomi Schneider, Marianne Cooper, Mary Erdmans
Till next year!
UC Press staff and editors are having a great time at the American Sociological Association (ASA)’s annual meeting, Hard Times: The Impact of Economic Inequality on Families and Individuals. Here are some of the authors who stopped by our booth to say hello:
UC Press authors John Iceland (L) and Dalton Conley with Executive Editor Naomi Schneider