Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey

Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey
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Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey
$29.95ITEM #A160
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Hardcover smyth-sewn casebound book, with jacket. 124 pages with more than 175 color and black-and-white illustrations and exhibition checklist.

Size: 8 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches

ISBN 9780764948046

Product Description

The delightful tales and quick-witted drawings of Edward Gorey (American, 1925–2000) reflect a special kind of genius that resides in the effect of 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. The probability of chaos lurks just beneath life’s tidy surface, occasionally erupting in surprising events with unexpected, perhaps horrific consequences. But when tragedy befalls Gorey’s quirky cast of characters—hapless waifs, dusty dowagers, scheming tycoons, and unhinged maidens—sometimes we are permitted to laugh. Far from being morbid, Gorey simply reminds us to relax occasionally, and contemplate mortality.

In Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey, more than 175 reproductions offer a rich review of his work, including 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, which include his trademark finely detailed ink drawings and watercolors.

The text by Karen Wilkin, an expert on Gorey and a friend of the artist, offers an intimate review of his career, with insights that provide a fresh understanding of Gorey’s life and work.

Published on the occasion of the first major traveling exhibition of Edward Gorey’s work, organized by the Brandywine River Museum, Elegant Enigmas is a long-overdue tribute to a master artist and writer, who with sharp intellect and devastatingly wry humor created a body of work singular in its brilliance and charm.

Click here to view other Edward Gorey publications


About the Author

KAREN WILKIN, a curator and critic specializing in twentieth-century modernism, is the co-author of The World of Edward Gorey (Abrams, 1996) and the author of Ascending Peculiarity: Edward Gorey on Edward Gorey (Harcourt, 2001), as well as monographs on Anthony Caro, Stuart Davis, Hans Hofmann, Helen Frankenthaler, Giorgio Morandi, and David Smith. She is a regular contributor to The New Criterion, Art in America, and The Wall Street Journal, and a contributing editor for art for The Hudson Review.

About Edward Gorey

EDWARD ST. JOHN GOREY (1925–2000) is famous for the honored bounty of books he wrote and illustrated, featuring his distinctive humor and astonishingly detailed crosshatch ink drawings. Creator of more than one hundred works, Gorey also was a successful contributor to theater from Cape Cod to Broadway; his production of Dracula on Broadway garnered two Tony Awards (Best Revival and Best Costumes). He is also well known as the creator of the animation images in the PBS series Mystery! Read his full bio here.