Spring 1945 • Vol. VII No. 2 Book Reviews |

Old Masters for Tomorrow

Abstract And Surrealist Art In America by Sidney lanis. Reynal and Hitchcock. $6.50. It is told that "Alice in Wonderland" having found favor with Queen Victoria, Her Majesty graciously allowed Lewis Carroll to dedicate his next work to her. This happened to be The Fifth Book of Euclid Treated Algebraically, So Far As It Relates to Commensurable Magnitudes. Some similar mischievousness rules the sequence of publication of the two books that Sydney Janis dedicates to contemporary painting. In the first, They Taught Themselves, he presented with a keen out-look and refreshing respect for the artists concerned, the wonderland sight of men who succeeded in lifting themselves by their bootstraps and were caught in this levitating act. Many of the pictures analyzed were of the story-telling type, monkeys upsetting fruit trays, cops in pursuit and such. Accused of favoring Sunday painters over professionals, Janis was suspected by purists of being somewhat of a practical joker.

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