Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World)
From children’s books to New Yorker covers, fashion to philosophical musings, this first retrospective book on the beloved illustrator, author and designer Maira Kalman is an inventory of imaginative genius certain to delight her many fans.
The world as seen through Kalman’s eyes is a slightly off-kilter place as colorful and varied as a kaleidoscope. For decades this brilliant artist has captured our hearts with her whimsical illustrations and engaged our minds with her trenchant observations. A companion to a traveling exhibition, this monograph on Kalman’s work features over one hundred paintings and drawings, as well as her lesser-known work in photography, textiles, and embroidery. Among Kalman’s varied body of work are illustrated books for children and adults, clocks she designed with her late husband Tibor Kalman, columns for The New York Times, fabrics for Maharam and Isaac Mizrahi, and sets for the choreographer Mark Morris. This book also presents Kalman as a collector, commentator, traveler, and maker of lists by way of an installation tableau of “many tables of many things” selected from her life and studio. Essays in the book explore Kalman’s unique gift for distilling the extraordinary from the merely ordinary. From the youngest readers to the most discerning critics, Kalman’s many admirers will embrace this wonderful celebration of a life dedicated to making art.
Ingrid Schaffner is Senior Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania.
Donna Ghelerter is an independent textile and costume historian in New York City.
Claudia Gould is Director at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania.