Phobia: An Art Deco Graphic Masterpiece (Dover Fine Art, History of Art)

Phobia: An Art Deco Graphic Masterpiece (Dover Fine Art, History of Art)

John Vassos

Language: English

Pages: 112

ISBN: 0486470326

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A leader in promoting the Art Deco style in advertising art and book illustration, John Vassos undertook his most personal and ambitious work in this 1931 volume. Its twenty-four gripping images represent visceral depictions of common fears—the dread of heights, open and enclosed spaces, the dark, and the menace lurking behind other everyday situations. Doctors and the general public alike hailed Phobia as a masterpiece of psychological insight. 
Vassos's creations exercised a profound influence on subsequent artists. His use of the hard-edged draughtsman's line, a technique that endows these images with their distinctive Art Deco character, is among his original contributions to the style. This edition features faithful reproductions of illustrations made from the original gouaches employing advanced printing techniques unknown in the 1920s and '30s. The result, superior in quality to the original publication, offers an outstanding opportunity to appreciate an innovative artist's classic work.

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order to provide the highest quality reproductions, the plates are taken from the 1976 Dover volume Contempo, Phobia and other Graphic Interpretations, for which they were made directly from the artist’s original paintings, under his personal supervision. This edition also contains a new Introduction by David A. Beronä. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Vassos, John, 1898-1985. [Contempo, Phobia and other graphic interpretations] Phobia : an art deco graphic masterpiece /

trapping and blood-sucking are projected as somewhat violent symbols of suppressed desires. The theory is that a victim of zoophobia fears a symbol of an unconscious desire. What one is inhibited from loving may be transformed by the unconscious into an object to be hated. So, the old maid violently afraid of mice shudders at the thought of contact with a man–yet desires it. The fear of mice is merely a symbol for a quite other aversion. Conversely, at times it is the human that is feared, and a

I did discover illustrated books by these two artists, as well as many unfamiliar illustrators. The shelves of illustrated books were always packed tight with editions from various publishers, reflecting the renaissance in book illustration from the early twentieth century. This rebirth was primarily a direct result of the efforts of William Morris, the founder of the Kelmscott Press, who, as part of the Arts and Crafts Movement in England in the late nineteenth century, helped revive

market-place, and live with his own soul. He may never give articulate expression to this need, nor even know that he possesses it, but it is fundamental within him and he obeys its dictates almost involuntarily. The monophobiac, however, never experiences the desire to withdraw from social contacts. An unreasoning madness seizes him at the mere thought of even momentary seclusion. He avoids solitude as others avoid a pestilence. He need take no active interest in his chance companions. The most

shocks the creeping infant receives is the injunction, not infrequently accompanied by punishment, that he must not get himself dirty. One of the marks of our much vaunted superiority over the beasts is that they are dirty and that we are clean. Cleanliness may be next to godliness, but there is such a thing as carrying it to extremes, and our mania to be clean has its tragic by-products. The lowest member of our social order realizes that his dirtiness is a bar separating him from acceptance

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