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Saturday, May 21, 2011

3-D ABC: A Sculptural Alphabet

3-D ABC: A Sculptural Alphabet by Bob Raczka
3-D ABC: A Sculptural Alphabet
by Bob Raczka

Ages 4-8, All Ages

Publisher: Lerner Publishing (2007)

Despite the 'ABC' in the title, this is not an abecedary book in the ordinary sense. Bob Raczka has brought many great works of art to his readers via the Art Adventures series. In this book, he shows us specific much-recognized works while describing in few simple statements what a sculpture is. Tying it to a letter from the alphabet in each page is incidental, but, elegantly done.

Starting with 'A', we learn that, A sculpture is not always something you can recognize. This kind of sculpture is called abstract, with Obus by Alexander Calder as the accompanying art work.

Each page has a visually stimulating arrangement of art and text, with well-chosen words that helps us understand a little more about this art form.

On the page with Carved American Eagle by John Bellamy, we read the expected E is for Eagle, but also learn that it is a relief: This sculpture can be looked at from just one side. It's called a Relief.

The one that fascinated Og the most was Spoonbridge and Cherry by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, along with "upside down hanging piano" coming a close second - Concert For Anarchy by Rebecca Horn.

As Raczka notes, "A sculpture can mean different things to different people, or it can mean different things to the same person on different days, because the more you look at a sculpture, the more you see." Thus the author encourages the kids to view and appreciate sculpture without the pre-determined notion of what a sculpture should or does represent.

I learnt about not just sculptures, but also about forms of expression, and it inspired me to look up more about at least these 26 works of art that the author has presented in the book.

Aside: While I am not for age-banding, I do provide publisher's suggested age range for easy sorting/grouping/searching. This book is truly for all ages, especially if one is curious about contemporary art.

[image source: Lerner Books]

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