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Forms of Tradition in Contemporary Spain

By Jo Farb Hernández

256 pp., 142 color and 9 b&w photographs appendix, bibliography, index

978-1-57806-751-0 Paper $35.00T

Paper, $35.00

An innovative study of artists balancing tradition with creativity

The fast-paced demands of a global economy make it increasingly difficult for folk and traditional artists to stay true to their heritages. All too often, artists either isolate themselves in an impossible struggle against the modern world or give up traditional methods and practices to follow current trends. Forms of Tradition in Contemporary Spain is a groundbreaking study of contemporary Spanish folk art and traditional artists. It charts the varied routes artists have found to evade these pitfalls while pursuing their art.

Through case studies of four considerably different kinds of artists-a traditional potter, a couple who create huge papier-mâché figures for festival processions and dancing, a group of masked, costumed "devils" who enliven traditional street theatre with modern pyrotechnics, and an idiosyncratic builder of one of the most spectacular art environments known worldwide-this book broadens the existing understanding of traditional arts by creating a more realistic and expansive interpretation of tradition and the influences upon each creative act.

Featuring 142 color photographs and 9 black-and-white illustrations, this work is a major contribution to the field of art history as well as a celebration of the artists it profiles. The artists were chosen because each is emblematic of a particular tradition and each represents a distinct relationship with a given community. In addition to analyzing and describing the art and artists featured in the book, Jo Farb Hernández uses these case studies to achieve a broader range of understanding. Breaking down old divisions in art history, she presents information which has not received much attention in the U.S. and provides access to work that was previously available only in Spanish or Catalan.

Author of books, catalogs, and articles, Jo Farb Hernández, Watsonville, California, is the director/curator of the Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery, School of Art and Design, San José State University, and is the Principal of Curatorial and Museum Management Services.

256 pp., 142 color and 9 b&w photographs appendix, bibliography, index