Irma Stern: a Feast for the Eye by Dr Marion Arnold
Second hand (Very good condition)
Fernwood Press (Pty) Ltd ,South Africa, 30 September 1995
Hard cover, 156 Pages
Irma Stern’s paintings are remarkable for their saturated colors and sensory nature. Her most arresting works are portraits of Africans, but she also paints landscapes and still lifes. Some of the still lifes incorporate works of African sculpture from her personal collection, e.g., “Buli stool with fruit” (1952), which depicts a Luba caryatid by the Buli master (page 146).
In this full-blown art historical study of Irma Stern, Arnold explores the life and work of this expressionist painter whose “vision of Africa” has today “become a target for post-colonial analysis and is often discussed as too eclectic, politically incorrect, and as a mere appropriator of other cultures” (page 150). Arnold takes a more sympathetic view, while recognizing the limitations of the artist and the woman. There is, however, no denying the richness of Stern’s œuvre — a feast for the eye. More than one hundred paintings are reproduced in color.
Reviewed by Karin M. Skawran in De arte (Pretoria) 54, September 1996, page 58.
Berman, Mona. Remembering Irma: Irma Stern: a memoir with letters. Cape Town: Double Storey, 2003. vii, 184pp. illus. (pt. color). ND1096.S8B47 2003 AFA. OCLC 53216960.
Mona Berman’s memories of Irma Stern are childhood recollections of the imperious and eccentric artist, who was a friend of Freda and Richard Feldman, Berman’s parents. As a child Berman resented and avoided Stern during her extended visits to her parents. Now she takes an extremely sympathetic view of both the artist and her parents’ relationship with her. Stern visited the Feldmans often and corresponded frequently over three decades. Her letters to the Feldmans, which are the centerpiece of this memoir, reveal the more personal and intimate side of Stern as well as the complexities of her personality. The Feldman’s admired and purchased Stern paintings and were sitters for multiple portraits. This book is fascinating reading.