Bindman, David L. 1963-
BINDMAN, David L. 1963-
Office—University College London, Department of History of Art, 39-41 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PH England. E-mail—[email protected]
Author, art historian, and educator. University College London, During-Lawrence Professor of the History of Art.
European Sculpture from Bernini to Rodin, Studio Vista (London, England), 1970.
(Editor) William Blake: An Illustrated Catalogue of the Collection of Works in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Heffer, 1970.
Blake as an Artist, E. P. Dutton (New York, NY), 1977.
(Editor) John Flaxman (exhibit catalog), Thames and Hudson (New York, NY), 1979.
Hogarth, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1981.
William Blake: His Art and Times, Thames and Hudson (New York, NY), 1982.
(Editor) The Thames and Hudson Encyclopedia of British Art, Thames and Hudson (New York, NY), 1985.
(Editor) Color Versions of William Blake's Book of Job Designs from the Circle of John Lindell: Facsimiles of the New Zealand and Collins Sets and the Fitzwilliam Plates, William Blake Trust (London, England), 1987.
(General editor) Blake's Illuminated Books, edited and with an introduction by Morton D. Paley, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1991.
(Editor, with Gottfried Riemann) Karl Friedrich Schinkel, The English Journey: Journal of a Visit to France and Britain in 1826, translated by F. Gayna Walls, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 1993.
Hogarth and His Times: Serious Comedy, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1997.
(Editor, with David Ekserdjian and Will Palin), Hogarth's Election Entertainment: Artists at the Hustings, Apollo Magazine (London, England), 2001.
(With the William Blake Trust) William Blake: The Complete Illuminated Books, Thames and Hudson (New York, NY), 2001.
Ape to Apollo: Aesthetics and the Idea of Race in the Eighteenth Century, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 2002.
Author and art historian David L. Bindman has written or edited many books on English poet, painter, and engraver William Blake and other notable artists. William Blake: Catalogue of the Collection in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge is a detailed listing of the works of Blake held at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England. Blake as an Artist is a chronologically arranged analysis of Blake's paintings, drawings, engravings, and illustrated books. Times Literary Supplement critic Bevis Hillier commented that "Dr. Bindman's is the first book to see Blake the artist as a whole, and also the first to grapple intelligently with the illustrated books." A reviewer in Choice named the book "a significant addition to the Blake literature" and scholarship. Nation reviewer Lawrence Alloway called it a "learned, sharply observant text."
The Complete Graphic Works of William Blake offers a collection of all 800 of Blake's prints, presented in black and white. A Washington Post Book World reviewer called it "A stunning tribute to that powerful poet and artist." John McEwen, writing in Spectator, remarked that the book is "academically indispensable."
William Blake: His Art and Times is the catalog of the Blake exhibit presented at the Yale Center for British Arts. The volume also functions as an independent book of scholarship on Blake and his works. Bindman discusses Blake's work, but also relates the story behind the art, such as Blake's aspirations, personalities, and inspirations. Reviewing the book for Christian Science Monitor, Christopher Swan wrote that Bindman "provides endlessly fascinating glimpses into the visionary painting of this seminal artist." A reviewer in Choice called the book "An erudite, lucid, and appealing survey of William Blake's art in the context of his complex intellectual development" and "an essential acquisition for the academic library."
William Blake: The Complete Illuminated Books collects all of Blake's eighteen self-published and self-illustrated books into a single volume. Bindman's introduction "describes the passionate sincerity and visionary zeal that were characteristic of [Blake's] artistic and literary style," noted School Arts reviewer Kent Anderson. The illustrations—366 in color and thirty in black and white—"are little short of a revelation, giving us…the Blake canon in a form acceptably close… to the way Blake wanted us to see them," remarked a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Contemplating Blake's artwork is as essential to understanding his aims as is studying his poetry, suggested Kathleen Wheeler in Times Higher Education Supplement. "To engage fully with the poetry of William Blake, it is essential to place his writing within3 his art," Wheeler commented. "For there is a visionary and organic symbiosis between his words and the illuminated worlds he creates."
Another exhibit catalog authored by Bindman, John Flaxman, covers the Flaxman exhibit mounted at the Royal Academy in London. Flaxman was an English sculptor, who also was an artist, silverworker, and coin designer. John Flaxman is a collection of 430 illustrations of Flaxman's work, summaries of the illustrations, introductory essays (including one by Bindman), and scholarly essays by Bindman and other experts. Library Journal's Julie Van Haaften noted that "This is one of the most complete books on Flaxman to appear."
Bindman coauthored Roubiliac and the Eighteenth-Century Monument: Sculpture as Theatre with Malcolm Baker. Louis Francois Roubiliac was an eighteenth-century English sculptor. Roubiliac was "an artist of at least the stature of Hogarth, Gainsborough, or Reynolds, and was certainly the greatest British sculptor of the eighteenth century," commented Nicholas Penny in Times Literary Supplement. Penny further remarked that "There can be no doubt that Roubiliac merits a study on this scale and in this depth, and it is hard to imagine scholars better qualified to supply it than Baker and Bindman, whose interests and approaches, moreover, are admirably complementary." The book is divided into three sections. The first section is by Bindman, and he discusses Roubiliac's career and the imagery of the monuments. Baker authors the second section, and he discusses designing, models, construction, and patrons. The third section offers a catalog of Roubiliac's sculptures and monuments.
Andrew McClellan, writing in Eighteenth-Century Studies, commented that Roubiliac and the Eighteenth-Century Monument: Sculpture as Theatre "is excellent on the monuments themselves—their production, their settings, and the circumstances of the commissions; and the fusion of social history and analysis of technique, the fruit of collaborative effort, yields rich insight into the role and practice of monumental sculpture in the Georgia era." Reviewing the book for Choice, T. J. McCormick commented, "It is hard to imagine how this superb work could be improved."
Hogarth, a detailed study of artist William Hogarth and his works, offers an "up-to-date digest of fact and comment" as well as Bindman's "own balanced interpretation of the artist's career," remarked Graham Reynolds in Times Literary Supplement. Bindman also examines how the vibrant London landscape and social climate had a strong impact on Hogarth's work. "Bindman makes a seminal observation about the interpretative role the topography of London plays in the serial works, illustrating his thesis with a map identifying the chief sites," Reynolds wrote. A reviewer in Choice called Hogarth "the best single volume on the great early eighteenth-century artist." Reynolds concluded that "as a clear and well-conceived introduction to Hogarth's exuberant and complex appeal, this concise study is to be warmly welcomed."
Hogarth and His Times: Serious Comedy contains a catalog of English artist Hogarth's prints housed at the British Museum. It is also a study of the prints and a discussion of them in the context of Hogarth's contemporary world and his relationship to other artists. The book includes Bindman's critical analysis of the prints. Hogarth's popularity has never waned completely. Although Hogarth's subjects were often controversial and bawdy, they seemed designed to go against the convention of his times; "he has the look of a hero of popular culture," observed Lawrence Lipking in New Republic. But Bindman argues against seeing Hogarth as an underdog working to champion an oppressed population with his art. Instead, Bindman says, Hogarth worked within the framework of his society rather than against it. "Perhaps," Lipking stated. "But what has kept Hogarth's work alive is quite another point of view: a sense that his pictures are deeply subversive, not only of elitist traditions of art or the spirit of his age, but of the way we usually look at things."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Apollo, October, 1970, Peter Cannon-Brookes, review of European Sculpture from Bernini to Rodin, p. 319; April, 1986, Richard Kingzett, review of The Thames and Hudson Encyclopedia of British Art, p. 292; July, 1989, Lionel Lambourne, review of The Shadow of the Guillotine: Britain and the French Revolution, pp. 50-51.
Art Bulletin, September, 1996, Christopher M. S. Johns, review of Roubiliac and the Eighteenth-Century Monument: Sculpture as Theatre, p. 565.
Art in America, April, 2001, "Spring 2001 Book Selections," p. 80.
Booklist, December 1, 1997, Ray Olson, review of Hogarth and His Times: Serious Comedy, p. 604.
British Book News, August, 1981, review of Hogarth, p. 458.
British Journal for the History of Science, September, 2002, Ludmilla Jordanova, "And?," review of Hogarth: Representing Nature's Machines, p. 341.
Burlington Magazine, March, 1972, review of William Blake: An Illustrated Catalogue of Works in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, p. 198; July, 1989, John Gage, "London and Cambridge the French Revolution," review of The Shadow of the Guillotine: Britain and the French Revolution, pp. 495-497.
Choice, February, 1978, review of Blake as an Artist, p. 1632; September, 1980, review of John Flaxman, p. 78; October, 1981, review of Hogarth, p. 226; March, 1983, review of William Blake: His Art and Times, p. 964; March, 1996, T. J. McCormick, review of Roubiliac and the Eighteenth-Century Monument: Sculpture as Theatre, p. 1112; April, 1998, T. J. McCormick, review of Hogarth and His Times, p. 1358.
Christian Science Monitor, December 3, 1982, Christopher Swan, review of William Blake: His Art and Times, section B, p. 61; October 3, 1986, Merle Rubin, review of The Complete Graphic Works of William Blake, section B, p. 6.
Eighteenth-Century Studies, summer, 1996, Andrew McClellan, review of Roubiliac and the Eighteenth-Century Monument, p. 436.
English Studies, January, 1997, Dennis M. Welch, review of Blake's Illuminated Books, pp. 90-93.
Library Journal, May 1, 1980, review of John Flaxman, p. 1072; February 1, 1983, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of William Blake, p. 199.
London Review of Books, June 22, 1989, Linda Colley, review of The Shadow of the Guillotine, p. 12.
Nation, December 17, 1977, Lawrence Alloway, review of Blake as an Artist, p. 661.
New Republic, January 26, 1998, Lawrence Lipking, review of Hogarth and His Times, p. 38.
New York Review of Books, October 9, 1980, Francis Haskell, review of John Flaxman, p. 29; December 18, 1997, P. N. Furbank, review of Hogarth and His Times, p. 50.
Publishers Weekly, April 16, 2001, review of William Blake, p. 61.
School Arts, September, 2001, Kent Anderson, review of William Blake, p. 70.
Spectator, April 8, 1978 John McEwan, review of Blake as an Artist, pp. 25-26; April 8, 1978 John McEwan, review of The Complete Graphic Works of William Blake, pp. 25-26; May 23, 1981, Nicholas Garland, "Art and Power," review of Hogarth, p. 25; April 16, 1983, Richard Shone, "Recent Art Books," review of William Blake, p. 28.
Times Educational Supplement, April 25, 1986, review of The Complete Graphic Works of William Blake, p. 28.
Times Higher Education Supplement, July 6, 2001, Kathleen Wheeler, review of William Blake, p. 32.
Times Literary Supplement, June 4, 1970, review of European Sculpture from Bernini to Rodin, p. 620; February 17, 1978, Bevis Hillier, review of Blake as an Artist, p. 212; April 3, 1981, Graham Reynolds, review of Hogarth, p. 380; June 30, 1989, David Kelley, review of The Shadow of the Guillotine, p. 720; October 8, 1993, Iain Boyd White, review of The English Journey: Journal of a Visit to France and Britain in 1826, p. 22; April 5, 1996, Nicholas Penny, "Advancing Into Scenery: The 'Theatric' Genius of Louis Francois Roubiliac," pp. 3-4.
Washington Post Book World, May 4, 1986, review of The Complete Graphic Works of William Blake, p. 12.
University College London Web site,http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ (October 4, 2004), author profile.
University of British Columbia Press Web site,http://www.ubcpress.ca/ (October 4, 2004).*