In an age of specialization it is amazing to find an artist who has mastered the complexities of painting both the urban landscape and the Maine wilderness. Joel Babb achieves all this with absolute clarity, attention to detail, and meticulous realism. His vision is very much of our time—a contemporary dialogue between nature and culture.

This first-ever overview of Joel Babb’s work offers a full complement of his major paintings created over the past several decades and a compelling account of Babb’s evolution as an artist by art critic Carl Little. Those who love to experience the world as we know it will be delighted by these works from an American master.

From the contributors:

“With his images of Boston, Babb takes his place alongside his contemporaries Richard Estes, Rackstraw Downes, and a handful of others as one of the foremost city painters of his time. His images of the New England landscape also belong in the pantheon of artists that stretches back to the Hudson River School in the nineteenth century.” —Carl Little

“Babb’s brushwork is akin to the technique of a great pianist who seemingly pulls the notes from the piano rather than pressing or pushing down on the keys.” —Christopher Crosman

“Babb’s finely detailed depictions of Boston, particularly those of the Back Bay extending from the Charles River to the John Hancock building, do for that city what Canaletto did for Venice. Beyond that first thrilling jolt that one is looking at something never seen before, there is the sensation of falling into the canvas with its three dimensional and inexhaustible beauty.” —Anita Shreve

“As the images in this book amply show, Babb is skilled to portray any object, scene, or thing, but I would argue that the one thing he portrays that naturally appeals to all people are scenes of nature. . . . His unique rendering of evocative nature scenes may become his greatest legacy.” —Bernd Heinrich

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611684308
Publisher: University Press of New England
Publication date: 02/12/2013
Pages: 132
Product dimensions: 11.00(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

CARL LITTLE is an art critic and author of many books. He lives and writes on Mount Desert Island, Maine.

Table of Contents

Falling into the City - Anita Shreve
Introduction - Christopher Crosman
Joel Babb: Nature & Culture - Carl Little
Earl Years: Building a Foundation
A European Wanderjahr and Boston Beginnings
Moving into the World
Boston: Above, Below, Around
The Maine Muse
The Edge of New England
A Return to Rome
Portraits & The First Successful Kidney Transplantation
A Philosophy of Seeing
Joel Babb: The Essence of What Is - Barb Heinrich
Exhibitions, Selected Bibliography

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