This review is based on an electronic advanced release of the book.
Work Standing Up is a biography/coffee table book that shows the work of painter Paul Fontaine throughout the different periods of his life. Like many painters of his time he started with fairly realistic paintings and then at some point due to his influences ventured into more abstract territory.
While I had never “heard” of Fontaine before I read this book, I admire a lot of the skill and control he had.
The book is essentially three or four essays on different aspects of his life and art. The first and most intimate essay was written by one of his daughters, while the others were written by people who are more “art scene.”
There are many photos of his work inside. Some are black and white due to them being photos of work that was later destroyed, lost or otherwise mislaid. The book goes into depth to describe the different paints and styles he used throughout his life.
While I don’t have any coffee table books that I display due to my dog having a voracious book appetite, this is one book that I would love to have. The electronic edition, while nice and getting the point across, would surely pale to a larger format for the photographs.
If the publishing price I saw is legit, this is only a must-buy if you’re a diehard Fontaine fan. Otherwise, see if your library is getting a copy. If the price was a typo, it’s quite possibly worth the money.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars