|Wonders to Behold: The Visionary Art of Myrtice West
by Myrtice West, Carol Crown (Editor), Rebecca L. Twist (Editor)
This excellent book is as much about her as it is the actual works. It includes some history on her and her works, how the publisher met her and some of his work on this project, excerpts from letters by West, a time line of highlights of her life, photographs of her paintings, and essays about them and her.
The book is organized with writings by 13 people each of whom lived with one painting for a few months, and then did an essay on it. It is nice to see an approach like this by Carol Crown, as it allowed the writers time to get to know the work and have a feel for it. How well they got beyond their intellect in actually experiencing the pieces and then conveying that through their opinions varies. In the writings, the statements range from "right on the mark" to some which are just plain stupid. Regardless of that, the collection of essays taken as a group provides for nice contrasts and interpretations that help the reader gain a more balanced view of West and her work.
This book is amply illustrated with some extremely nice photographs of the paintings. They do the job well in showing images of what her paintings are like. As in any art, photos and writings about a piece is not a direct experience. And, as in all art, everyone has different ideas of what is "good" or "bad" work; what they like it or not; and what inspires them or leaves them cold. This book provides enough material in different forms that each reader can gain an overall sense of Myrtice West and her paintings, and begin to sort those areas out for him or her self. We recommend it for what it is and does.
November 1993: Myrtice West with all her Revelations paintings and The Ascension..
Two images of painting 8: Satan Takes Over. 42 3/4 x 30 1/4 inches. Image 1 - Myrtice West posing with it, and Image 2 - a closeup.
Myrtice West's first painting from her Ezekiel Series, Ezekiel Chapter 1-2..
Working in rural Alabama for seven years, Myrtice West painted the entire book of Revelation in thirteen large, vivid paintings. West's Revelation Series, exhibited in public only twice, is the subject of a new book featuring essays by seventeen renowned scholars and artists, including Ben Apfelbaum, Howard Finster, George Fowler, Miriam Fowler, Norman Girardot, Rebecca Hoffberger, Lee Kogan, Norbert Kox, Leslie Leubbers, Roger Manley, Ann Oppenhimer, Tom Patterson, Charles Rosenak, Gary Schwindler, Charles Reagan Wilson, and Benjamin Wright.
The definitive work on Myrtice West and apocalypticism among self-taught artists, Wonders to Behold will appeal to everyone fascinated by visionary and "outsider" art, Southern Christian fundamentalism, and the furor over the new millennium.
"Myrtice West's remarkable painting satisfies intellectually as well as spiritually and aesthetically." - Roger Manley
Hardcover - 144 pages. Published November 1999 by Mustang Publishing; ISBN: 0914457993.
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