Wild Things Are Happening: The Art of Maurice Sendak
The most comprehensive survey of the work of Maurice Sendak, the most celebrated picture book artist of all time--with previously unpublished archival materials
Published in conjunction with the eponymous Sendak retrospective touring museums in the United States and Europe in 2022-24, Wild Things Are Happening emphasizes Maurice Sendak's relationship to the history of art and the influences of his art collecting on his images. It features previously unpublished sketches, storyboards and paintings that emphasize Sendak's creative processes.
Bringing together a broad diversity of perspectives on the award-winning artist, the book includes an extended essay by the renowned art historian Thomas Crow that traces the genesis and cultural contexts of Sendak's most famous book, Where the Wild Things Are. It also includes interviews and appreciations by many of Sendak's key collaborators, including Carroll Ballard, Michael Di Capua, John Dugdale, Spike Jonze, Twyla Tharp and Arthur Yorinks.
Maurice Sendak (1928-2012) was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Jewish immigrant parents from Poland. A largely self-taught artist, Sendak wrote and illustrated over 150 books during his 60-year career, including Kenny's Window, Very Far Away, The Sign on Rosie's Door, Nutshell Library (consisting of Chicken Soup with Rice, Alligators All Around, One Was Johnny and Pierre), Higglety Pigglety Pop!, Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen and Outside Over There. He collaborated with such celebrated authors as Meindert DeJong, Tony Kushner, Randall Jarrell, Ruth Krauss, Else Holmelund Minarik and Isaac Bashevis Singer, and he illustrated classics by the Brothers Grimm, Melville and Tolstoy.
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About the Author
Maurice Sendak's children's books have sold over 30 million copies and have been translated into more than 40 languages. He received the 1964 Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are and is the creator of such classics as In the Night Kitchen, Outside Over There, Higglety Pigglety Pop!, and Nutshell Library. In 1970 he received the international Hans Christian Andersen Medal for Illustration, in 1983 he received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award from the American Library Association, and in 1996 he received a National Medal of Arts in recognition of his contribution to the arts in America. In 2003, Sendak received the first Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, an annual international prize for children's literature established by the Swedish government.
Spike Jonze has directed Being John Malkovich and music videos for artists including The Beastie Boys, Weezer, Daft Punk, Fatboy Slim, and Tenacious D.
Arthur Yorinks has written and directed for opera, theater, dance, film, and radio and is the author of dozens of acclaimed children's books, including Hey, Al, with illustrations by Richard Egielski, which earned the Caldecott Medal in 1987. His writing has been hailed in The New York Times Book Review as "one of the most distinctive prose styles in children's literature." His eclectic and wide-ranging career has brought Yorinks into collaborations with illustrators such as Mort Drucker, Maurice Sendak, David Small, and William Steig as well as with composers such as Philip Glass, directors such as Jim Simpson and Ruben Santiago-Hudson, and a small army of well-known actors and musicians including Sigourney Weaver, Adam Driver, Catherine Russell, and "Blue Lou" Marini. You can visit Arthur Yorinks online at www.arthuryorinks.com
His blending of a child's perspective with the visual vocabulary of "grown-up" fine art not only reveals his faith in a child's ability to deal with complex material, but may also have some bearing on the longevity of his books' appeal--that is, why we continue to love them even after we have left our childhoods behind.--Nicole Rudick "Artforum"
A new book collects six decades' worth of the artist's work [...] From sketching other kids playing in the street outside his childhood window, to the long, regimented days spent drawing, painting and writing in his Connecticut studio as an adult, Sendak remained dedicated all his life to at least one theme: wandering.--Lauren Christensen "The New York Times Book Review"