Capturing Nature
The Cement Sculpture of Dionicio Rodríguez
Natural History - Art
9.5 x 10, 152 pp.
111 color photos, 22 b&w photos. Color painting. 4 b&w drawings. Map.
Pub Date: 12/04/2014
Rio Grande/Río Bravo: Borderlands Culture and Traditions
  flexbound (with flaps)
Price:        $27.95

978-1-62349-248-9

Published by Texas A&M University Press
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2008 Ron Tyler Award, presented by the Texas State Historical Association
 
2008 Award for Excellence in the Promotion of Architecture through the Media in Honor on John G. Flowers Honorary AIA, presented by the Texas Society of Architects

Capturing Nature

The Cement Sculpture of Dionicio Rodríguez

By Patsy Pittman Light

". . . a graphically gorgeous, fascinating work that both profiles Rodríguez and documents the remarkable breadth of his work, which reached across the United States from 1924 through the early 1950s. . . . Light places Rodríguez's work firmly in artistic, cultural, and historical context, providing an excellent introductory overview of the development of trabajo rustico or faux bois work in Europe, Mexico, and among other artists in the United States, and his contemporaries, such as Rivera, Orozco, and others. . . . Even the most casual reading of Capturing Nature cannot fail to impress anyone with Rodríguez's prodigious ability and focused creative energy."—San Antonio Express-News

“The book is ultimately a catalog of the work of Dionicio Rodríguez, beautifully illustrated in a way that gives the reader a feel for his sculptural legacy. A new appreciation will follow from perusing this book, and from visiting Rodríguez sculptures with fresh senses.”—Arkansas Democrat Gazette

“Ms. Light thoroughly conveys the charms of the art and the artist, noting that his sense of humor clearly showed through pieces such as the conch shell entrance wall at the Eddingston Court apartments in Port Arthur and the fountain embellished with human faces at Memorial Park Cemetery in Memphis.”—Dallas Morning News

PATSY PITTMAN LIGHT, artist and former public school teacher and college lecturer, served as chair of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park Commission and has researched and written the nominations for National Register of Historic Places listings, as well as Texas Historical Commission Markers. She resides in San Antonio.

What Readers Are Saying:

“Patsy Pittman Light, the author, chose a photo of a fallen black locust tree designed as a bridge over a stream as her book’s cover. The image captures the essential creativity of a fine artist--form and composition--in the medium of concrete . . . The book is ultimately a catalog of the work of Dionicio Rodríguez, beautifully illustrated in a way that gives the reader a feel for his sculptural legacy. . .  A new appreciation will follow from perusing this book, and from visiting Rodríguez sculptures with fresh senses.”--Arkansas Democrat Gazette

“Ms. Light thoroughly conveys the charms of the art and the artist, noting that his sense of humor clearly showed through pieces such as the conch shell entrance wall at the Eddingston Court apartments in Port Arthur and the fountain embellished with human faces at Memorial Park Cemetery in Memphis. Her writing, like the work she chronicles, is refreshingly spare and lean, notably deficient in the glowing adjectives so common to the discussion of art.”--Dallas Morning News

"Brilliantly conceived, thoroughly researched, and handsomely illustrated, Patsy Light's book on Mexican-American folk artist Dionicio Rodríguez clearly defines the artist as an ingenious designer, a superb craftsman, and a valuable cultural broker. Her publication is essential to the libraries of those interested in folk art, Texas history, Mexican-American studies, landscape architecture, cultural frontiers, and a host of other subjects."--Marion Oettinger, Jr.; The Betty and Bob Kelso Director, San Antonio Museum of Art

“Patsy Light's subject is Dionicio Rodríguez, a folk artist who introduced an imaginative art genre to the Southwest with his cement faux bois creations. Light traces the life of Rodríguez from the Great Depression years to the 1950s when he gained fame as a rustic artisan winning commissions for his unique art in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic coast. Light provides keen insight into the life of Rodríguez, a pioneer Hispanic artist and naturalist. Her study assures us that Rodíriguez's success in lifting public art to new heights of visibility and appreciation are not forgotten.”--Ricardo Romo, President, The University of Texas at San Antonio

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