Photograph by Nicole Blaisdell Ivey
It has been said that Gus Blaisdell—writer, philosopher, critic, and educator at the University of New Mexico—was a force of nature. His critical essays addressed photography, film, painting, and philosophy, among many other subjects. Blaisdell delighted in his friendships with celebrated figures in the arts and humanities, which included photographer Lewis Baltz, philosopher Stanley Cavell, writer Evan Connell, poet Robert Creeley, and art critic Max Kozloff. Blaisdell lived a life surrounded by books—he was a passionate reader, as well as being an editor, publisher, and a bookstore owner. Gus Blaisdell Collected (University of New Mexico Press, $40) is a sampling of his writings, selected and edited by William Peterson who writes “Gus’s writing revolved around the quest for knowledge of the self and the search for understanding our human placement in the world.” Of particular interest in this volume are his takes on Joel-Peter Witkin, Frank Stella, Lewis Baltz, and Allan Graham. About Blaisdell, critic Dave Hickey wrote, “Gus was the absolute, undeniable, real thing. One of the few.” This long-overdue book contains introductory essays by philosopher Stanley Cavell, literary critic David Morris, and an editor’s preface by Peterson, all of which gives the reader insight into the workings of the mind of this legendary figure.
Guy Cross editor, publisher THE magazine
*Photograph by Nicole Blaisdell Ivey