Created by Matt Zoller Seitz
Directed by Judith Carter
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
David Lynch is internationally renowned as a filmmaker, but it is less known that he began his creative life as a visual artist and has maintained a devoted studio practice, developing an extensive body of painting, prints, photography, and drawing. Featuring work from all periods of Lynch’s career, this book documents Lynch’s first major museum exhibition in the United States, bringing together works held in American and European collections and from the artist’s studio. Much like his movies, many of Lynch’s artworks revolve around suggestions of violence, dark humor, and mystery, conveying an air of the uncanny. This is often conveyed through the addition of text, wildly distorted forms, and disturbances in the paint fields that surround or envelop his figures. While a few relate to his film projects, most are independent works of art that reveal a parallel trajectory. Organized in close collaboration with the artist, David Lynch: The Unified Field brings together ninety-five paintings, drawings, and prints from 1965 to the present, often unified by the recurring motif of the home as a site of violence, memories, and passion. Other works explore the odd, tender, and mincing aspects of relationships. Highlighting many works that have rarely been seen in public, including early work from his critical years in Philadelphia (1965–70), this catalog offers a substantial response to dealer Leo Castelli's comment when he enthusiastically viewed Lynch’s work in 1987, “I would like to know how he got to this point; he cannot be born out of the head of Zeus.”Published in association with the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
"This impeccable collection of art confirms Lynch’s position as a gifted polymath―and one of the country’s most important artists working today." ― Publisher's Weekly Published On: 2014-10-27"Lynch’s last Philadelphia canvases are brutally textural, integrating cigarette butts and filters, matted horse-hair, and bits of unidentifiable petrified organic matter. His more recent work, characterized by broad paint strokes and large-scale dramatic canvases, is more polished in its perversity." -- J. Hoberman ― The New York Review of Books Published On: 2014-12-09"Lynch is at his best when grasping just how unsavory we can find deterioration disrupting the mundane areas of our life, especially when evoking it as a reflection of human good and evil, and that holds true in his visual art. . . . There’s a definite vision and storytelling with the mix of text and image in the galleries." -- Allison Meier ― Hyperallergic Published On: 2014-10-02"He was, and remains, fond of biomorphic shapes, the incorporation of texts, working with textures, playing with dimensionality . . . David Lynch began as a painter ― he still is a painter." -- Mark Feeney ― The Boston Globe Published On: 2014-11-15"Late works find him tapping into primal fantasies of the psychotic annihilation of self and the other." -- Ken Johnson ― The New York Times Published On: 2015-09-17"Impressively curated by Robert Cozzolino, The Unified Field makes a case for considering Lynch as 'an artist who happens to make film as part of his expression.'" -- Jonathan P. Eburne ― The Los Angeles Review of Books Published On: 2014-10-08"it is fascinating to see Lynch's noncinematic work, especially the earliest canvases . . . from January 1966 through the spring of 1967." -- Fred B. Adelson ― Courier-Post Published On: 2014-10-20
Dr. Robert Cozzolino is Curator of Modern Art and Senior Curator at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) and has organized over thirty exhibitions at PAFA, including Jacob Lawrence’s Hiroshima (2008), George Tooker: A Retrospective (2009), Narcissus in the Studio: Artists’ Portraits and Self-Portraits (2010), and The Female Gaze: Women Artists Making Their World (2012). A champion of underrepresented artists and uncommon perspectives on well-known artists, Dr. Cozzolino has been called the “curator of the dispossessed” for his attention to the underdog.
MZS.Press is the online arts bookstore founded by author, critic, and filmmaker Matt Zoller Seitz and directed by Judith Carter. It offers new, used, signed, collectible, and rare books on film, TV, music, photography, and the visual arts. The store was launched in 2019 on a different platform and has expanded to incorporate arts books published by MZSPress's private imprint: titles currently include Seitz's The Deadwood Bible: A Lie Agreed Upon and Dreams of Deadwood, about the HBO Western, and Walter Chaw's A Walter Hill Film.
Our deepest wish is to promote, encourage, and distribute work by small presses, academic presses, and individuals. Extraordinary work tends to get swallowed up on giant platforms like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The store's inventory of nearly 1000 volumes is currently in the process of being reconstructed after its relocation from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Dallas, Texas. The titles featured here are personally selected by a group of curators and advisors, including Seitz, Carter, and an array of critics, artists, journalists, educators, publishers, and arts mavens who are known for their ability to suss out what Seitz's jazz musician dad liked to call "the good sh*t."
“Please. Have mercy. I’ve been wearing the same underwear since Tuesday.”
Matt Zoller Seitz
Critic, Author, Filmmaker, MZS Press Creator
Matt Zoller Seitz is the Editor at Large and film critic of RogerEbert.com; a staff writer for New York Magazine and Vulture.com, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism. His writing on film and TV has appeared in Sight and Sound, The New York Times, Salon.com, The New Republic and Rolling Stone. Seitz is the founder and original editor of the influential film blog The House Next Door, now a part of Slant Magazine.
Seitz has written, narrated, edited or produced over a hundred hours’ worth of video essays about cinema history and style for The Museum of the Moving Image, Salon.com and Vulture, among other outlets. His five-part 2009 video essay Wes Anderson: The Substance of Style was spun off into the hardcover book The Wes Anderson Collection. This book and its follow-up, The Wes Anderson Collection: Grand Budapest Hotel were New York Times bestsellers.
Other Seitz books include the New York Times bestellers The Sopranos Sessions and Mad Men Carousel; TV (The Book), The Deadwood Bible: A Lie Agreed Upon, and the forthcoming The Wes Anderson Collection: The French Dispatch. He is also an interviewer, moderator, and film programmer who has curated and hosted film and TV presentations for the Museum of the Moving Image, IFC Center, San Francisco's Roxie Cinema, and other venues. He is currently working on a memoir about his marriages and a feature-length documentary about his father, jazz musician and composer Dave Zoller.
His hobbies include exotic dancing, moonwalking, and affixing masking tape labels to every food item in the refrigerator, including eggs. He has the attention span of a gnat.