Artisans of Trabajo Rústico: The Legacy of Dionicio Rodríguez (Rio Grande/Río Bravo: Borderlands Culture and Traditions #19) (Hardcover)

Artisans of Trabajo Rústico: The Legacy of Dionicio Rodríguez (Rio Grande/Río Bravo:  Borderlands Culture and Traditions #19) By Patsy Pittman Light, Kent Rush (By (photographer)) Cover Image
By Patsy Pittman Light, Kent Rush (By (photographer))
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This is book number 19 in the Rio Grande/Río Bravo: Borderlands Culture and Traditions series.


As documented in Patsy Pittman Light’s award-winning book, Capturing Nature, Mexican artisan Dionicio Rodríguez arrived in San Antonio in the 1920s and created concrete bus stop shelters, park benches, footbridges, and other structures in the style known as faux bois, or trabajo rústico. Following on the success of that previous work, Light, with photographer and artist Kent Rush, presents a comprehensive look at the legacy of Rodríguez as reflected in the works of those whom he trained, mentored, or influenced.

Rodríguez captured nature in his work, but he also continues to capture our imagination. Drawing these artistic creations out of the urban landscape, Artisans of Trabajo Rústico makes the nearly invisible fully visible to the critic, the historian, and especially to the casual viewer. Light asserts that San Antonio has the largest concentration of this art form in the country and includes copious full-color photography of the work of Rodríguez and other artisans.

This handsomely illustrated and painstakingly documented work offers the broadest possible panorama for the craft and endearing familiarity of this form. Inspired by nature, built by hand, and placed in the service of the public, these “rustic works” continue to provide enjoyment, convenience, and a touch of artistic elegance to public and private landscapes in San Antonio and beyond. Light and Rush’s work affords a fresh and wide-ranging look at this important artisanal tradition.

About the Author

PATSY PITTMAN LIGHT is the author of Capturing Nature: The Cement Sculpture of Dionicio Rodríguez, winner of the Ron Tyler Award for Best Illustrated Book from the Texas Historical Commission. She lives in San Antonio. KENT RUSH is professor emeritus of art and art history at the University of Texas, San Antonio. A former Fulbright and NEA fellow, his work has been exhibited extensively across the United States and internationally.


Praise For…

“The union of art and nature is at the core of landscape design. The role of creative craftsmanship in this process is evident from Patsy Pittman Light’s in-depth research and Kent Rush’s photographs of outdoor structures and furniture composed of carved concrete representations of tree trunks and branches. Artisans of Trabajo Rustico is a book that will fill a seldom-explored niche within the history of public parks and private gardens.”—Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, president, Foundation for Landscape Studies
— Elizabeth Barlow Rogers

“Cultural historian Patsy Pittman Light and photographer Kent Rush document in narrative and images the extraordinary achievements of twentieth-century Mexican immigrant craftspeople (as well as Mexican-American artisans and contemporary artisans) identified with hand-modeled concrete rustic construction. This popular art form is especially associated in Texas with the subject of Patsy Light’s previous book, Dionicio Rodríguez. From a wide ranging survey of historical antecedents, to an overview of fabrication techniques, to a gallery of works by individual artists, Light and Rush make readers aware of the rich delights that folklorist Pat Jasper, in her Foreword, describes as a ‘family tree,’ branching outward from the San Antonio studio of Dionicio Rodríguez.”—Stephen Fox, architectural historian, Fellow of the Anchorage Foundation of Texas
— Stephen Fox

Product Details
ISBN: 9781623497668
ISBN-10: 1623497663
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Publication Date: November 2nd, 2021
Pages: 200
Language: English
Series: Rio Grande/Río Bravo: Borderlands Culture and Traditions