Preview the Book on Flipsnack!


Book has arrived!. Buy the book here. For multiple or international orders or questions email information(at)

Book jacket copy:

Work Standing Up: The Life and Art of Paul Fontaine is about the ingredients for living one’s life artfully and fully present. It’s a story about one man’s decision to be deliberate in his choices about where he lived and how he lived it. It is a testimony that where one comes from has almost nothing to do with what one can achieve; that it is truly possible to make a good living as an artist.

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Fontaine discovered early a talent for drawing and painting, and not much else. He was a product of the Depression, yet managed to graduate from Yale, paint in the Virgin Islands, and paint in Italy as a soldier during World War II. Rather than returning to the United States, he remained in Germany as the art director for Stars and Stripes—and stayed for 25 years, painting and exhibiting with the finest European and American abstractionists, such as Willi Baumeister and Alexander Calder. In 1970, he moved with his family to Mexico for another 25 years, and finally Austin, Texas, for the last four years of his life. He and his wife were expatriates but also essentially ambassadors for America’s cultural aesthetic. Whether holding court among his peers, living in a tent, or buying art, Fontaine’s approach was to study, immerse, and act.

Art historians Margaret Stenz, Mary Brantl, and Robert Linsley each provide investigations into Fontaine’s art during the different periods of his working career: the Depression era, postwar Germany, and finally Mexico. In this first book-length treatise on Fontaine, readers will experience his work and, through previously unpublished photographs, also his community of artists that survived the war in Europe.  Fontaine’s daughter, Claudia Chidester, offers a biographical section, which is centered around the lessons learned from Fontaine—on topics from marrying well to obtaining valuable press credentials.

Taken altogether, this extraordinary book sets forth an intimate and detailed portrait of a global artist who lived and worked for most of the twentieth century.

(We hate SPAM as much as you do, An acknowledgement email has been sent to you, please check your SPAM/Junk folder and allow mail from us. Thanks!)