edited by Marie-Laure Bernadac and Hans-Ulrich Obrist"Everyday you have to abandon your past or accept it and then if youcannot accept it, you become a sculptor."Since the age of twelve, the internationally renowned sculptor LouiseBourgeois has been writing and drawing;first a diary preciselyrecounting the everyday events of her family life, then notes andreflections. Destruction of the Father;the title comes fromthe name of a sculpture she did following the death of her husband in1973;contains both formal texts and what the artist calls"pen-thoughts": drawing-texts often connected to her drawings andsculptures, with stories or poems inscribed alongside the images.Writing is a means of expression that has gained increasing importancefor Bourgeois, particularly during periods of insomnia. The writing iscompulsive, but it can also be perfectly controlled, informed by herintellectual background, knowledge of art history, and sense ofliterary form (she has frequently published articles on artists, exhibitions, and art events). Bourgeois, a private woman "withoutsecrets," has given numerous interviews to journalists, artists, andwriters, expressing her views on her oeuvre, revealing its hiddenmeanings, and relating the connection of certain works to the traumasof her childhood. This book collects both her writings and her spokenremarks on art, confirming the deep links between her work and herbiography and offering new insights into her creative process.
Published on the hundredth anniversary of Van Gogh's death, this is the first full-length biography of this undying man in twenty years and surely the most comprehensive account to date. Mr. Callow treats more searchingly than any previous work the development of Van Gogh's genius and his emergence as an artist after early struggles to find a vocation, first in the world of art dealing and later as an evangelical missionary among Belgian miners. Using the skills and psychological insights of an accomplished novelist, and drawing upon new Van Gogh materials which have surfaced in the last two decades, Mr. Callow sets a turbulent life story firmly in historical context, including Vincent's desperate attempts to accept his repressive religious upbringing, and his unhappy experiences in love. The story is filled with paradoxes and crushing failures, ending in suicide that was to lead to enormous posthumous success. Through Mr. Callow's book we can see Van Gogh's life and work in terms of tumult, of a legend breaking out of the triumph and confusion of 19th-century culture while representing it uniquely. It is perhaps the story of a saint, certainly a hero of art.
The life and work of the great Italian Renaissance artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) have proved endlessly fascinating for later generations. Da Vinci is perhaps best known for his great works of art and his contribution to art theory. However as modern historians have discovered, the scope of da Vinci's achievement is immense -- his equally impressive contribution to science has been preserved in a vast quantity of notes that became widely known in the 20th century -- and cost even Bill Gates a noticeable part of his fortune when he bought the notebooks in a much publicized auction.
In his biography of da Vinci, National Book Award winner and world-renowned writer Sherwin Nuland explores the enormous breadth in this great man's lifelong pursuit of knowledge.
From the critically acclaimed and bestselling author of Son of the Morning Star and Deus Lo Volt , a biography that breaks the mold-recounting with stunning immediacy the dark genius behind the renowned Spanish painter. Enigmatic, compelling, darkly brilliant and casually masterful in turn, Francisco Goya changed art forever, although the nature of his influence has been widely interpreted. Degas, for one, lamented that because of Goya he was condemned to painting a housewife in her bathtub. During the vile days of the Spanish Inquisition, Goya painted royalty, street urchins and demons with the same brush, bringing his own distinctive touch to each. This unusual man and his ghastly times are the perfect subject for Evan S. Connell, one of our greatest and least conventional writers. This unorthodox biography shines with wit, erudition and prodigious research. To say Connell is intimate with his subject is an understatement: He seems to be inside Goya's famously impenetrable skin. In a colloquial, wry style, Connell introduces a wealth of detail and a comic cast of weird and eccentric characters-dukes, queens and artists-as lewd and incorrigible a group as history has ever produced
The private life and public demons of Pablo Picasso have fueled numerous biographies and films-but this is the first memoir from a family member descended from the iconic painter's first marriage. Picasso's granddaughter Marina witnessed firsthand the humiliation and destruction of her father Paolo, Picasso's son, and the suicide of her brother Pablito. By the time her grandfather died, Marina was filled with such anger that she tried to refuse her share of the inheritance-to free herself of the Picasso legacy. Her story is passionate, painful, and powerful: an unsparing, unflinching account of the brilliant man who once said "to make a dove, you must first wring its neck."
Matisse and Picasso achieved extraordinary prominence during their lifetimes. They have become cultural icons, standing not only for different kinds of art but also for different ways of living. Matisse, known for his restraint and intense sense of privacy, for his decorum and discretion, created an art that transcended daily life and conveyed a sensuality that inhabited an abstract and ethereal realm of being. In contrast, Picasso became the exemplar of intense emotionality, of theatricality, of art as a kind of autobiographical confession that was often charged with violence and explosive eroticism. In Matisse and Picasso, Jack Flam explores the compelling, competitive, parallel lives of these two artists and their very different attitudes toward the idea of artistic greatness, toward the women they loved, and ultimately toward their confrontations with death.
Anton Gag arrived in Minnesota from Bohemia about 1879, and founded an artistic dynasty in the German-Bohemian community of New Ulm. L'Enfant (art history, College of Visual Arts, St. Paul, Minnesota) follows his life and that of two of his children, Wanda Hazel (1893-1946), who became a famous chil
For five centuries, Leonardo da Vinci has stood alone as the quintessential Renaissance manathe incomparable artist, writer, thinker, and inventor who most powerfully transformed his world. In this dazzling new intimate biography, award-winning author Charles Nicholl creates a portrait of the artist for our timeaa biography that brings Leonardo to life as a complex man living in a fascinating, dangerous, quickly changing world.
Drawing freely on his own original translations of Leonardoas notebooks as well as newly discovered contemporary accounts, Nicholl captures the very texture of Leonardoas mind and the pungent visceral impressions he transmuted into art. Detail by brilliant detail, Nicholl reconstructs the life and times of the artist, from his troubled childhood as the illegitimate son of an established Tuscan family to his years of apprenticeship in the burgeoning art world of Medici Florence to his unrivaled achievements in a breathtaking array of disciplines and media. Here, too, are compelling new answers to the enduring mysteries of Leonardoas sexual orientation, the true identity of the Mona Lisa, and the early experiences that inspired his lifelong obsession with human flight.
A writer of irresistible charm and quicksilver imagination, Nicholl takes us from the backstreet artistsa studios of Florence to the glittering palazzi of the Medici, Sforza, and Borgia families as he pursues the most extravagantly talented and maddeningly elusive artist of all time. The result is a biography of rare grace and penetration.
The story behind the legendary John Singer Sargent painting that propelled the artist to international renown but condemned his subject to a life of public ridicule.
John Singer Sargent's "Madame X" is one of the world's best-known portraits. As the Metropolitan's most frequently requested painting for loans, it travels to museums around the globe. The image of "Madame X" decorates book and magazine covers, greeting cards and screen savers. She's even been immortalized as a Madame Alexander doll.
Few people, though, know the fascinating story behind the painting. "Madame X" was actually a twenty-three-year-old New Orleans Creole, Virginie Gautreau, who moved to Paris and quickly became the "it girl" of her day. All the leading artists wanted to paint her, but it was Sargent, a relative nobody, who won the commission. Gautreau and Sargent must have recognized in each other a like-minded hunger for fame.
Unveiled at the 1884 Paris Salon, Gautreau's portrait did generate the attention she craved-but it led to infamy rather than stardom. Sargent had painted one strap of Gautreau's dress dangling from her shoulder, suggesting, to outraged Parisian viewers, either the prelude or the aftermath of sex. Her reputation irreparably damaged, Gautreau retired from public life, destroying all the mirrors in her home so she would never have to look at herself again.
Why had Sargent chosen to portray her in such a provoc-ative manner? Was the painting, with the scandal it generated, the machination of a sexually conflicted man who desired a woman and a lifestyle he could never possess? Drawing on documents from private collections and other previously unexamined materials and featuring a cast of characters including Oscar Wilde and Richard Wagner, "Strapless" is an enthralling tale of art and celebrity, obsession and betrayal.
In this delightful memoir, Jean Renoir, the director of such masterpieces of the cinema as Grand Illusion and The Rules of the Game, tells the life story of his father, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, the great Impressionist painter. Recounting Pierre-Auguste's extraordinary career, beginning as a painter of fans and porcelain, recording the rules of thumb by which he worked, and capturing his unpretentious and wonderfully engaging talk and personality, Jean Renoir's book is both a wonderful double portrait of father and son and, in the words of the distinguished art historian John Golding, it "remains the best account of Renoir, and, furthermore, among the most beautiful and moving biographies we have."Includes 12 pages of color plates and 18 pages of black and white images.