The Art of Rivalry
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This is a story about rivalry among artists. Not the kind of rivalry that grows out of hatred and dislike, but rather, rivalry that emerges from admiration, friendship, love. The kind of rivalry that existed between Degas and Manet, Picasso and Matisse, Pollock and de Kooning, and Freud and Bacon. These were some of the most famous and creative relationships in the history of art, driving each individual to heights of creativity and inspiration - and provoking them to despair, jealousy and betrayal. Matisse's success threatened Picasso so much that his friends would throw darts at a portrait of his rival's beloved daughter Marguerite, shouting 'there's one in the eye for Matisse!' And Willem de Kooning's twisted friendship with Jackson Pollock didn't stop him taking up with his friend's lover barely a year after Pollock's fatal car crash. In The Art of Rivalry, Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic Sebastian Smee explores how, as both artists struggled to come into their own, they each played vital roles in provoking the other's creative breakthroughs - ultimately determining the course of modern art itself.
The unauthorized biography of Canada's most famous artist couple and the rivalry that drove them. She painted as if with pure light, radiant colours making quotidian kitchen scenes come alive with sublimated drama. He painted like clockwork, each stroke precise and measured with exquisite care, leaving no angle unchecked and no subtlety of tone unattended. Some would say Mary Pratt was fire and Christopher, ice. And yet Newfoundland's Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera (or Jackson Pollack and Lee Krasner...) presented their marriage as a portrait of harmony and balance. But balance off the canvas rarely makes great art, and the Pratts' art was spectacular. As a youth at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Mary pursued her future husband, a prodigious art talent, and supported his determination to study painting instead of medicine. They married and removed themselves to a Newfoundland outport where his painting alone provided the means to raise a family. But as Mary's own talents became evident and she sought her own hours at the easel, when not raising their four children, and as rumours of Christopher's affair with a young model spread, the Pratts' harmonious exterior slowly cracked, to scandal in Newfoundland and fascination across the country. A marriage ended, and gave way to a furious competition for dominance in Canadian art.
Why is there so much bad blood involved in the stories of artists and their artworks? Immerse yourself in 18 infamous artistic rivalries, dramatized with gripping moments of narrative, to understand how the rivalries that art fans love to gossip about serve a larger purpose in the way cultures approach the idea of art and the artist. Why did Michelangelo loathe Raphael for decades after the latter had died? How did Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse balance their perpetual competition with a lifelong friendship? What transgression pitted the notorious titans of the London graffiti scene, Banksy and King Robbo, in a rivalry that ended with a tragic and unforeseeable death? An investigative journey transforms some of the "big names" of the art world into real people--often grumpy, ornery, antagonistic, and flawed--and better reveals how all of us respond to art.
Fiercely competitive, Matisse and Picasso engaged in one of the most formidable artistic dialogues of this century. The intense beginning of the relationship between the two artists - from the time they met in 1906 until 1917, when Matisse left for Nice - has already been amply studied, but their continuous exchange during the second part of their careers has never been examined in detail. In Matisse and Picasso, Yve-Alain Bois stages the intertwined evolution of the two giants of modern art as if it were an ongoing game of chess between two masters. As Joachim Pissarro points out in the foreword of this volume, Matisse and Picasso's dense plot and rich narrative make this work read more like a suspense novel than a traditional art history treatise. Bois' thoroughly researched historical demonstration is supported by striking visual juxtapositions of works by the two artists brought together here for the first time, making this long-awaited study a major contribution to the history of twentieth-century art.
An insider's account—the first of its kind—of the thoroughly unconventional life of one of the twentieth century's most shockingly original painters Lucian Freud's paintings are instantly recognizable: often shocking and disturbing, his portraits convey a profound yet compelling sense of discomfort. Freud was twice married and the father of at least a dozen children, and his numerous relationships with women were the subject of much gossip—but the man himself remained a mystery. An intensely private individual (during his lifetime he prevented two planned biographies from being published), Freud's life, as well as his art, invites questions that have had no answer—until now. In Breakfast with Lucian, Geordie Greig, one of a few close friends who regularly had breakfast with the painter during the last years of his life, tells an insider's account—accessible, engaging, revealing—of one of the twentieth century's most fascinating, enigmatic, and controversial artists. Greig, who has studied his subject's work at length, unravels the tangled thread of a life lived on Freud's own uncompromising terms. Based on private conversations in which Freud held forth on everything from first love to gambling debts to the paintings of Velázquez, and informed by interviews with friends, lovers, and some of the artist's children who have never before spoken publicly about their relationships with the painter, this is a deeply personal memoir that is illuminated by a keen appreciation of Freud's art. Fresh, funny, and ultimately profound, Breakfast with Lucian is an essential portrait—one worthy of one of the greatest painters of our time. An NPR Best Book of 2013
Witness unapologetic portraits and precision worthy of a laboratory in this exploration into the oeuvre of renowned figurative painter Lucian Freud. A master of the human form who applied the same frank style and psychological rigor to sitters as varied as the Queen, Kate Moss, and an obese and naked job center supervisor. Direct and disarming, ..
Historically, major women artists have been excluded from the mainstream art canon. Aligned with the resurgence of feminism in pop culture, Broad Strokes offers an entertaining corrective to that omission. Art historian Bridget Quinn delves into the lives and careers of 15 female artists from around the globe in text that's smart, feisty, educational, and an enjoyable read. Replete with beautiful reproductions of the artists' works and contemporary portraits of each artist by renowned illustrator Lisa Congdon, this is art history from the Renaissance to Abstract Expressionism for the modern art lover, reader, and feminist.
An extraordinary collection--hawk-eyed and understanding--from the Booker Prize-winning, bestselling author of The Sense of an Ending and Levels of Life. As Julian Barnes explains: "Flaubert believed that...great paintings required no words of explanation. Braque thought the ideal state would be reached when we said nothing at all in front of a painting... But it is a rare picture which stuns, or argues, us into silence. And if one does, it is only a short time before we want to explain and understand the very silence into which we have been plunged." This is the exact dynamic that informs his new book. Barnes, in his 1989 novel A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters, had a chapter on Géricault's The Raft of the Medusa, and since then he has written about many great masters of nineteenth- and twentieth-century art, including Delacroix, Manet, Fantin-Latour, Cezanne, Degas, Redon, Bonnard, Vuillard, Vallotton, Braque, Magritte, Oldenburg, Howard Hodgkin and Lucian Freud. The seventeen essays gathered here are adroit, insightful and, above all, a true pleasure to read.
Geisha in Rivalry, first published as Udekurabe in 1918, has a secure place among Kafu Nagai's masterpieces. Set against the backdrop of Tokyo's Shimbashi geisha district, a company of vivid characters play out their drama of illicit love, shady intrigue, and unrelenting rivalry. In the forefront are the geisha: some powerful and spiteful like the imperious Rikiji, some crude and obvious like the gaudy Kikuchiyo, some naive and pathetic like the heroine Komayo, and all engaged in finding a place for themselves in a world that offers no easy route of escape from their profession. Here, too, are the patrons of the geisha: the playboys, the actors, the successful businessmen, and the "upstart gentlemen" of late Meiji society. And here, again, are those who make the machinery of this world function: the geisha house proprietors, the teahouse mistresses, the actors' retainers, the servants. And, finally, here are the parasites of the demimonde, who live off its other denizens through guile and deceit. Through this often sordid but fascinating pageant move the figures of the geisha Komayo, her lovers, and the women who conspire to steal them from her.
This tight end is at the top of his game. He’s good with his hands, even better with his sexy mouth, and the best at making me forget my own name. His—ahem—stats are perfect. But I can’t fall for him. He might be everything I want, all rolled into a glorious package of gridiron god, but there’s one teeny-tiny problem. The vile, loathsome team I’ve spent my entire life hating—my beloved school’s arch-rival? This guy is their star player.
In architectural terms, the twentieth century can be largely summed up with two names: Frank Lloyd Wright and Philip Johnson. Wright (1867–1959) began it with his romantic prairie style; Johnson (1906–2005) brought down the curtain with his spare postmodernist experiments. Between them, they built some of the most admired and discussed buildings in American history. Differing radically in their views on architecture, Wright and Johnson shared a restless creativity, enormous charisma, and an outspokenness that made each man irresistible to the media. Often publicly at odds, they were the twentieth century's flint and steel; their repeated encounters consistently set off sparks. Yet as acclaimed historian Hugh Howard shows, their rivalry was also a fruitful artistic conversation, one that yielded new directions for both men. It was not despite but rather because of their contentious--and not always admiring--relationship that they were able so powerfully to influence history. In Architecture's Odd Couple, Howard deftly traces the historical threads connecting the two men and offers readers a distinct perspective on the era they so enlivened with their designs. Featuring many of the structures that defined modern space--from Fallingwater to the Guggenheim, from the Glass House to the Seagram Building--this book presents an arresting portrait of modern architecture's odd couple and how they shaped the American landscape by shaping each other.
For sixteenth-century Italian masters, the creation of art was a contest. They knew each other's work and patrons, were collegues and rivals. Survey of this artistic rivalry, the emotional and professional circumstances of their creations.
Novelistic and character-driven, Black Wave is an unprecedented and ambitious examination of how the modern Middle East unraveled and why it started with the pivotal year of 1979. Kim Ghattas seamlessly weaves together history, geopolitics, and culture to deliver a gripping read of the largely unexplored story of the rivalry between between Saudi Arabia and Iran, born from the sparks of the 1979 Iranian revolution and fueled by American policy. With vivid story-telling, extensive historical research and on-the-ground reporting, Ghattas dispels accepted truths about a region she calls home. She explores how Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran, once allies and twin pillars of US strategy in the region, became mortal enemies after 1979. She shows how they used and distorted religion in a competition that went well beyond geopolitics. Feeding intolerance, suppressing cultural expression, and encouraging sectarian violence from Egypt to Pakistan, the war for cultural supremacy led to Iran’s fatwa against author Salman Rushdie, the assassination of countless intellectuals, the birth of groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon, the September 11th terrorist attacks, and the rise of ISIS. Ghattas introduces us to a riveting cast of characters whose lives were upended by the geopolitical drama over four decades: from the Pakistani television anchor who defied her country’s dictator, to the Egyptian novelist thrown in jail for indecent writings all the way to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. Black Wave is both an intimate and sweeping history of the region and will significantly alter perceptions of the Middle East.
A landmark exploration of the engaging network of relationships among genre painters of the Dutch Golden Age The genre painting of the Dutch Golden Age between 1650 and 1675 ranks among the highest pinnacles of Western European art. The virtuosity of these works, as this book demonstrates, was achieved in part thanks to a vibrant artistic rivalry among numerous first-rate genre painters working in different cities across the Dutch Republic. They drew inspiration from each other's painting, and then tried to surpass each other in technical prowess and aesthetic appeal. The Delft master Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) is now the most renowned of these painters of everyday life. Though he is frequently portrayed as an enigmatic figure who worked largely in isolation, the essays here reveal that Vermeer's subjects, compositions, and figure types in fact owe much to works by artists from other Dutch cities. Enlivened with 180 superb illustrations, Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting highlights the relationships - comparative and competitive - among Vermeer and his contemporaries, including Gerrit Dou, Gerard ter Borch, Jan Steen, Pieter de Hooch, Gabriel Metsu, and Frans van Mieris.
An intimate look at the journeys of two men—a gentleman scientist and a visionary artist—as they struggled to capture the world around them, and in the process invented modern photography During the 1830s, in an atmosphere of intense scientific enquiry fostered by the industrial revolution, two quite different men—one in France, one in England—developed their own dramatically different photographic processes in total ignorance of each other's work. These two lone geniuses—Henry Fox Talbot in the seclusion of his English country estate at Lacock Abbey and Louis Daguerre in the heart of post-revolutionary Paris—through diligence, disappointment and sheer hard work overcame extraordinary odds to achieve the one thing man had for centuries been trying to do—to solve the ancient puzzle of how to capture the light and in so doing make nature 'paint its own portrait'. With the creation of their two radically different processes—the Daguerreotype and the Talbotype—these two giants of early photography changed the world and how we see it. Drawing on a wide range of original, contemporary sources and featuring plates in colour, sepia and black and white, many of them rare or previously unseen, Capturing the Light by Roger Watson and Helen Rappaport charts an extraordinary tale of genius, rivalry and human resourcefulness in the quest to produce the world's first photograph.
Paris. The name alone conjures images of chestnut-lined boulevards, sidewalk cafés, breathtaking façades around every corner--in short, an exquisite romanticism that has captured the American imagination for as long as there have been Americans. In 1995, Adam Gopnik, his wife, and their infant son left the familiar comforts and hassles of New York City for the urbane glamour of the City of Light. Gopnik is a longtime New Yorker writer, and the magazine has sent its writers to Paris for decades--but his was above all a personal pilgrimage to the place that had for so long been the undisputed capital of everything cultural and beautiful. It was also the opportunity to raise a child who would know what it was to romp in the Luxembourg Gardens, to enjoy a croque monsieur in a Left Bank café--a child (and perhaps a father, too) who would have a grasp of that Parisian sense of style we Americans find so elusive. So, in the grand tradition of the American abroad, Gopnik walked the paths of the Tuileries, enjoyed philosophical discussions at his local bistro, wrote as violet twilight fell on the arrondissements. Of course, as readers of Gopnik's beloved and award-winning "Paris Journals" in The New Yorker know, there was also the matter of raising a child and carrying on with day-to-day, not-so-fabled life. Evenings with French intellectuals preceded middle-of-the-night baby feedings; afternoons were filled with trips to the Musée d'Orsay and pinball games; weekday leftovers were eaten while three-star chefs debated a "culinary crisis." As Gopnik describes in this funny and tender book, the dual processes of navigating a foreign city and becoming a parent are not completely dissimilar journeys--both hold new routines, new languages, a new set of rules by which everyday life is lived. With singular wit and insight, Gopnik weaves the magical with the mundane in a wholly delightful, often hilarious look at what it was to be an American family man in Paris at the end of the twentieth century. "We went to Paris for a sentimental reeducation-I did anyway-even though the sentiments we were instructed in were not the ones we were expecting to learn, which I believe is why they call it an education."
As anyone who has wielded a camera knows, photography has a unique relationship to chance. It also represents a struggle to reconcile aesthetic aspiration with a mechanical process. Robin Kelsey reveals how daring innovators expanded the aesthetic limits of photography in order to create art for a modern world.
"In 1945, Edith Farnsworth asked the German architect Mies van der Rohe, already renowned for his avant-garde buildings, to design a weekend home for her outside of Chicago. Edith was a woman ahead of her time--unmarried, she was a distinguished medical researcher, whose discoveries put her in contention for the Nobel Prize, as well as an accomplished violinist, translator, and poet. The two quickly began an intimate relationship, spending weekends together, sharing interests in transcendental philosophy, Catholic mysticism, wine-soaked picnics, and architecture. Their collaboration would produce one of the most important works of architecture of all time, a blindingly original house made up almost entirely of glass and steel. But the minimalist marvel, built in 1951, was plagued by cost over-runs and a sudden chilling of the two friends' mutual affection. Though the building became world-famous, Farnsworth found it impossible to live in the transparent house, and she began a public campaign against him, cheered on by Frank Lloyd Wright. Mies, in turn, sued her for unpaid monies. The ensuing trial covered not just the missing funds and the structural weaknesses of the home, but turned into a trial of modernist art and architecture itself. Interweaving personal drama and cultural history, Alex Beam presents a stylish, enthralling tapestry of a tale, illuminating the fascinating history behind one of the twentieth-century's most beautiful and significant architectural projects"--
Describes how the relationships between pairs of Impressionist artists, including Degas and Manet, Monet and Renoir, and five other combinations, influenced their artistic development