A new collection of key texts from a leading critic of modern artSelected writings from a leading critic of modern art, “the best art writer of his generation” (Art Newspaper)
Michael Peppiatt, guest curator of the Royal Academy of Arts’ 2021 exhibition ‘Francis Bacon: Man and Beast’, has for more than 50 years written trenchant and lively dispatches from the centre of the international art world. In this collection of key essays, Peppiatt gives his unique insight into the making and interpretation of modern art, from Manet and Degas through to Kandinksy and Picasso to Freud and Hockney.
Covering a whole spectrum of artists and art-world figures—from pioneers such as Klimt and Soutine, to collectors and dealers who played a pivotal role in the modern art world, to artists such as Jean Dubuffett, Francis Bacon and Zoran Music, with whom he had close relationships—Peppiatt interweaves personal anecdote with critical judgement. Each text is accompanied by a new introduction, written in the author’s signature vivid and jargon-free style, in which he contextualises his writings and reflects on significant moments in a lifetime of artistic engagement. This volume will provide readers with an exhilarating tour of the extraordinary reach and variety of modern art.
Every piece, even on long-dead artists, rings with vitality and presence…[T]his essential book encapsulates a moment in the history of art that feels distinctly alien now…it reads like first-hand reportage of a lost world.”—Ben Street, Times Literary Supplement