Biography

Booksreview

From bowler hats to bad forgeries: new biography offers a fresh look at René Magritte’s complex life—including his dodgier side hustles

The sympathetic book by Alex Danchev, acclaimed biographer of Braque and Cézanne, died before completing the final chapter of this publication

Alexander Adamsabout 11 hours ago
Booksreview

Pablo Picasso: personal and political collide in lively fourth volume of detailed biography

The Minotaur Years relays the artist's strife as he entered his 50s and one of the most turbulent decades of European history

Booksreview

Three books about Lucian Freud's life and work offer insights that do not always paint a pretty picture

Eccentricity and singled-mindedness were part of the great painter's character, but he had many unappealing traits

Booksreview

Lucian Freud the anti-hero: book relaying artist's philandering and impetuous behaviour is heavy on incident, light on insight

Second and last instalment of this two-part biography on the painter’s life fails to satisfy—but it does supply valuable first-hand records

Covid-19 delays long-planned documentary on Black Abstract Expressionist painter Beauford Delaney

The Tennessee-born artist, part of the Harlem Renaissance before settling in Paris, was largely neglected during his lifetime

Booksreview

Bryan Robertson: an engrossing book on a brilliant—but forgotten—maverick curator

This is the first publication about the man who put London's Whitechapel Gallery on the international map, but never gained the recognition he deserved

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Extract | Philip Guston’s fascination with the ‘funnies’ was key to developing his distinctive later style

An exclusive excerpt from a forthcoming biography by art historian Robert Storr looks at the influence of comics as well as caricatures that the American-Canadian artist made of his contemporaries

Book Clubfeature

Extract | The story of Ruth Asawa and the secret gift from her teacher Josef Albers

An excerpt and images from a new biography on the sculptor who studied at the famous Black Mountain College and was interned during the Second World War

The relationships of artists and their gardens are well illustrated in this book

Gardens have inspired artists in many ways, not least directly in the case of those who painted their own plots, as this new book shows

Booksreview

This was the most prolific year for Leonardo scholarship in history—here is a detailed guide to the best books

At least 250 volumes in European languages have been published in 2019, the year that saw the world commemorate 500 years since Leonardo da Vinci's death

From Rivera and Kahlo to Ulay and Abramović—this story book tells the tales of art world couples

Famous and not-so-famous pairs of artists from Picasso and Gilot to Idris Khan and Annie Morris are quoted about how relationships work

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Portrait of Prince Nicholas II Esterházy as an avid collector, a bankrupt, and a womaniser

The Prince's passions cost him his fortune but gave Hungary a fine collection of art

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Books: Raphael—all things to all ages

Three new monographs show the artist is still the equal of Leonardo and Michelangelo, if not so popular

"Painting the Absolute": Four volumes on Kazimir Malevich, the pioneering painter-priest of abstraction

Andréi Nakov, a leading expert on Malevich, has produced a large-scale study of the Russian avant-garde's art and life

A new film on Jean-Michel Basquiat ticks all the boxes

Archive interviews? Check. Cool soundtrack? Famous faces? Boost to the market? Check, check and check

Filmsarchive

Art on the big screen: When Dalí and Lorca were lovers—perhaps

"Little Ashes" tells one side of a very contentious story

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Nazi crime revelations raise questions about the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

The late collector Heini Thyssen forced himself to forget his family’s Nazi involvement, but so did the countries that vied for his and his father’s pictures in the 1980s. This well documented book gives the details

Booksarchive

The art world’s Christmas reading

Artists, collectors, critics, museum directors and auction house executives pick their holiday books

Three-part Vuillard catalogue compiled by Montreal Museum of Fine Arts published after 50 years in production

The volume aims to be totally immersive, images rooted in their biographical context with detailed annotations

Booksarchive

A story of politics and class in a new biography of Henry Cole

An exhaustive treatment of the man behind the Great Exhibition, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Prince Albert and much, much more

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William R. Johnston, William and Henry Walters, the reticent collectors

A compelling biography of the father and son who founded the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore

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The lives of the collectors: J. Pierpont Morgan. Everything but the art

This blockbuster biography records the life of the American financier in exhaustive and exhausting detail, but fails to tell the story of his collecting

Books: Caroline Tisdall's new book is the way to go on anything Beuys

This substantial volume, predominantly photographic, is the comprehensive account of Joseph Beuys’s life and work

Booksarchive

Lives of the collectors: Norton Simon and Hans Berggruen. Culture clash

Similar in many ways, the subjects of these two biographies present contrasting styles of operation in the art market

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Lives of collectors: a faux Frick biography

This biography of Henry Clay Frick takes a psychological approach that leaves much to be desired

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Timothy Mowl's William Beckford biography casts the famed collector as "a sexual and architectural Lucifer"

The story of the Regency dilettante, eccentric and collector is told in all its scandalous detail

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Janet Myles, L.N. Cottingham, 1787-1874: architect of the Gothic Revival

Restoring a pioneer of the Gothic Revival to his rightful position

The life of Goro Sakamoto part IV

The distinguished antique dealer recounts how he became a black marketeer

Books: Shame, shyness and self-obsession in new Dalí monograph

Ian Gibson on Surrealism as an escape and the façade of eccentricity

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Books: Small revelations only on lives of Duchamp, Johns, and Bacon

The recent biographies of these art-world giants promise much but aside from anecdotes little is shown of the subjects’ inner lives

David Sylvester's matter-of-fact sagacity in new biography "Looking at Giacometti"

To his credit, Sylvester avoids dwelling on the artist's private life and bears down on the art

Booksarchive

Books: Tracing Francis Bacon and his lost Bohemia

Farson's biography of the tortured artist is a pub crawl around Fifties Soho

Books: New 'comprehensive biography' fails to go beyond the public face of Joseph Beuys

Heiner Stachelhaus' book on the German artist leaves a lot to be desired

Booksarchive

Books: Modigliani and Hébuternein in bohemia

Semi-scandalous biographies of artists are all the rage