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I've sometimes thought that artistic genius forgives all kinds of bad behavior--bad-mouthing, family cruelty, general rudeness, even mild violence. This thoughtful and entertaining book demonstrates that idea. The eight modern artists profiled, geniuses all, do lots of bad things to each other and to third parties. Impossible behavior characterizes Francis Bacon, Jackson Pollock, Picasso and to a lesser degree the others.
The author focuses on four sets of contemporaries, friends and rivals each, placing them in their time and culture. Smee's theory on artistic rivalry, each pair benefiting from their ambivalent relationship with each other, makes sense (although I thought he was reaching when he described Pollock and de Kooning). The book is loaded with colorful anecdotes about the artists and their circles.
Readers who like modern art or painting generally will enjoy this book very much.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to these so interesting stories but missed the 'real book' to look at the illustrations and to catch up on the many details and names.
While Bob Souer is an excellent narrator I felt unhappy with the pronunciation of foreign names.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful