Book picks similar to
Picasso by Gertrude Stein


art
biography
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art-history

The Time of the Assassins: a Study of Rimbaud


Henry Miller - 1956
    The social function of the creative personality is a recurrent theme with Henry Miller, and this book is perhaps his most poignant and concentrated analysis of the artist's dilemma.

Charmed Circle: Gertrude Stein and Company


James R. Mellow - 1974
    In Charmed Circle, James R. Mellow has re-created this fascinating world and the complex woman who dominated it. His engaging narrative illuminates Stein’s writing—now celebrated along with the work of such literary giants as Joyce and Woolf—including her difficult early periods, which adapted cubism and abstraction to the written word. Rich with detail and insight, it conveys both the serene rhythms of daily life with her devoted partner, Alice B. Toklas, and the radical pulse and dramatic upheavals of her exciting era.Spanning the years from 1903, when Stein first arrived in Paris, to her final days at the end of the Second World War, Charmed Circle is a penetrating and lively account of a writer at the heart of modernity.

A Giacometti Portrait


James Lord - 1980
    What remains mysterious is the process of creation itself--the making of the work of art. Everyone who has looked at paintings has wondered about this, and numerous efforts have been made to discover and depict the creative method of important artists. A Giacometti Portrait is a picture of one of the century's greatest artists at work.James Lord sat for eighteen days while his friend Alberto Giamcometti did his portrait in oil. The artist painted, and the model recorded the sittings and took photographs of the work in its various stages. What emerged was an illumination of what it is to be an artist and what it was to be Giacometti--a portrait in prose of the man and his art. A work of great literary distinction, A Giacometti Portrait is, above all, a subtle and important evocation of a great artist.

Letters on Cézanne


Rainer Maria Rilke - 1907
    Nearly as frequently, he wrote dense and joyful letters to his wife, Clara Westhoff, expressing his dismay before the paintings and his ensuing revelations about art and life.Rilke was knowledgeable about art and had even published monographs, including a famous study of Rodin that inspired his New Poems. But Cézanne's impact on him could not be conveyed in a traditional essay. Rilke's sense of kinship with Cézanne provides a powerful and prescient undercurrent in these letters -- passages from them appear verbatim in Rilke's great modernist novel, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. Letters on Cézanne is a collection of meaningfully private responses to a radically new art."Rilke makes the feeling and views around great art real, weaving into his letters the indescribable thing that gives us beauty, truth, pleasure."--HELEN FRANKENTHALER, Art & Antiques"[These letters] are themselves extraordinarily peaceful and concentrated, seeping with the sense and recognition of Cézanne's colors, in nature as on canvas, colors which seem a part of Rilke himself, of the words and paper."--JOHN BAYLEY, The New York Review of Books

Renoir, My Father


Jean Renoir - 1958
    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.

Matisse and Picasso: The Story of Their Rivalry and Friendship


Jack D. Flam - 2003
    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.

Axel's Castle: A Study of the Imaginative Literature of 1870-1930


Edmund Wilson - 1931
    S. Eliot, Marcel Proust, James Joyce, and Gertrude Stein. As Alfred Kazin later wrote, "Wilson was an original, an extraordinary literary artist . . . He could turn any literary subject back into the personal drama it had been for the writer."

Night Studio: A Memoir Of Philip Guston


Musa Mayer - 1988
    His style ranged from the social realism of his WPA murals through his abstract expressionist canvasses of the 1950s and 1960s (when he counted Pollock, Rothko, de Kooning, and Kline among his friends) to his cartoonlike paintings of Klansmen, disembodied heads, and tangled piles of everyday objects. Critics and public alike savaged Guston for his return to figurative art, but today his late work is recognized for the singular power of its darkly hilarious vision. Musa Mayer augments her firsthand knowledge with extensive interviews with his family, friends, students, and colleagues, as well as Guston's own letters, notes, and autobiographical writings, to re-create a turbulent era in American art. Night Studio, profusely illustrated (including almost a dozen paintings in full color), illuminates not only the life of a great artist, but the experience of growing up in his shadow.

Lust for Life


Irving Stone - 1934
    "Vincent is not dead. He will never die. His love, his genius, the great beauty he has created will go on forever, enriching the world... He was a colossus... a great painter... a great philosopher... a martyr to his love of art. "Walking down the streets of Paris the young Vincent Van Gogh didn't feel like he belonged. Battling poverty, repeated heartbreak and familial obligation, Van Gogh was a man plagued by his own creative urge but with no outlet to express it. Until the day he picked up a paintbrush.Written with raw insight and emotion, follow the artist through his tormented life, struggling against critical discouragement and mental turmoil and bare witness to his creative journey from a struggling artist to one of the world's most celebrated artists.

The Unquiet Grave: A Word Cycle by Palinurus


Cyril Connolly - 1944
    His essays have been collected in book form and published to wide acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. The Unquiet Grave is considered by many to be his most enduring work. It is a highly personal journal written during the devastation of World War II, filled with reflective passages that deal with aging, the break-up of a long term relationship, and the horrors of the war around him. It is also a wonderfully varied intellectual feast: a collection of aphorisms, epigrams, and quotations from such masters of European literature as Horace, Baudelaire, Sainte-Beuve, Flaubert, and Goethe. Dazzlingly original in both form and content, The Unquiet Grave has continued to influence generations of writers.

Still Life with Oysters and Lemon: On Objects and Intimacy


Mark Doty - 2001
    Combining memoir with artistic and philosophical musings, the poet and National Book Critics Circle Award winner (for My Alexandria) begins by confessing his obsession with the 17th-century Dutch still life that serves as the title of this book. As he analyzes the items depicted in the painting, he skillfully introduces his thoughts on our intimate relationships to objects and subsequently explains how they are often inextricably bound to the people and places of an individual lifetime. Further defined by imperfections attained from use, each object from an aging oak table to a chipped blue and white china platter forms a springboard for reflection. Doty intersperses personal reminiscences throughout, but he always returns to the subject of still-life painting and its silent eloquence. Doty's observations on balance, grief, beauty, space, love, and time are imparted with wisdom and poetic grace.Books like this, that address the sources of creation and the sources of our humanness, come along once in a decade. -Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times"This small book is as wise, sensitive, intense, and affecting as anything I have read in recent years." -Doris Grumbach, author of Fifty Days of Solitude"A gem." -Library Journal"Mark Doty's prose is insistently exploratory, yet every aside, every detour, turns into pertinence, and it all seems effortless, as though the author were wondering, and marveling, aloud." -Bernard Cooper, author of Truth Serum"A dazzling accomplishment, its radiance bred of lucid attention and acute insight. The subject is the profoundly personal act of perception translated into description. Doty succeeds in rendering this most contemplative of arts-the still life-into a riveting drama." -Patricia Hampl, author of I Could Tell You Stories

Opium: The Diary of His Cure


Jean Cocteau - 1930
    It also contains reminiscences of some of Cocteau's closet friends, including Nijinsky and Marcel Proust, and provides revealing insights into the creation of such masterpieces as Orphee and Les Enfants Terribles.

Charles Bukowski


Barry Miles - 2005
    A major new biography on an increasingly important American literary icon, by the most acclaimed writer on the Beat Generation, Barry Miles. Miles knew all the key players in the Beat era, including William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, and also recorded with Bukowski. Having spoken with people close to Bukowski, and with a full examination of Bukowski's extensive writings, Miles has written the definitive story of the laureate of American low-life.

Still Life with a Bridle: Essays and Apocryphas


Zbigniew Herbert - 1993
    These sixteen essays reveal Hervert's discriminating artistic eye and poetic sensibility, one that revels in irony, humor, and a satirist's appreciation of the absurd. An inveterate museum-goer, he focuses on the art of the Dutch masters, using it as a stepping-off point for a thoroughly individual and entertaining examination of the foibles, genius, and character of the Dutch people as a whole. The result is an unorthodox and revealing glimpse into the past that gives us a keener understanding not only of a distant people, but of ourselves as well.

The Poem That Changed America: "Howl" Fifty Years Later


Jason Shinder - 2006
    The original edition cost seventy-five cents, but there was something priceless about its eponymous piece. Although it gave a voice to the new generation that came of age in the conservative years following World War II, the poem also conferred a strange, subversive power that continues to exert its influence to this day. Ginsberg went on to become one of the most eminent and celebrated writers of the second half of the twentieth century, and "Howl" became the critical axis of the worldwide literary, cultural, and political movement that would be known as the Beat generation.The year 2006 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of "Howl," and The Poem That Changed America will celebrate and shed new light on this profound cultural work. With new essays by many of today's most distinguished writers, including Frank Bidart, Andrei Codrescu, Vivian Gornick, Phillip Lopate, Daphne Merkin, Rick Moody, Robert Pinsky, and Luc Sante, The Poem That Changed America reveals the pioneering influence of "Howl" down through the decades and its powerful resonance today.