Pascale's Reviews > The Art of Rivalry: Four Friendships, Betrayals, and Breakthroughs in Modern Art

The Art of Rivalry by Sebastian Smee
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Fluidly written and informative. As with all such projects (Katie Roiphe's "Uncommon Arrangements" for instance) it is not obvious why the author has zoomed in on this particular set of relationships as opposed to dozens of others, but who cares. Smee delivers a lively and balanced account of 4 fraught but fruitful relationships between pairs of famous artists who have all generated multiple biographies. While this book may be redundant for art historians, I learnt a lot from it since some of the artists included (Bacon, de Kooning, Pollock, Picasso) have never been among my personal favorites and I knew almost nothing about their private life. Turns out most of the artists chosen by Smee "lived large", i.e behaved atrociously towards most people within their orbit. Who knew.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
April 18, 2019 – Finished Reading
April 21, 2019 – Shelved

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