Friday, December 17, 2010


Two books I can highly recommend reading over the holidays, if such time allows, or add these titles to your New Year's lists, are Seven Days in the Art World and Chuck Close Life.

Not new but very timely still is Seven Days in the Art World, by Sarah Thornton.  This is a fascinating insider point of view into the big events of the insular contemporary art world from the crit at CalArts, to the Turner prize workings and onto the studio visit of Murakami(!).  I would have preferred a studio visit of a working artist on a smaller scale not the global company of Murakami, but that is my only complaint.  Definately this is a worthwhile read and a hard book to put down until you finish it.

The other book is Christopher Finch's Chuck Close Life.  This book too is difficult to leave alone once you start.  Finch's weaves an insightful tale of the life and work of artist Close.  Not only is Close intelligent and talented but also he is highly likeable for such an art star. What I found a tad frustrating was Finch's idolization of Close in his portrayal even though we have to absolutely admire how Close overcame many challenging and life threatening difficulties.  And by the end of the story the person who remains of the most interest, to me, anyway, is the woman behind the great man - his former wife, Leslie.  Since privacy is crucial to her she will remain a mystery.  Still read this as Finch also provides invaluable history of the New York City art world starting in the 60s.  What a time to be an artist! 

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