Making Modernism: Picasso and the Creation of the Market for Twentieth Century Art

Michael C. Fitzgerald, Author
Michael C. Fitzgerald, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $27.5 (313p) ISBN 978-0-374-10611-9
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
Paperback - 324 pages - 978-0-520-20653-3
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Although Pablo Picasso declared in 1918 that dealers were the enemy of artists, this revealing illustrated study documents how Picasso strived to win the support of dealers, critics, collectors and curators who could boost his reputation--and sales. Through his friendships with two impresarios, poet Jean Cocteau and longtime ballet patron Eugenia Errazuriz, Picasso attracted the patronage of aristocratic circles that welcomed his shift from cubism to neoclassical styles. Then, in 1918, he formed an alliance with two prominent dealers in France, Paul Rosenberg and Georges Wildenstein. His intense collaboration with Rosenberg, according to the author, stimulated Picasso's art, exposing him to Post-Impressionists. Drawing on Picasso's correspondence, FitzGerald, associate professor of fine art at Trinity College in Connecticut, carries the story of Picasso's lionization at the 1939-1940 Museum of Modern Art retrospective in Manhattan. He makes a compelling case that entrepreneurship is a defining task of the avant-garde artist. (Mar.)
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