Sunday, September 28, 2008

Another art book

I've stopped reading "The Unknown Matisse" by Hilary Spurling at page 166. I've been dipping into a book published for an exhibition of work by Louise Nevelson titled "The Sculpture of Louise Nevelson" being held at the de Young museum (October 27, 2007 to January 13, 2008).

Since I had a doctor's visit I needed a smaller book to carry in my purse rather than the large hard covers. So I was forced to pick a paperback from my stack of books to read. What a wonderful detour I took with "The Lost Painting" by Jonathan Harr. It's a true story about finding a lost Caravaggio masterpiece titled "The Taking of Christ". First the author learned to speak fluent Italian since many of the people he wanted to interview spoke little English and he didn't want to use an interpreter. He did not change the names of the people he wrote about. Who would imagine a book about art experts, art restorers, art researchers and art historians would be so interesting? Since his focus was narrow he gives many resources for Caravaggio if one wanted to follow up and learn more.

My focus is on contemporary non-objective or abstract art. But I have to say I learned so much and enjoyed every page of this book. I would recommend it even if you don't care about old masters or what they did. Caravaggio was not an admirable character. He lived a very marginal life and died at 39.

Now back to Matisse and Nevelson.

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