Biographies


  • Musa Mayer
    Night Studio
    Looking round the rooms of the retrospective show put on in his honour in 1980, just three weeks before his death, Philip Guston observed that it wasn’t just a simple exhibit...
  • Elena Pontiggia
    Arturo Martini
    A prodigious sculptor skilled in creating images and narrating myths, Arturo Martini (1889-1947) gave himself over entirely to this “mysterious and egoistic” art that s...
  • Diego Rivera
    La mia arte, la mia vita
    Edited by Gladys March

    A legendary figure of Mexican muralism, Diego Rivera was many things: a friend of Picasso, an unrepentant womanizer and insatiable lover, a fervent Communist, soon thrown out of th...
  • Michel Nuridsany
    Basquiat
    10 February 1985: Jean-Michel Basquiat appears on the cover of the New York Times magazine, sitting in his studio in Great Jones Street. His stares idly into the lens while his han...
  • Jack Fritscher
    Robert Mapplethorpe
    New York, autumn 1978. Thursday evening at eight o’clock on the dot, Robert Mapplethorpe, bold and elegant in his black leather jacket, descends the stairs and makes his entr...
  • Gino Agnese
    Umberto Boccioni
    Champion of a violently revolutionary art, Umberto Boccioni (1882-1916), painter and sculptor, is, jointly with Marinetti, the greatest exponent of Futurism and the first in his ci...
  • B.H. Friedman
    Jackson Pollock
    In the spring of 1955, when the young B.H. Friedman met Jackson Pollock for the first time, he was already an “old master” of Abstract Expressionism. With his powerful ...
  • Elena Pontiggia
    Mario Sironi
    In Sironi's words, "Art does not need to be nice, it needs to be great", and what better way to describe his own paintings: depictions of city scenes as forbidding yet impressive a...
  • Thomas McEvilley
    Yves il provocatore
    Yves Klein (Nice, 1928 – Paris, 1962) knew he was a revolutionary. A warrior of the art world with a tendency to challenge the frontiers of matter and time, he was always rea...
  • Martina Corgnati
    Meret Oppenheim
    Woman, artist, outsider, icon: from her groundbreaking debut with Breakfast in fur, which made it into the MOMA when she was just over 20, to her lengthy and difficult quest to be ...
  • Stéphanie de Saint Marc
    Nadar
    The eccentric Baudelaire with a flamboyant black bow and an immaculate white shirt, the proud and inflexible gaze of the aged Victor Hugo and the magnetic appeal of Sarah Bernhardt...
  • Yayoi Kusama
    Infinity Net
    A silvery sea of reflecting spheres, vast expanses of white phalluses, a proliferation of polka dots that overflow the canvases to invade the entire room. In the middle, swallowed ...
  • Flaminio Gualdoni
    Piero Manzoni
    6 February 1963: at the age of just 30 Piero Manzoni was found dead of a heart attack in his studio in via Fiori Chiari. From that moment on his reputation as a provocateur and wil...
  • Alastair Brotchie
    Alfred Jarry
    On his death at the age of just 34, Alfred Jarry (Laval, 1873 – Paris, 1907) was already a legend in the Parisian salons, albeit more for his irreverent anti-conventionalism ...
  • Heiner Stachelhaus
    Joseph Beuys
    A fisherman’s vest over a white shirt, jeans and a felt hat. In the winter a long lynx fur lined with blue silk. In his youth a black tie with a hare’s jaw tiepin. This...
  • Luca Ronchi
    Mario Schifano
    Mario Schifano (1934-1998) is the Italian exponent of Pop Art. His works of large format are characterised by monochrome and the use of commercial brands like Coca Cola and Esso. B...
  • Ambroise Vollard
    Memorie di un mercante di quadri
    Written in first person as anecdotes on his debut in the profession, the legendary art dealer’s memoirs conjure up the atmosphere of the now bygone world of Paris in the la...
  • James Westcott
    Quando Marina Abramović morirà
    Belgrade, 1974: Marina Abramović set fire to a monumental five-pointed star, the symbol of the Tito regime, and lay down inside it until she was overcome by the fumes and fell unc...
  • Daniel Farson
    Francis Bacon
    Bacon’s reaction on being asked by Daniel Farson whether he was happy to have won a place on the Olympus of art was one of sincere indifference. He cared nothing for the tins...
  • Annie Cohen Solal
    Leo & C.
    Leo Castelli insisted that he was not an art dealer but a gallery owner. For his artists he was a lot more: a patron of the arts. From the opening of his first gallery in 1957 to ...
  • Hunter Drohojowska-Philip
    Georgia O’Keeffe
    Georgia O’Keeffe (Sun Prairie, 1887 – Santa Fe, 1986) was one of most innovative American artists in the years when painting broke away from of realism. The pioneer of ...
  • Gail Levin
    Edward Hopper
    Solitary figures caught up in silent dramas. Pared down to the bare essentials, the space is real and metaphysical at the same time, bathed in relentless, limpid light. The scene i...
  • Bernard Marcadé
    Marcel Duchamp
    Described by André Breton as the most intelligent man of the 20th century, Marcel Duchamp has never ceased to wield great influence over contemporary art since his death in ...
  • Calvin Tomkins
    Robert Rauschenberg
    One of the most innovative and influential artists of his generation, Robert Rauschenberg (Port Arthur, 1925 – Captiva Island, 2008), is a key figure in the radical upheavals...
  • Mark Stevens - Annalyn Swan
    de Kooning
    Born in Rotterdam in 1904, Willem de Kooning moved to the United States in 1926. Together with Gorky, Pollock, Rothko and Kline, he was one of the leading pioneers of Abstract Expr...