5 October 2015

Art in novels: “The Illogic of Kassel”, aka the Avant-Garde’s decline, by Enrique Vila-Matas

The critic is alive. The critic is dead. Around the status of the art critic there is an endless debate, nowadays basically questioning the actual possibility of existence of this crucial voice which should balance out the power of money-driven interests and sometimes tricky auction prices. In terms of art writing one the few options still […]

31 July 2015

Art in novels: the Utz’s question, do images demand their own destruction?

Today, sixteen years after the first edition, we add to our art in novels list what is to be considered a classic of this particular kind of literature and a seminal example of the enormous potential of the form and information pattern: Utz, the novel Bruce Chatwin wrote in the last years of his life to […]

17 May 2014

Art in novels: Kurt Vonnegut and the most comprehensive definition of the Abstract Expressionism

The most comprehensive definition of the Abstract Expressionism’s highest achievements is given by the painter Rabo Karabekian, main character of Bluebeard, by Kurt Vunnegut, a novel we strongly recommend also to all political leaders who, in Europe, claims for the independency instead of integration. When Rabo expresses his intention to travel to Europe to learn […]

16 April 2014

Art in novels: pinpointed one of Isaac Brest’s most enigmatic sources

We had to visit two buildings under construction before understanding, but finally we have pinpointed the fragment of reality where the most enigmatic two dimensional works by Isaac Brest are “re-enacting”. That would not be a great discovery if advised by the artist, or if you were used to Sheetrock o drywalls. But this is […]

Rembrandt, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, 1632. Oil on canvas, 169.5 x 216.5 cm. Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis,
4 April 2014

Art in novels: the responsive eye of novelist Donna Tartt reading the Rembrandt’s masterpiece

After Donna Tartt‘s description of one of the rare Carel Fabritius‘s canvases we posted two days ago in relation with the restoration of the Mauritshuis, here another effective passage from the same book. The protagonist, Theo Decker, remembers his mother reading for him one of the Rembrandt’s masterpieces while visiting a fictional exhibition titled “Portraiture and […]

16 March 2014

Art in novels: from “Letters to a young novelist” by Mario Vargas Llosa to Rudolf Stingel’s alpine landscapes

Dear Friend, Ernest Hemingway says somewhere that at the beginning of his writing career it suddenly occur to him that he should leave out the central event of the story he was writing (his protagonist hangs himself). And he explains that with this decision he discovered a narrative technique that he would later use often […]

18 January 2014

Art in Novels: Siri Hustvedt, “What I loved” (2003)

Leo Hertzberg, the main character of this sophisticated novel, is an art historian. His best friend, Bill Weschler, is an artist. The story is set in New York, between the Seventies and the Nineties, and the art system is obviously the background, more or less like in “A Nightfall”. But if compared with the not […]

5 January 2014

Art in novels: when José Saramago wrote about Valeriano Trubbiani

A struggling young artist, commissioned to paint a portrait of an influential industrialist, learns in the process about himself and the world around him. Nevertheless, we wouldn’t say that this book has been written by a Nobel prized. José Saramago stems from a wrong assumption – there always comes a moment in painting when the […]

3 January 2014

Art in novels: with “The real thing” Henry James grabs the essence of being an artist

The narrator of “The real thing” is a painter and this short novel, published in 1892, is dedicated to his relation with the Monarchs, a couple of aristocrats who, after having lost all their money, turns to him to be his models for a series of illustrations. But in spite of being the “real thing”, […]

30 December 2013

Art in novels: “the art we produce lives in queasy balance with the art we can imagine, the art the room expects”

  Peter Harris is an art dealer, his wife Rebecca is the editor of an art magazine; Mizzy, the complicated young brother of Rebecca, is considering becoming an art curator. But even if the author is utterly into the contemporary art system and its unwritten rules, to the eye of an art insider “By nightfall” […]

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