Most artists have decades to hone their craft, win over the critics and build their reputation. That is not the case for the artists in this book. Several of them died before they turned 40. How could they, with their relatively short careers, leave such a profound impression, such a clear artistic legacy? The English art historian and curator, Kate Bryan, focuses here on 30 great artists who died young, and she celebrates their stories and talent.
Heavyweights such as Vincent van Gogh and Jean-Michel Basquiat have been mythologized, and their early deaths play a key role in their posthumous fame. Others, such as Aubrey Beardsley and Noah Davis, were driven to create, knowing their time was limited.
What made them create, against all odds? And how can we use these stories to reassess artists whose legacies are not yet secured?
For some, premature death as a result of gender and racial injustice meant they were left out of the history books – as was the case with Amrita Sher-Gil, Charlotte Salomon and Pauline Boty, remembered here by Kate Bryan. And as the stories of Caravaggio and Vermeer show us, it can take centuries for forgotten artists to receive the recognition they truly deserve.
With each artist comes an often surprising story of how lives filled with talent and tragedy were transformed into legacies that still influence and inspire us today.
The arts in the book:
Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Caravaggio, Dash Snow, Vincent van Gogh, Amedeo Modigliani, Francesca Woodman, Ana Mendieta, Félix González-Torres, Raphael, Yves Klein, Gordon Matta-Clark, Robert Mapplethorpe, Egon Schiele, Paula Modersohn- Becker, Amrita Sher-Gil, Johannes Vermeer, Robert Smithson, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Aubrey Beardsley, Noah Davis, Eva Hesse, Charlotte Salomon, Umberto Boccioni, Gerda Taro, Joanna Mary Boyce, Pauline Boty, Helen Chadwick, Khadija Saye, Bartholomew Beal.
Dimensions: H: 21.6 x W: 13.8 cm, hardback
Author: Kate Bryan
Publisher: Frances Lincoln