The Art of Rivalry
Esteemed art critic Sebastian Smee’s new book, The Art of Rivalry, tells the captivating story of four pairs of artists—Manet and Degas, Picasso and Matisse, Pollock and de Kooning, Freud and Bacon—whose fraught, antagonistic friendships impelled them to achieve new creative triumphs. Smee will argue that rivalry is at the heart of some of the most famous and fruitful artistic relationships in history. For these artists, competition with a contemporary of equal ambition, but sharply contrasting strengths and weaknesses, spurred creative output.
Sebastian Smee has been the Boston Globe’s art critic since 2008. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2011. Smee joined the Globe’s staff from the Australian, where he had worked as a national art critic. Prior to that, Smee spent four years in the UK, where he wrote for the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, the Art Newspaper, the Independent, Prospect, and the Spectator. Smee is the author of six books: five on Lucian Freud and one on Matisse and Picasso. He teaches nonfiction writing at Wellesley College.
Interested in the most recent art and art history publications? Use the New Books search feature on Athena to find the Athenæum’s most recent acquisitions, including Charles Green’s comprehensive text Biennials, Triennials, and Documenta: The Exhibitions that Created Contemporary Art and William C. Agee’s Modern Art in America 1908-68.
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