“The artist, not the commentator, takes us to the heart of the matter. Who would not, to put it in a nutshell, give all of Vasari for a short, searching conversation with Michelangelo?” Michael Peppiatt
A curatorial collaboration with art historian Michael Peppiatt, Interviews with Artists (1966 – 2012) ran from 19th June to 27th July at Eykyn Maclean, London. The show coincided with the publication of Peppiatt’s book of the same title published by Yale University Press.
Peppiatt developed close relationships with many of the great artists of the twentieth century. The exhibition featured selected works by Frank Auerbach, Francis Bacon, Balthus, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Jean Dubuffet, R.B. Kitaj, Henry Moore, Claes Oldenburg, and Antoni Tàpies alongside extracts from the extraordinary range of revealing interviews in the book and photographs of the artists at work.
Peppiatt’s friendships and frequent studio visits with these artists and many more give a unique perspective on their life and work. Peppiatt explained how an interview would often illuminate an artist's work not only for the spectator but for the artist himself, clarifying the daily struggle in the studio or opening up new lines of enquiry. “Reading an artist’s own words is captivating because it brings us closer to the essence of that artist.” explained Nicholas Maclean. “The exhibition was inspired by the intimacy which pervades the dialogues in the book.”
Interviews with Artists (1966-2012) by Michael Peppiatt, Yale University Press, 2012 (ISBN: 9780300176629)
About the curator
Michael Peppiatt is a leading authority on Alberto Giacometti and Francis Bacon. His biography of Francis Bacon, Francis Bacon: Anatomy of an Enigma, a New York Times ‘Book of the Year’, is considered the definitive account of Bacon’s life and work. Critically acclaimed, Peppiatt has written extensively on modern art and curated numerous exhibitions. Peppiatt was an art critic at the Observer before moving to Paris and becoming literary editor for Le Monde and arts correspondent for the New York Times and the Financial Times. In 1985, he became editor and publisher of the Paris-based review Art International. Peppiatt returned in 1994 to London, where he lives with his wife, the art historian Jill Lloyd, and their two children. This exhibition is his second curatorial collaboration with Eykyn Maclean.