Making Modernism: Picasso and the Creation of the Market for Twentieth-Century Art

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9780374106119: Making Modernism: Picasso and the Creation of the Market for Twentieth-Century Art

A study of Picasso's status in the art community and his influence on the avant-garde market follows his early year search for a gallery and his monumental rise to fame, noting his popularity among dealers and his commercial strategies.

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About the Author:

Michael C. FitzGerald is Associate Professor of Fine Arts at Trinity College. He was a principal in the department of Impressionist Painting at Christie's New York art auction house and earned an MBA at Columbia upon completing his Ph.D. in art history. He has written for Art in America, Vogue, Apollo, Art and Auction, and ARTnews.

From Booklist:

An art historian with an M.B.A., Fitzgerald is intrigued with the financial aspects of the art world. Working from a cache of correspondence between Picasso and his dealers and various curators, collectors, and critics, Fitzgerald reveals how crucial the business angle was to the establishment of modern art in general and to Picasso's phenomenal international success in particular. Fitzgerald focuses on the years between the two world wars when Picasso worked closely with two dealers, Georges Wildenstein and Paul Rosenberg. Fitzgerald characterizes Picasso's relationship with Rosenberg, the more conspicuous of the two, as an "intense collaboration" and contends that it "stimulated" Picasso's art as much as it secured his reputation. Picasso was pragmatic when it came to money, even stating that his shift from the Blue to the Rose period reflected the "spiritual tranquility" of material comfort. Fitzgerald also examines, in uncommon detail, the roles Jean Cocteau, patron Eugenia Errazuriz, Andre{‚} Breton, and Alfred Barr played in elevating Picasso to heretofore unknown levels of artistic fame and profit. The truth is, modern art had to make it big in the marketplace to survive. Donna Seaman

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