Cover image for Lives of the great 20th-century artists
Lives of the great 20th-century artists
Lucie-Smith, Edward.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London : Thames & Hudson, [1999]

Physical Description:
352 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 29 cm
Towards the modern -- Fauves -- Nabis -- Cubism -- Futurism -- German expressionism -- Vienna sezession -- Ecole de Paris -- Russians -- Dada -- Metaphysical painting -- Surrealism -- Bauhaus -- New objectivity -- Mexicans -- America between the wars -- England between the wars -- Abstract expressionism -- Post-war Europe -- Heirs of abstract expressionism -- American neo-dada -- British pop art -- American pop art -- Artist not the artwork.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N6489 .L83 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material
N6489 .L83 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize
N6489 .L83 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material

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Grouped according to style and era are modern art's pioneers, from Picasso and Duchamp to Louise Bourgeois and Jean-Michel Basquiat. All 100 entries are illustrated with important works, self-portraits, and photos. 273 illustrations, 101 in color.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Lucie-Smith, author of the superb Art Today (1995), remains committed to his mission to create art books that are both accessible and sophisticated, inclusive and rigorous. Here he focuses on the lives of 100 "great" twentieth-century artists, grouping them according to movement--the fauves, abstract expressionism, and pop art, for instance--or by place, covering Russian, Mexican, British, German, and American artists at seminal times within their respective cultures. Beginning with the modern precursors, Edvard Munch and Kathe Kollwitz, and ending with the tragic figures of Eva Hesse and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lucie-Smith's survey includes the inevitables--Picasso, Mondrian, Chagall, Duchamp, and O'Keeffe--as well as the inspired: Egon Schiele, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Liubov Popova, Alexander Rodchenko, JoseClemente Orozco, Barbara Hepworth, Balthus, Louise Nevelson, Jim Dine, and Joseph Beuys. The photographs of the artists are often works of art in their own right (Louise Bourgeois by Robert Mapplethorpe, Diego Rivera by Edward Weston), and Lucie-Smith's concise profiles are backed by in-depth research and knowledge, and alight with discernment and conviction. --Donna Seaman

Library Journal Review

In this quick, informative reference source, prolific art historian Lucie-Smith (see Women and Art, above) offers a brief but authoritative look into the lives of 100 world-renowned artists and an eclectic cast of celebrities who have influenced the cultural landscape of the modern era. Chronologically divided into 24 chapters, the volume is beautifully illustrated with representative works and photos of the artists. Each section highlights the most influential artists of a specific period or movement, e.g., the Fauves, Cubism, Bauhaus, Abstract Expressionism, and American Pop Art. The last chapter, on the "artist, not the artwork," considers individuals whose lives and work are uniquely intertwined, such as Louise Bourgeois, Joseph Beuys, Yves Klein, Eva Hesse, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. This art volume gives greater depth of information on a more select group of artists than The 20th-Century Art Book (LJ 2/1/97) and is highly recommended for all types of libraries.ÄStephen Allan Patrick, East Tennessee State Univ. Libs., Johnson City (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Neither an average A-Z artist dictionary nor a coffee-table extravaganza, this work by poet and art critic Lucie-Smith is modeled after Vasari's Lives of the Artists (1550.) The flow of the one- to two-page, thought-provoking essays is roughly chronological, with artists further grouped by style and nationality. As befits a biography, the text emphasizes events rather than works. Illustrations are split evenly between life-documenting photography and reproductions of art work. A "selected bibliography" is really quite extensive. Of the approximately 100 artists, only the ten avant-garde Russians surprise, constituting belated recognition for some artists who neither worked nor exhibited in the West. Otherwise, the work is largely a well-written tribute to those whose excellence or audacity was known within their lifetimes, and who have passed away. The handful of living artists made their mark in the 1970s. Telling complete life stories meant excluding the current avant-garde (whose lives are, happily, quite incomplete.) Recommended as a fine introduction to the characters and personalities behind the great art of the first three-quarters of the 20th century. All levels. M. M. Doherty; University of South Florida