The Art of Love
The Romantic and Explosive Stories Behind Art’s Greatest Couples
The Art Of Love is a beautifully written and fascinating stories about the most interesting couples in the art world. Exploring the passionate, challenging and loving relationships behind some the world’s greatest works of art.
From Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera to Joseph Cornell and Yayoi Kusama, Josef and Anni Albers to Gilbert & George – Kate Bryan delves into the formation, and sometimes breakdown, of each romance, The Art Of Love documents their highs and lows and revealing just how powerful love can be in the creative process.
Whether long-lasting, peaceful collaborations, or short-lived tumultuous affairs, The Art of Love, opens the door on some of the greatest love stories of the twentieth century.
Francoise Gilot & Pablo Picasso; Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera; Carl Andre & Ana Mendieta; Christo & Jeanne-Claude; Robert Delaunay & Sonia Delaunay; Lee Krasner & Jackson Pollock; Barbara Hepworth & Ben Nicholson; Georgia O’Keeffe & Alfred Stieglitz; Lee Miller & Man Ray; Max Ernst & Dorothea Tanning; Jasper Johns & Robert Rauschenberg; Elaine de Kooning & William de Kooning; Maria Martins & Marcel Duchamp; Hans Arp & Sophie Taeuber-Arp; Raoul Hausmann & Hannah Hoch; Josef Albers & Anni Albers; Gwendolyn Knight & Jacob Lawrence; Kay Sage & Yves Tanguy; Nancy Holt & Robert Smithson; Marina Abramovic & Ulay; Gilbert & George; Joseph Cornell & Yayoi Kusama; Carroll Dunham & Laurie Simmons; Camille Claudel & Auguste Rodin; Maud Hunt Squire & Ethel Mars; Frances Loring & Florence Wyle; Alexander Rodchenko & Varvare Stepanova; Niki de Saint Phalle & Jean Tinguely; Leon Golub & Nancy Spero; Lili Elbe & Gerde Wegener; Bernd Becher & Hilla Becher; Emilia Kabakov & Ilya Kabakov; Tim Noble & Sue Webster; Idris Khan & Annie Morris.
Carroll Dunham & Laurie Simmons 1977–present
To outsiders, the idea of two independent artists existing within one marriage is a peculiar and confounding notion. This is presumably born of the popular belief in society that the artist possesses a different grasp of the world and is sensitive with a streak of egotism. The particular magic at play seems delicate: the artist hunts around for inspiration and dedicates themselves to a universe of their conjuring. Although they wrote the rules, most cannot help but ask for validation, and the idea that two adults might do this within one household seems perilous. The New York artists Carroll Dunham and Laurie Simmons have been together for four decades and always maintained that they were safe from whatever perceived threat there might be for each of their practices within the marriage. As they see it, this is mainly because Simmons works with photography and film and Dunham is a painter.
Elaine de Kooning & Willem de Kooning 1938–1989
The lives of Elaine and Willem de Kooning were battle scarred. By the time they each arrived in New York’s nascent art scene as young adults, they were already wounded from familial relations. They both fought to find their artistic voice and were enthralled by the possibilities of the human figure, kicking against the prevailing trend for abstraction. Together, they struggled with extreme poverty, battled the ravages of alcoholism and endured endemic infidelity on both sides. And yet, in the face of constant war with themselves, the art world and each other, they left behind an important body of work and extraordinary legacies, and never divorced. Emotionally reckless and tumultuous as it may have been, disadvantageous at times and often unpleasant to those in their orbit, the de Koonings’ marriage took many blows but did not capitulate.
Kate Bryan is an arts presenter, curator, expert tour guide and writer. She is Head of Collections for Soho House & Co. globally and has written and presented television programmes for Sky Arts, Sky Arte Italia, BBC Two and BBC Four. She is a judge on the annual Sky Arts competition programmes Portrait Artist of the Year and Landscape Artist of the Year.