Kuh Times Two

Katharine Kuh’s MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH MODERN ART recently added two lovely reviews to its collection.

Art in America writes:

…the book offers real contributions to one’s picture of a fascinating period in the art world. It is full of wonderful vignettes, such as the tale of Kuh and Franz Kline climbing through a trap door in Kline’s studio and over the rooftops to drop in on de Kooning’s studio nearby; or of Thomas Mann and his wife tut-tutting their way disapprovingly through a Klee show at the Katharine Kuh Gallery in the ’30s; or of Edith Farnsworth as an unhappy victim of her famous house, unable to afford curtains or proper Miesian furniture; or of Mark Tobey making his precise work amid the utter disarray of his house in Basel, and habitually carrying his favorite paintings around with him in a suitcaseĀ¯ on his travels abroad. Such flashes of insight, both biographical and critical, make it a great pleasure to have Katharine Kuh’s forthright, intelligent and surprisingly timely voice back with us.

Sculpture Magazine praises:

Katharine Kuh’s A [sic] Love Affair with Modern Art, skillfully edited by Avis Berman after the author’s death in 1994, is a wonderful, thoughtful collection of personal essays about her life in art and the art of her contemporaries. Sculptors as important as Brancusi and Noguchi are discussed and remembered. In Kuh’s altogether biographical essays, she not only analyzes their work, but also, at the same time and in the same breath, explains the often intricate nature of her friendships and working relationships with them. She tells terrific anecdotes about her travels and studio visits during the course of a long and notable career that took her from dealer to curator, to art critic for the Saturday Review, and then to independent advisor. Kuh’s is a serious examination of artists’ lives and works that also discusses the people who surround artists, who not only inhabit their world, but also help to define and determine their individual values and practices. Kuh’s ideas and efforts are well worth exploring as something of a role model especially in as disjunctive an age such as ours. The simplicity of her language and the clarity with which she interprets and presents her subjects could serve us well as we continues to build libraries of historic and critical materials about our contemporaries.


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