R.B. Kitaj

The big picture: two books on artists and their lives

Michael Peppiatt (born 1941) explains in the introduction to his new book of essays that he has from the start of his career been attracted to the lives of artists, as much as, if not more than, their work. Accordingly, he should find a ready audience with the British, who much prefer the written word to the visual image, and who always seem to spend more time on information panels than exhibits in museums, when not in a side gallery watching documentaries about the artists’ lives. In this book Peppiatt assembles a selection of biographical studies of some of the artists whose work quickens his heart. None of it is