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  • Ilex Press
  • Ilex Press
  • Ilex Press

Art is Life: Icons & Iconoclasts, Visionaries & Vigilantes, & Flashes of Hope in the Night

Jerry Saltz

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History of art / art & design styles

Bestelling author and art critic Jerry Saltz is back, with an ambitious and enlightening survey of the art world over the past twenty years.

"The world's most famous and celebrated contemporary art critic." -GQ

"One of the most powerful art critics today."
-Time Out

From the Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author of How to Be an Artist, a deliciously readable survey of the art world in turbulent times.

Jerry Saltz is one of our most-watched writers about art and artists, and a passionate champion of the importance of art in our shared cultural life. Since the 1990s he has been an indispensable cultural voice: witty and provocative, he has attracted contemporary readers to fine art as few critics have.

Now, in Art Is Life, Jerry Saltz draws on two decades of work to offer a real-time survey of contemporary art as a barometer of our times. Chronicling a period punctuated by dramatic turning points - from the cultural reset of 9/11 to the rolling social crises of today - Saltz traces how visionary artists have both documented and challenged the culture.

Art Is Life offers Saltz's eye-opening appraisals of trailblazers like Kara Walker, Hilma af Klint and Jasper Johns; provocateurs like Jeff Koons, Richard Prince and Marina Abramovic; and visionaries like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. With his signature blend of candour and conviction, Jerry Saltz argues in Art Is Life for the importance of the fearless artist. The result is an openhearted and irresistibly readable appraisal by one of our most important cultural observers.


Praise for How to Be an Artist:
"I wish I had read these rules forty years ago and carried them around like a bible. They are the generous, loving, enthusiastic, bullshit-free advice of a master communicator, just reading them makes me want to charge back into the studio" - Grayson Perry

"Being an artist is a lonely pursuit - twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for the rest of your life. Most of the time it hurts. This book will help the pain" - Tracey Emin

"Joy is palpable in these pages. We need such thinking right now" - Apollo Magazine

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Jerry Saltz

Jerry Saltz is the senior art critic at New York magazine and its entertainment site Vulture. He is the winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Criticism and a 2019 National Magazine Award. Before joining New York in 2007, Saltz had been art critic for The Village Voice since 1998, and was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize during his tenure there. A frequent guest lecturer, he has spoken at the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, the Whitney Museum, and many others, and has appeared at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, the Rhode Island School of Design, the Art Institute of Chicago, and elsewhere.

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