In this rich, superbly nuanced history, Shnayerson fully demonstrates that he has his finger on the financial pulse of...

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MAD MONEY, MEGA DEALERS, AND THE RISE OF CONTEMPORARY ART

An inside portrait of the movers and shakers of modern art.

In this hefty, meticulously researched history, Vanity Fair contributing editor Shnayerson (The Contender: Andrew Cuomo, a Biography, 2015, etc.) recounts the absorbing story of “how a coterie of dealers made a global market for contemporary art.” He opens with the rise of abstract expressionism and the “rather modest and uncertain beginnings” of galleries in the late 1940s, and he ends with the “wildly unpredictable financial roller coaster” of today. From the start, the author realized he would need to talk to the “art market’s four most powerful figures”: Arne Glimcher, Iwan Wirth, David Zwirner, and the “undisputed mega of megas,” Larry Gagosian. He did, along with numerous other dealers, critics, and collectors, and these conversations give the book an exquisite intimacy and air of excitement. Along the way, Shnayerson learned that “nobody really needs a painting,” as one dealer told him. “It’s an act of collective faith what an object is worth.” Dealers make “sure that important art feels important” and worth the investment. In 1957, Leo Castelli, the “greatest dealer of his day,” opened his gallery and “let his art sell itself.” His clients were a who’s who of the time: de Kooning, Rauschenberg, Pollock, Johns, Lichtenstein, and, later, Warhol. In 1979, Gagosian opened his first New York gallery, offering Cy Twombly and David Salle. Glimcher soon followed. In 1980, Glimcher “startled the art world” by selling Johns’ Three Flags for $1 million, and Gagosian continued to battle with the “brilliant, but drug-troubled, Basquiat.” Shnayerson incisively describes dealers poaching from each other, recessions negatively affecting markets, how galleries and auction houses operate, and Instagram’s emerging role in selling art. The narrative is packed with scrumptious anecdotes and revealing portraits of key players and artists. For example, for every two paintings Agnes Martin offered Glimcher, she’d destroy 10 while he watched.

In this rich, superbly nuanced history, Shnayerson fully demonstrates that he has his finger on the financial pulse of modern art.

Pub Date: May 21, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-840-4

Page Count: 464

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

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The debut memoir from the pop and fashion star.

Early on, Simpson describes the book she didn’t write: “a motivational manual telling you how to live your best life.” Though having committed to the lucrative deal years before, she “walked away,” fearing any sort of self-help advice she might give would be hypocritical. Outwardly, Simpson was at the peak of her success, with her fashion line generating “one billion dollars in annual sales.” However, anxiety was getting the better of her, and she admits she’d become a “feelings addict,” just needing “enough noise to distract me from the pain I’d been avoiding since childhood. The demons of traumatic abuse that refused to let me sleep at night—Tylenol PM at age twelve, red wine and Ambien as a grown, scared woman. Those same demons who perched on my shoulder, and when they saw a man as dark as them, leaned in to my ear to whisper, ‘Just give him your light. See if it saves him…’ ” On Halloween 2017, Simpson hit rock bottom, and, with the intervention of her devoted friends and husband, began to address her addictions and underlying fears. In this readable but overlong narrative, the author traces her childhood as a Baptist preacher’s daughter moving 18 times before she “hit fifth grade,” and follows her remarkable rise to fame as a singer. She reveals the psychological trauma resulting from years of sexual abuse by a family friend, experiences that drew her repeatedly into bad relationships with men, most publicly with ex-husband Nick Lachey. Admitting that she was attracted to the validating power of an audience, Simpson analyzes how her failings and triumphs have enabled her to take control of her life, even as she was hounded by the press and various music and movie executives about her weight. Simpson’s memoir contains plenty of personal and professional moments for fans to savor.

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-289996-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2020

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