In Encounters with Artists, Richard Cork turns his impeccable skills as a critic and writer to tell the story of his encounters with some of the world’s most influential artists. From a serendipitous meeting with Pablo Picasso in Cannes in 1965 through his early days as a writer on the Evening Standard and his later role as chief art critic for The Times, Cork records the personal encounters that reveal the characters behind the art.
From individuals who can look back over a lifetime’s career, such as Louise Bourgeois, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jasper Johns, to younger artists encountered at the beginning of their careers, such as Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst, Cork reveals artists’ inner thoughts, anxieties, and creative ambitions. From a studio meeting with Lucian Freud to being driven through the Yorkshire countryside by David Hockney and given a tour of Soho drinking locations with Francis Bacon, Cork has found that “talking to artists can, in my experience, be surprising, revealing, salutary, testing, provocative, stimulating, and at times capable of overturning all my preconceptions about the individuals I encounter.”
Cork has played a significant role in popularizing late modern and contemporary art. In the words of art critic Louisa Buck, his “lucid, evenhanded and at times trenchantly critical judgement has been invaluable in helping to create the multiplicity of approach and vigorous debates of today’s artistic climate.”
Richard Cork is an award-winning art critic, historian, broadcaster, and curator. He has acted as a judge for the Turner Prize and curated major exhibitions at Tate, the Hayward Gallery, the Barbican Art Gallery, the Royal Academy of Arts, and other European venues. Previously art critic for the Evening Standard, then chief art critic of The Times, he broadcasts regularly on BBC radio and TV and has written several books.