In the course of a career thinking and writing about art, critic Martin Gayford has traveled all over the world both to see works of art and to meet artists. Gayford’s journeys, often to fairly inaccessible places, involve frustrations and complications, but also serendipitous encounters and outcomes, which he makes as much a part of the story as the final destination. In chapters that are by turns humorous, intriguing, and stimulating, Gayford takes us to places as varied as Brancusi’s Endless Column in Romania; prehistoric caves in France; the museum island of Naoshima in Japan; the Judd Foundation in Marfa, Texas; and an exhibition of Roni Horn’s work in Iceland.
Interwoven with these tales are journeys to meet artists—Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris, Marina Abramovicé in Venice, Robert Rauschenberg in New York—and travels with artists, such as a trip to Beijing with Gilbert & George. These encounters not only provide fascinating insights into the way artists approach and think about their art, but reveal the importance of their personal environments.
A perceptive, amusing, and knowledgeable companion, in The Pursuit of Art Gayford takes readers on a tour of art that is immensely entertaining, informative, and eminently readable.
A passionate globe-trot through the history of art and art appreciation… As a travel writer, Gayford is an exceptional guide… [His] passion is contagious and will conjure in readers dreams of travel.
— Kirkus Reviews
Martin Gayford is an art critic for The Spectator. His books include Modernists & Mavericks, Man with a Blue Scarf, A Bigger Message, Rendez-vous with Art (with Philippe de Montebello), A History of Pictures (with David Hockney), and most recently, The Pursuit of Art.