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The Lives of Artists: Collected Profiles by Calvin Tomkins Phaidon Book

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When Calvin Tomkins joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 1960, he did not plan to make art and living artists his main subjects. And yet, auspiciously for the magazine and its readers, Tomkins did just that. For the last six decades, his profiles of contemporary artists, from Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg to Cindy Sherman and Mark Bradford, have become the liveliest and most authoritative guide to the art of our time. These six volumes contain eighty-two of Tomkins’s profiles from 1962 to 2019. Balancing insight and observation with wit, candor and appreciation, Tomkins is a master of the profile—his indelible prose forming fascinating portraits, each a work of art in its own right.

The author

Calvin Tomkins has been a staff writer for The New Yorkersince 1960. He has written more than a dozen books, including The Bride and the Bachelors, Merchants and Masterpieces, Living Well Is the Best Revenge, Off the Wall, Duchamp: A Biography and Lives of the Artists.

David Remnick has been editor of The New Yorker since 1998, and a staff writer since 1992.

Hardcover,  8 x 5 1/2 in., 1,640 pages