The Pursuit of Art chronicles Martin Gayford’s travels, encounters with artists

Martin Gayford

LONDON – Coming October 8, 2019, The Pursuit of Art recounts art critic Martin Gayford’s travels and meetings with some of the world’s greatest artists.

In the course of a career thinking and writing about art, Gayford has traveled all over the world, both to see works of art and to meet and converse with artists. His newest book recounts his many journeys, some to fairly inaccessible places, some involving frustrations and complications, but also many leading to serendipitous encounters and outcomes which are as much a part of the story as the final destination.

Ever amusing, informative, and self-deprecating, Gayford recounts trips to see Brancusi’s Endless Column in Romania, prehistoric cave art in France, the museum island of Naoshima in Japan, the Judd Foundation in Marfa, Texas; and an installation by Roni Horn in the far northwest of Iceland.

Other journeys are to meet artists—Robert Rauschenberg in New York, Marina Abramović in Venice, Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris—or are made in the company of artists, such as a trip to Beijing with Gilbert & George. These encounters provide fascinating insights into the way artists approach and think about their art, and reveal the importance of their personal environments. They also affect Gayford’s own evolving ideas over a lifetime of passionate engagement with art.

“One of the addictive aspects of travel is that it never seems to end,” Gayford writes in The Pursuit of Art: Travels, Encounters, and Revelations. “It is not only because there are always new places, works of art, and artists to discover. If you find something, or somewhere, truly interesting, you can go back and back to it. That’s because you are constantly changing and so is it—or at least that’s how it seems.”

A perceptive and knowledgeable companion, Gayford shares the highs and lows of cultural travel, and makes a convincing case that, where art is concerned, only being there will do.

“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

The Pursuit of Art: Travels, Encounters, and Revelations, by Martin Gayford, is published by Thames & Hudson. Release date: October 8, 2019. 192 pages, 54 illustrations. Price: $24.95, hardcover, ISBN: 9780500094112

About the Author

Martin Gayford is art critic for The Spectator. His books include Man with a Blue Scarf, A Bigger Message, Rendez-vous with Art (with Philippe de Montebello), and Modernists & Mavericks.

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