On Writing an Art Book

On Writing an Art Book

Posted on October 10 by Stephen Grant
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The thought of writing an art book, of any description, never really occurred to me until Julian Porter came along. I had known Julian for years, of course, as one does practising law in one community for any length of time. But when Dundurn published Porter’s 149 Paintings You Really Need to See in Europe, I thought, what a great way to share one’s enthusiasm and knowledge. Still, I really didn’t think anything more of my own involvement.

Having spent much of my adult life in art galleries and museums, when Julian and I got together, I found the experience (which Julian had for many years) of recording and rethinking my own views on the art I had seen, challenging. In reading Julian’s passionate text, I found my own métier to be more analytical than I had imagined it would be, more cerebral if you will. It meant, however, that I had paid more attention to the works I had seen—sometimes on many viewings like Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, for instance—than I had thought. Although the works spoke to me in some transformative way, I didn’t imagine I could have articulated them with the same passion Julian brings.

In short, I think the collaboration between us worked, at least I hope so, and while our book may well be seen to be idiosyncratic, I trust the reader will come to share our commitment to and love of art, in all of its manifestations.