About Modern Art is the long-awaited collection of David Sylvester's essays on twentieth-century artists. This is not dry, remote, academic criticism: it has an immediacy and passion which leave one with an inspiring sense of the relevance and importance of art to life.
David Sylvester was born in 1924 in London and lived mainly there. His published books include Henry Moore (1968), Interviews with Francis Bacon (1975), Rene Magritte (1992), the five-volume catalogue raisonne of Magritte (1992-1-4-5), Looking at Giacometti (1994, also available in Pimlico) and Looking Back at Francis Bacon (2000). From 1951 he curated or co-curated numerous major exhibitions at museums in London, Paris, Venice, New York and Washington, including Dada and Surrealism Reviewed and one-man shows of Picasso, Laurens, Soutine, Miro, Magritte, Giacometti, de Kooning and Francis Bacon. His films include Matisse and his Model (1968) and Magritte: the False Mirror (1969). He was awarded C.B.E. in 1983, and was a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, an Honourary Fellow of the Royal Academy and a Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Art. In 1993 he became the first critic ever to receive a Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale. He died in June 2001.