PRIZE-WINNING CULTURAL HISTORIAN AND ACCLAIMED BIOGRAPHER OF SARTRE, TO DISCUSS NEW BIOGRAPHY OF AMERICAN ART DEALER LEO CASTELLI
Born Leo Krausz in Trieste to a family of prosperous bankers, Castelli’s parents adopted an Italian name after Mussolini’s Fascists annexed the city. The book also chronicles Castelli’s discovery of and relationship with artists who have since become household names.
Writing in the “New York Times,” Dwight Garner said, “Cohen-Solal writes wonderfully about Castelli’s gifts of personality [and] delivers the silky story of a classic American immigrant overachiever.... [S]erious, probing... beautiful.... photographs, sprinkled throughout, pop from the page.” The “New Yorker’s” Peter Schjeldahl called “Leo and His Circle,” “[A] n impeccably judicious book....detailed and savvy....[Cohen-Solal] provides a backstory...that is ....absorbing and [a] highly relevant scrutiny of the historic loam that produced a bloom as exotic as Castelli.” The book received the “Best Contemporary Art Book Prize” of the French auction house, Artcurial, in 2010.
Cohen-Solal’s previous books include “Painting American” (2001), a history of the seismic shift that moved the center of the art world from Paris to New York during the course of the twentieth century; and the widely acclaimed, “Sartre: A Life” (1985), which has been translated into sixteen languages. “Painting American” received the Prix Bernier of the Académie des Beaux-Arts. Writing of “Sartre” in the “New York Times Book Review,” Stanley Hoffmann said Cohen-Solal’s “industry brings us an intensely human writer with all his contradictions, betrayals, miscalculations, blinders and fiascoes.”
Born to Jewish parents in Algeria, Cohen-Solal moved with her family to France at the close of the Algerian War of Independence. She holds a Ph.D. from the Sorbonne and is currently Visiting Arts Professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.