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Customer reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars

on 17 October 2012
Please please please when the book is edited for paperback remove the endless exclamation marks, if something is funny or ironic or whatever this will appear in the writing itself. Adding an exclamation point is a sylistic nuisance.

The book itself has too much about Castellis forefathers in place of a deeper look at the gallery, the artists and the network he built, surely the interest for any reader.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 3 July 2012
When I was a youth attending art school, and then later setting up a professional practice, Leo Castelli was a living legend - the most important contemporary art dealer in the world. The man behind Johns, Warhol, Rauschenberg, Lichtenstein, Stella et al. A trip to America had to include a visit to his New York gallery.

Where did Castelli come from? How did he start out? How did he build up the business? These were questions we always asked, and this book attempts to answer them. It is informative, in parts. The book is extremely good at filling in the background story before Leo Castelli appeared in New York. I couldn't put the book down when reading through the first third. And it covers the late 1950s and early 1960s rather well, running down the list of major artistic names and their agenda-setting exhibitions. But...

Realistically, this book is more hagiography than a measured biography. The narrative looses chronological traction about 2/3rds of the way through, and ceases to record the path of Castelli's life and career. After 1966 it just lacks direction: it is as if once the moment of Pop Art has finished, the book no longer has a purpose. The remaining sections are closer to undiscerning feature journalism, mesmerised with fashion and money and spin. Clearly, we need a sober study that investigates Castelli's career from 1965 onwards.

(Even though it is dealing with a different time, and the Old Master market, When it comes to closely scrutinising how an art dealer has gone about building, and working, the art market Secrest's book Duveen: A Life in Art sets the standard.)
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