Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Nine top novels of art & seduction

Lauren Acampora is the author of The Paper Wasp, The Wonder Garden, and the newly released The Hundred Waters.

The Hundred Waters has been named one of Vogue’s best books of the year, a Lit Hub best book of the summer, and one of The Millions’s most-anticipated books of 2022.

At Lit Hub Acampora tagged nine novels that "feature spellbinding artists and their rapt admirers—and spellbound artists enrapt by their own subjects.... Ultimately, in each of these novels, art is the great seducer, sometimes spiraling the lives of its victims out of control." One title on the list:
Dawn Tripp, Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O’Keeffe

A beautifully imagined fictional portrait of Georgia O’Keeffe, this novel focuses on the development of the artist’s iconic vision and her storied relationship with photographer and art dealer Alfred Stieglitz. Georgia comes to New York from Texas as a very young woman and encounters Stieglitz, who take her under his wing as artist, lover, and model. His early photographs of O’Keeffe, including scandalous nudes, go a long way in seducing the public, piquing their interest even before her debut art exhibition at his gallery. As he tells her: “One must be talked about and written about, for people to buy… now they want to know more about this mysterious young artist whose work they have not been introduced to. They are dying to see it.” The novel explores her struggle with this early mythology, which both buoys and dogs her throughout her career. While she’s keenly aware that her name may not have launched so meteorically without Stieglitz’s framing, she spends decades trying to reclaim herself within the confines of their passionate relationship and to detach her art from his influence, wresting control of how her work is seen in its maturity, and remodeling her legend and legacy on her own terms.
Read about another novel on the list.

Georgia is among Jennifer Murphy's top ten novels about art and artists.

--Marshal Zeringue