"Artists in Love" does just this, outlining some of the most famous couples who collaborated and competed in the art world. The book is a survey of passion throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, telling the stories of Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz, Picasso and his, ahem, many mistresses, and more artistic pairings whose relationships sparked some of the period's greatest masterpieces.
For art off the page, Atlanta residents can see the work of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera in a new exhibition titled, "Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics, and Painting" at the High Museum of Art. For those wanting more, there's a cheeky exhibition in Paris titled, "Je Hais Les Couples” (“I Hate Couples”). Curator Jeanne Susplugas told the New York Times: "Collaboration is natural in couples – and if you’re going through a rough patch, the work can be the only peaceful time between the two.”
Scroll through our slideshow below and let us know what you think of these iconic lovers in the comments section.
Wassily Kandinsky & Gabriele Münter
Wassily Kandinsky (German, 1866-1944) & Gabriele Münter (Russian and German, 1877-1962) began their relationship in 1902 but were never married. Both artists met in Munich, with Münter establishing herself as an important member of the city's emerging avante-garde, and Kandinsky earning a reputation for creating some of the first purely abstract works of art.
Alfred Stieglitz & Georgia O'Keeffe
Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe met in 1916 when Stieglitz, then 23 years older than O'Keeffe was married to another woman. The two artists quickly fell in love though, marrying in 1924.
Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera
Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera had an infamously torrid relationship, involving two marriages, one divorce, and several extra-marital affairs. Throughout their life together, they were known to live in separate quarters, though Rivera wrote in his autobiography that the day Kahlo died was the most tragic moment of his life.
Lee Miller & Man Ray
Lee Miller is the famous assistant, lover and muse of surrealist great Man Ray. Though she began as an apprentice to the photographer, she later developed her own career, becoming an active member of the surrealist movement in her own right.
Willem & Elaine de Kooning
Both Willem and Elaine de Kooning were influential abstract expressionist artists in the United States. They me in 1938 and married in 1943, remaining together until Elaine's death in 1989.
Charles & Ray Eames
Charles Ormond Eames, Jr and Bernice Alexandra "Ray" (née Kaiser) Eames were American designers most famous for their collaborative furniture and architectural designs. They met at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1940 and were married the next year.
Lee Krasner & Jackson Pollock
Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock, both influential abstract expressionists, met in 1942 and married in 1945. Pollock became more popular in mainstream consciousness though, which prompted Krasner to battle with issues of artistic identity, sometimes signing her work as only L.K. to avoid the immediate association of being Pollock's wife.
Dorothea Tanning & Max Ernst
Dorothea Tanning and Max Ernst famously fell in love when the latter visited the former's studio, initiating a game of chess and what would later become a enduring marriage that lasted until Ernst's death in 1976.
Pablo Picasso & Francois Gilot
When Pablo Picasso was 63 years old he began a relationship with a young art student named Francoise Gilot, then 40 years his junior. However, the relationship did not end well. Gilot divorced her then husband, Luc Simon, with the plans of marrying Picasso, the father of her children Claude and Paloma. However, Picasso married Jacqueline Roque instead, with whom he remained until the end of his life.
Jasper Johns & Robert Rauschenberg
Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg were lovers for 6 years starting in 1955. Both artists were painters and printmakers who became influential members of the contemporary art scene in New York, alongside the likes of Merce Cunningham and John Cage.
Christo & Jeanne-Claude
Bulgarian-born Christo and Moroccan-born Jeanne-Claude met in 1958 and married in 1962, becoming partners in their relationship as well as work until Jeanne-Claude's death in 2009. They are most known for their environmental works, many of which are large-scale installations constructed in famous outdoor settings.
Marina Abramovic & Ulay
Marina Abramovic and Ulay met in Amsterdam in 1976, instantly becoming lovers and performance art partners. Their relationship lasted for a decade, ending with their symbolic last project - a dramatic walk down the Great Wall of China, in which the artists began at opposite ends, eventually meeting in the middle after 90 days to say their farewells.
"Artists in Love: From Picasso & Gilot to Christo & Jeanne-Claude, A Century of Creative and Romantic Partnerships" by Veronica Kavass is available through welcomebooks.
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