An unexpectedly enjoyable read, which I now consider a must literary supplement for anyone who is even remotely interested in modern art.
I of course happened to be reading the English translation as I don’t speak German! And that one, by the Pilkington Press, is of exceptionally high printing quality, with nice and heavy glossy paper and excellent prints of the artworks, something that is rare to come by these days.
Berggruen’s life memoirs are full of anecdotes from his brush with some of the most famous artists of the 20th century, incl. Picasso, Klee, Rivera, Kahlo, Matisse, Tzara, Man Ray, even Simone Signoret (so not just painters!).
As an art dealer and avid collector of Picasso especially, he has an undiluted and genuine enthusiasm for modern art, which he manages to convey to the reader.
And he seems like a genuinely likeable and down to earth character, who enjoys the artistic creation for its own sake, and invites us into his world and his musee imaginaire (as he calls his art collection) in the most compelling of ways.