Since 1963 – the year he met Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach and R.B. Kitaj to persuade them to contribute to his student magazine – Michael Peppiatt has been writing about art and interviewing artists. Now, he has selected 40 of his best interviews, some previously unpublished, for a new book, as an exhibition of works by some of his subjects opens in London.–The Financial Times

“Hidden away in a New Collection of Michael Peppiatt’s Interviews with Artists, I spied Henri Cartier-Bresson, Brassai and Hans Namuth. Peppiatt is a soft but probing interlocutor, and his enthusiasm for his subject gleams from every page.”—Lucy Davies, The Sunday Telegraph

“The interviews are gathered from a variety of sources. One or two, previously unpublished, emerge pristine from Peppiatt’s archive; others appeared in English or American publications, or had to be translated from their original French. The book is full of nuggets such as Balthus musing on why so many people go to exhibitions: “One would think they were trying to fill some kind of terrible inner emptiness.” Or Dubuffet in 1977: “The trouble is that… artists have become more concerned with presenting their work than creating it.” Peppiatt is arguably the finest art writer of his generation, as this elegantly composed selection of his work amply demonstrates.”—Andrew Lambirth, The Art Newspaper

“Chronologically, the first interview in the collection took place in 1966 in the ‘splendidly vaulted, frescoed rooms’ of the Villa Medici in Rome, where Balthus was director at the time. Balthus was at once a fabulously gifted painter and a social charlatan, claiming a largely bogus aristocratic lineage that included Lord Byron. Young as Peppiatt was at the time, he spotted the fantasy yet good-naturedly joined in, speculating as to which tartan the Byronic connection would permit the artist to wear: ‘With his love of dressing up, Balthus warmed visibly to the idea of kilt and sporran’.”—John Banville, The Irish Times

“The art of the critic-interviewer is, like that of the psychoanalyst, to draw poi-gnant attention to what it is that the interviewee cannot express. The limitations imposed on Peppiatt are those of language itself, and they serve him well, causing him to nudge each of his subjects to the point where words fail them, to where the picture, the sculpture, the building or the photograph becomes the only means of expression.”—Talitha Stevenson, The Observer

A sharp-eyed observer of the international art scene since the mid-1960s, Michael Peppiatt has spent his professional life with many of the greatest artists of the twentieth century. His close friendships and frequent studio visits with Dubuffet, Sonia Delaunay, Francis Bacon, Henry Moore, Balthus, Oldenburg, Brassai and Cartier-Bresson, among many others, have produced an incredible archive of interviews…from which the author has selected forty-five of the most noteworthy and fascinating for this deeply engaging book.

“Many of the conversations published here have a spark and intimacy that allow unexpected insights into the lives and work of some of the 20th century’s greatest artists.”—Apollo (Off the Shelf)

Read an excerpt from “Interviews with Artists (1966–2012)” in the Financial Times HERE

Read the Observer review of “Interviews with Artists (1966–2012)” HERE