The Eye and the World
A uniquely international lifes work. Twentieth-century art can be understood fully only from a perspective that ignores boundaries between countries and continents. Werner Spies has always had on open eye and mind for developments on both sides of the Atlantic, and his critical appraisals of trends in both Europe and the USA continue to be a stimulating feature of writing on art at an international level. He has followed events in the international art world for over 40 years, as a close friend of artists, as a teacher, as a critic and as a curator of major international exhibitions. Spiess collected writings first appeared in German in 2008 as Auge und Wort. That enormously successful edition is already out of print, but it is now being made available to an international audience in English translation. The exceptional significance of these writings lies in the authors varied approach to his subjects and especially in his intense engagement with actual works of art, derived from his long friendship with many artists and countless visits to their studios. In their wealth of detail, and in their reflection of personal encounters and impressions, they constitute an important resource on the art of the twentieth century.