In the course of a career thinking and writing about art, Martin Gayford has travelled all over the world both to see works of art and to meet artists. Gayford’s journeys, often to fairly inaccessible places, involve frustrations and complications, but also serendipitous encounters and outcomes, which he makes as much a part of the story as the final destination. Entertaining and informative, Gayford includes trips to see Brancusi’s Endless Column in Romania, prehistoric cave art in France, the museum island of Naoshima in Japan, the Judd Foundation in Marfa, Texas, and a Roni Horn work in Iceland.
Interwoven with these accounts are journeys to meet artists – Robert Rauschenberg in New York, Marina Abramovic in Venice, Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris – or travels with artists, such as a trip to Beijing with Gilbert & George. These encounters not only provide insights into the way artists approach and think about their art but also reveal the importance of their personal environments. And in the process, Gayford discusses how these meetings have impacted on his own evolving ideas and tastes.