Ramblings of a Wannabe Painter (ekphrasis) (Paperback)
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Long out of print, this new translation by Donatien Grau includes an introduction that situates the essay within Gauguin’s written oeuvre, as well as explanatory notes. This text sheds light on Gauguin’s conception of art—widely considered a predecessor to Duchamp—and engages with many issues still relevant today: history, novelty, criticism, and the market. His voice feels as fresh, lively, sharp in English now as it did in French over one hundred years ago. Through Gauguin’s final piece of writing, we see the artist in the full throes of passion—for his work, for his art, for the art of others, and against anyone who would stand in his way.
As the inaugural publication in David Zwirner Books’s new ekphrasis reader series, Ramblings of a Wannabe Painter sets a perfect tone for the books to come. Poised between writing, art, and criticism, Gauguin brings together many different worlds, all of which should have a seat at the table during any meaningful discussion of art. With the express hope of encouraging open exchange between the world of writing and that of the visual arts, David Zwirner Books is proud to present this new edition of a lost masterpiece.
Donatien Grau is a member of New College, University of Oxford. An editor-at-large of Purple Fashion magazine, a contributing editor of Flash Art International, he is the author of numerous essays on modern and contemporary art. Twice a guest researcher at the Getty Research Institute, he has dedicated a significant part of his scholarly research to the late nineteenth and early twentieth–century literary and artistic moment.
— Naomi Beckwith
"Ramblings of a Wannabe Painter is an authentic mouthpiece for the soul of modern art."
— Alyssa Collura
"offers an unfiltered look into the provocative mind of Paul Gauguin"
— Alyssa Collura
— David Terrien
"amusing, memorable books"
— Jonathon Sturgeon
"The translation otherwise brings the flamboyant, abrasive, and highly distractible spirit of Gauguin roaring back to life."
— Thomas Micchelli