Oh, to Be a Painter! – Virginia Woolf
Virgina Woolf’s collection of writings on visual arts offer a whole new perspective on the revolutionary author. Despite wide interest in Woolf’s writings, her circle, and her relationship with the visual arts, there is no accessible edition or selection of essays dedicated to her writings on art. This newest edition in David Zwirner Books’s ekphrasis series collects such essays including “Walter Sickert: A Conversation” (1934), “Pictures” (1925), and “Pictures and Portraits” (1920).
These formally inventive texts examine the connection between the literary writer and the visual artist and are innovative in their treatment of ideas about color and modern art as experienced in picture galleries. In these essays, Woolf looks at the complex and interdependent relationship between the artist and society. She also provides sharp and astute commentary on specific works of art and the relationship between art and writing.
An introduction by Claudia Tobin situates the essays within their cultural contexts.