Modern Couples

Art, Intimicy and the Avant-Garde

$ 60.00| £ 45.00 (* recommended retail price)

This fascinating, interdisciplinary, and generously illustrated book presents creative pairings that defy the idea of the modern artist as a solitary genius.

In the art world, pairs of individuals often inspire each other’s works. These intimate relationships are explored in all their various forms—obsessional, conventional, mythic, fleeting, life-long—in this book that illuminates the works of painters, sculptors, photographers, designers, poets, writers, musicians, dancers, and performers of the modern era. In addition to introductory essays, each couple is profiled in brief chapters that feature candid portraiture, a rich array of illustrated works that illuminate the impact each had on the other, and an introductory text that pinpoints the significance of the relationship, written by leading authorities. Two additional subsections explore the importance of collaboration, friendship, anti-establishment notions, and radicalism both within Surrealist couples and the Temple de l’Amitié in Paris. Reflecting a contemporary view of sexuality and relationships, this book also offers a counterpoint to the notion of the female as muse, presenting a more balanced portrayal of male and female creative output. This volume also reveals how creative individuals came together to overcome the constraints of their time, reshape art, redefine gender stereotypes, and forge new ways of living.

Hardcover, 352 pages, 23,0 x 29,0 cm, 300 color illustrations
ISBN: 978-3-7913-5841-3
US February 12, 2019
UK November 05, 2018
Status of delivery: This title is available.


Jane Alison leads the visual arts program at the Barbican, London. She has curated many memorable exhibitions including Colour after Klein (2005), Viktor & Rolf (2008), and The Surreal House (2010).

Coralie Malissard is Assistant Curator at the Barbican, London. She holds a Master’s in Curating from the Courtauld Institute and a Bachelor’s degree in Art History from Cambridge University.

Coralie Malissard