Nat Tate: An American Artist: 1928-1960

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9781408814468: Nat Tate: An American Artist: 1928-1960
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The infamous literary prank that fooled a legion of art critics in the 1990s

Artist Nathwell Tate was born in 1928 in Union Beach, New Jersey. On January 8 1960 he contrived to round up and burn almost his entire output of Abstract Expressionism. Four days later he killed himself. This book offers an account of Tate's life and work.

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When William Boyd published his biography of New York modern artist Nat Tate, a huge reception of critics and artists arrived for the launch party, hosted by David Bowie, to toast the late artist's life. Little did they know that the painter Nat Tate, a depressive genius who burned almost all his output before his suicide, never existed. The book was a hoax, and the art world had fallen for it.

Nat Tate is a work of art unto itself - an investigation of the blurry line between the invented and the authentic, and a thoughtful tour through the spirited and occasionally ludicrous American art scene of the 1950s.

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'January 8th, it seems, is not only my birthday but also the fateful day when the painter Nat Tate contrived to round up and burn almost his entire output. Four days later he jumped to his death from the Staten Island Ferry, thereby completing the ragged circle of his life's events.

William Boyd's description of Tate's working procedure is so vivid that it convinces me that the small oil I picked on Prince Street, New York, in the late '60s, must indeed be one of the lost Third Panel Triptychs. The great sadness of this quiet and moving monograph is that the artist's most profound dread-that God will make you an artist but only a mediocre artist- did not in retrospect apply to Nat Tate'

(David Bowie)

'A moving account of an artist too well understood by his time' (Gore Vidal)

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9781608195800: Nat Tate: An American Artist: 1928-1960

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ISBN 10:  1608195805 ISBN 13:  9781608195800
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA, 2011
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9781901785012: Nat Tate: American Artist, 1928-1960

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