Gaudier Brzeska: An Absolute Case of Genius by Paul O'Keeffe - review by Carole Angier

Carole Angier

Rock Star

Gaudier Brzeska: An Absolute Case of Genius

By

Allen Lane The Penguin Press 371pp £29 order from our bookshop
 

HENRI GAUDIER-BRZESKA should be a fantastic subject. He was a genius - Ezra Pound thought so, and art history agrees. He died young - younger than Keats, younger than Alain-Fournier, only a few years older than Chatterton, the marvellous boy. As though he knew how little time he had, he raced through his artistic development at breakneck speed, turning himself from a painter into a sculptor at nineteen, and reaching his mature abstract style at twenty-two.

He was a striking figure, deathly pale, with bright black eyes and a nose like a scimitar. 'He talked like a chisel and argued like a hammer', Enid Bagnold said, and he gave off vitality like an electric charge. Though he was as thin as a knife he attacked huge

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