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Annie Cohen-Solal’s Leo & His Circle: The Life of Leo Castelli

Annie Cohen-Solal; translated by Mark Polizzotti with Annie Cohen-Solal, Leo & His Circle: The Life of Leo Castelli (New York: Knopf, 2010), 576 pages.

IF JOHNS AND RAUSCHENBERG, Lichtenstein and Warhol, Rosenquist and Twombly, Stella and Serra (among many others) are household names, their currency is not solely the result of their art but that of the efforts made on their behalf by a diffident, courtly European—a counsel-keeping, omniscient eye at the center of a swirling storm. Hardly in the first flush of youth, Leo Castelli was fifty when he opened his New York gallery at 4 East Seventy-seventh Street in February 1957. After the briefest of hesitations, during which he allowed himself a retrospective glance at his European origins, his essentially American roster began in the second season, marking the beginning of an incremental ascent of prestige, with exhibitions of the encaustics

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