Unstill Life

A Daughter's Memoir of Art and Love in the Age of Abstraction

12 September 2014


Luminous and revealing, a daughter's memoir of the art world and a larger-than-life father.

Gabrielle Selz grew up in a home full of the most celebrated artists of the 1960s and 1970s: Rothko, de Kooning, Tinguely, Giacometti and Christo. Her father, Peter Selz, was the chief curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art in the heyday of Abstract Expressionism. Selz’s father was vibrant and freewheeling but his enthusiasm for both women and art took its toll on their family life. When her father left to direct his own museum in California, her writer mother Thalia Selz, moved with her children into the utopian community of Westbeth but her parents continued a tumultuous affair that lasted for forty years.

Weaving her family narrative into the story of twentieth-century art and culture, Selz paints a portrait of a charismatic man, the generation of artists he championed and the daughter whose life he shaped.



150 x 218 mm • 352 pages


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