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BY HALLY WOLHANDLER

 

An interior design tome with cultural edge, Artists Living with Art (Abrams) is a voyeuristic peek into the homes of artists who also collect: Chuck Close, Cindy Sherman, and the couple who brought Lena Dunham into the world, among others. The interiors here are often as interesting as the art (which shouldn’t be surprising, considering these homeowners presumably possess a certain visual sensitivity). Spaces explored in the book include the sculptor Pat Steir's Greenwich Village brownstone, where a piece by Sol Lewitt is painted directly onto the wall, a seemingly modest backdrop for a collection of fossil stones on display. Across town in the black-painted parlor of Rashid Johnson’s Kips Bay townhouse, one of Glenn Ligon’s neon-light works hangs over the fireplace; in the living room, a sculpture by the Campana Borthers shares space with one of their chairs. At a time when the art world is so commercial that it seems like a farce, these collectors stand out for their earnestness. Or, as the painter and critic Robert Storr puts it in the foreword: “Unlike collectors who approach art like postage stamps or stock portfolios, artists acquire and put up things that mean something very specific to them, things that energize them and help them to make their work better and more distinctive.” Laymen take note.