By: John Stowell
A painter. A musician. A photographer. A choreographer. An architect…
When he died 70 years ago, the artist Walter Spies was known to only a few close friends. Now he is prized as one of the finest painters of the tropical landscape. His life and deeds in Bali gradually took on mythic proportions. He was remembered almost as a founding figure, one who had taken the arts of Bali to unprecedented heights in creating the reputation of Ubud as a hub of cultural tourism that continues to the present day.
The 344-page “Walter Spies: A Life in Art”, written by John Stowell, presents a fully-documented biography in an 80,000-word text. It places the works and related documents in chronological order and supplies a catalogue of all the known works, including mention of those that have been lost, and an analytical index—providing a readable text consistent with the ascertainable facts, making frequent use of the artist’s own words in translation.
The biography traces the remarkable life of an exceptional individual whose career touched at many points the challenging issues of the first half of the twentieth century.
Walter Spies: A Life in Art