by Shannon B., May 25, 2005 12:38 PM
My coworker Adrienne recommended this book to me, and I just gobbled it up whole. It's based on the life of the Baroness Elsa, a mess of a woman who did everything unthinkable, including unabashedly eating the heart out of the American art world. She's not in any art book, yet she lived her life completely as Dada. Typical of all the really juicy female cultural figures, there's not much published about her, so René Steinke's account of her life is a gem of a story. Steinke presents Elsa in a very complicated, human way, not just idolizing and romanticizing her. We experience all the wrong romance choices and paddywagon escapades, and relish in crashing New York art parties and embarassing the fine-art patrons.