Writer, Art Historian and Exhition Curator
Michael Peppiatt (born 9 October 1941) is an art historian, curator and writer, who graduated from Cambridge University in 1964, and joined The Observer as a junior art critic. He then went to Paris to take up an editorial job at Réalités magazine, where he remained until 1969, when he was appointed arts editor at Le Monde. In the mid-1970s he began reporting on cultural events across Europe for The New York Times and The Financial Times, becoming Paris correspondent for several art magazines, notably Art News and Art International. In 1985, Peppiatt became owner and editor of Art International, which he relaunched from Paris, devoting special issues to the artists he most admired.
In 1994, Peppiatt returned to London with his wife, the art historian Jill Lloyd, and their two children, where he wrote the biography of Francis Bacon (1909–1992), whose close friend and commentator he had been for thirty years. Chosen as a ‘Book of the Year’ by The New York Times and translated into several languages, the biography is considered the definitive account of Bacon’s life and work.
Peppiatt has curated numerous exhibitions worldwide, notably travelling retrospectives of the School of London, Francis Bacon, Alberto Giacometti, Christian Schad and Antoni Tàpies. In 2009, Peppiatt curated an exhibition of sculpture by Dado for the Venice Biennale, a Maillol retrospective for Barcelona, and a Caravaggio-Bacon exhibit for the Galleria Borghese in Rome.
In 2005, Peppiatt was awarded a Ph.D by the University of Cambridge for his publications on 20th-century art. He is a member of the Society of Authors and the Royal Society of Literature, and since 2010 he has been on the board of the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome.
In 2012, Peppiatt published Interviews with Artists, a book of more than forty interviews with personalities ranging from Jean Dubuffet, Balthus, and Oscar Niemeyer to Brassai, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Antoni Tàpies. An exhibition on this theme was shown at Eykyn Maclean in London.
More recently Peppiatt curated a Miró exhibition that travelled from the Bucerius Kunst Forum in Hamburg to the Kunstsammlung, Düsseldorf, in 2014-15. Peppiatt's latest memoir, 'Francis Bacon in Your Blood' was published by Bloomsbury in August 2015.