Steven Naifeh

Finalist, National Book Awards 1990

Steven Naifeh is an Arab-American whose grandparents were born in a part of Syria that is now Lebanon and Jordan. As the son of U.S. diplomats, he also grew up not only in the U.S. but also throughout the Middle East — in Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Oman, and the U.A.E. He also lived in Pakistan and Nigeria. Naifeh studied art history at Princeton and Harvard Universities, focusing on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Western European and American art, about which he has written extensively. At the same time, his own art began to explore the kinship between the geometric abstraction of Western art and the millennium-old tradition of Arab and Islamic abstraction. Naifeh is also an accomplished writer. His biography of the great American painter Jackson Pollock: An American Saga (with Gregory White Smith) won the Pulitzer Prize. His most recent work, Van Gogh: The Life (also with Smith), was praised … Continue reading “Steven Naifeh”
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Jackson Pollock: An American Saga

Jackson Pollock- An American Saga book cover by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith
ISBN 978-0517560846 Woodward/White, Incorporated / Clarkson Potter
Full Bio

Steven Naifeh

Steven Naifeh is an Arab-American whose grandparents were born in a part of Syria that is now Lebanon and Jordan. As the son of U.S. diplomats, he also grew up not only in the U.S. but also throughout the Middle East — in Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Oman, and the U.A.E. He also lived in Pakistan and Nigeria.

Naifeh studied art history at Princeton and Harvard Universities, focusing on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Western European and American art, about which he has written extensively. At the same time, his own art began to explore the kinship between the geometric abstraction of Western art and the millennium-old tradition of Arab and Islamic abstraction.

Naifeh is also an accomplished writer. His biography of the great American painter Jackson Pollock: An American Saga (with Gregory White Smith) won the Pulitzer Prize. His most recent work, Van Gogh: The Life (also with Smith), was praised as “definitive” by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and named “Art Book of the Year” by theTimes of London.

As an artist and author, Naifeh has been profiled in many publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post,USA Today, Harvard Magazine, People, and The International Herald Tribune.

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