Unstill Life is a daughter’s memoir of a larger-than-life father known as Mr. Modern Art. Born into a Jewish family in Munich in 1919, Peter Selz watched the ascension of the Third Reich. Forced to wear a star, forbidden to attend school, his home destroyed and the art he loved labeled degenerate, Selz escaped to America, eventually becoming the chief curator of the Museum of Modern Art. His daughter, Gabrielle, grew up in a home full of celebrated artists in the heyday of Abstract Expressionism, from Rothko and de Kooning to Christo.
Selz offers a unique window into one of the most illustrious periods in art history. Her fathers focus on art devoted to the human condition, his ambition to break through the Jewish glass ceiling at MoMA, and his passionate lifestyle took a toll on their family.
Weaving her family narrative into the larger story of twentieth-century art and culture, Selz paints an unforgettable portrait of a charismatic man, the generation of modern artists he championed and the daughter shaped by it all.