A WORK OF ART is not absolute and autonomous; it’s human, made by an individual for presentation to a world that may embrace or dismiss it, or do neither exactly, or both in turn. To state the obvious: artists and their art exist within a network of circumstances, implicating families, lovers, patrons, pals, collectors, critics, hangers-on, dealers, scholars, institutions, governments. The particulars of the context are no substitute for the art itself, but we are curious about them nonetheless - and for good reason. They situate the artist, complement the art and enlarge our understanding of both.
Lawrence M. Small