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Jean-Michel Basquiat, Georgia O'Keefe, Hilary Mantel, Ali Smith, David Bowie and Freddie Mercury all feature in Olivia Laing’s latest essay collection Funny Weather (Picador). In the current inclement political climate, Laing argues, art and artists matter more than ever, as a locus for both political resistance and emotional repair. ‘Like all great critics’ James Lasdun writes, ‘Olivia Laing combines formidable intelligence with boundless curiosity and fabulous taste, but she also has a rare quality of intimacy; an ability to connect the reader to a work of art or literature (or for that matter a facet of life itself) with a directness that lights it up like nothing else.’
Olivia Laing will be arguing the case for the necessity of art with Emily LaBarge, a writer and tutor at the Royal College of Art whose work has appeared in frieze, Bookforum, Artforum, the LA Review of Books, and The White Review.’