New York-based painter Elizabeth Peyton was at the vanguard of the 1990s return to figuration; she first gained critical attention with small-scale portraits that operated simultaneously as homage and pop culture snapshot, portraying musicians such as Kurt Cobain, Liam Gallagher and Jarvis Cocker. In Reading & Writing, a carefully chosen group of 24 paintings, drawings and prints from 1991 to 2009 reflects the profound influence of literature and poetry on Peyton's work. The book begins with her selection of writings by the Goncourt brothers, Honoré de Balzac, Oscar Wilde, Gustave Flaubert and Stendhal. Additional choices reference other subjects that have appeared in her paintings and works on paper such as Madame Bovary, Marie Antoinette, Napoleon and François Truffaut. Also included are poems and songs by Shakespeare and Jay-Z.