What Are You Looking At?: The Surprising, Shocking, and Sometimes Strange Story of 150 Years of Modern Art (英語) ペーパーバック – 2013/9/24
Kindle 端末は必要ありません。無料 Kindle アプリのいずれかをダウンロードすると、スマートフォン、タブレットPCで Kindle 本をお読みいただけます。
In the tradition of Eats, Shoots & Leaves, art history with a sense of humor
Every year, millions of museum and gallery visitors ponder the modern art on display and secretly ask themselves, "Is this art?" A former director at London's Tate Gallery and now the BBC arts editor, Will Gompertz made it his mission to bring modern art's exciting history alive for everyone, explaining why an unmade bed or a pickled shark can be art—and why a five-year-old couldn't really do it. Rich with extraordinary tales and anecdotes, What Are You Looking At? entertains as it arms readers with the knowledge to truly understand and enjoy what it is they’re looking at.
“Gompertz has an uncanny knack for making difficult art (and ideas) easy…A lively, witty account of the major moments and movements of the past 150 years.”—Associated Press
“An insightful love letter to modern art and an irreverent rejection of the notion that its pleasures are reserved for a chosen few… Each [chapter] hums with engaging history and entertaining anecdotes, cheeky asides and accessible, illuminating criticism.”–NPR
“Gompertz is determined to dispel the layman's fear of the modern art world and those who inhabit it. What Are You Looking At?, which comes out this week, does a very good job of this—replacing isolating esotericism with witty and chatty commentary.”—Interview
“A deeply enlightening and buoyant history of modern art and beyond.”—Booklist (starred review)
“[A] highly lucid, lively, and buoyantly composed history…while his tone is breezy and conversational, [Gompertz] astutely and often wittily describes the core of every movement and its key artists.”—Publishers Weekly
I gave the book 4 stars because I thought there could be two improvements. The first was providing more pictures, even if they are black and white. Many times I had to go back and forth between the computer to look up different pieces in order to follow along. The second suggestion would be to provide a small summary at the end about the movements. I used a highlighter and pad of paper to keep track of characteristics of the different types. There are about 20 chapters and each chapter details a different movement, so it can be useful to keep a reference handy in case the movements start to blend together (or if you're like me, and you forget some details from a specific type.) However, I found the visual at the beginning and end of the book extremely helpful.
I think that the author, Will Gompertz, does a nice job of informing the reader of the various courses the stream of art in Europe and America have taken over the flow of the last 150 years, especially to and through Minimalism.
The last few chapters were more of a struggle for me as the ever enthusiastic Mr. Gompertz runs through a few of the highly publized artists of recent years, attempting to convince the reader that their works (for example, those of Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, and Jeff Koons) are worth the immense media attention and the millions showered on them by a few wealthy collectors. I remain unconvinced.
As I am of his choice of the clunky word "Entrepreneurialism" to describe the hodgepodge created by Mr. Gompertz' selection of artists from the last few decades.