Thursday, January 27, 2011

Art Things Considered

"Art is either plagiarism or revolution."
~Paul Gauguin

This year I am determined to increase my art knowledge. I am currently reading Sarah Thornton's fascinating Seven Days in the Art World-this is a great introduction, because in each chapter she delves into a different facet of the art world: The Auction; The Crit; The Fair; The Prize; The Magazine; The Studio Visit; The Biennale.Each chapter is a "day-in-the-life" narrative based on interviews & "participant observation" as Thornton attends a Christie's auction, a Los Angeles art school seminar, and so on. Published in 2008, Thornton writes about a booming art market-I don't know if it still is booming.

I also picked up a book called The Daily Book of Art: 365 Readings that Teach, Inspire, & Entertain. (It was cheaper than taking an Art History class.) Several authors contributed to it, & it features writings on "unexpected art forms", "profiles in art", "a picture's worth 200 words", "art around the world", & "art from the inside out". So far I have learned such tidbits as:

Tupilaks (day 7)

The Elephant Artists of Thailand (day 9)

That the paintings of Jan Vermeer "exemplify repoussir (French for "to push back"), a technique used to give the illusion of depth by situating large objects or figures in the foreground." Also, did you know there are only 36 surviving Vermeer paintings?

Happenings & the Fluxus Movement (day 18)

The Museum of Bad Art (MOBA): Art Too Bad to Be Ignored (day 19)

I hope to share more of my art knowledge with you throughout the year.

For more books like Sarah Thornton's, try a subject search under Art Criticism, Art -- Marketing, or Art -- Competitions in the library catalog. I would also like to recommend some of the movies that got me thinking about art: The Cats of Mirikitani; The Art of the Steal; Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child; L'heure d'été/Summer Hours; & Séraphine.

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