The Art Prophets: The Artists, Dealers, and Tastemakers Who Shook the Art World

The Art Prophets: The Artists, Dealers, and Tastemakers Who Shook the Art World

by Richard Polsky
     
 

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In The Art Prophets, Richard Polsky introduces us to influential late twentieth-century dealers and tastemakers in the art world. These risk takers opened doors for artists, identified new movements, and resurrected art forms that had fallen into obscurity. In this distinctive tour, Polsky offers an insightful and engaging dialog between artists and the

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Overview

In The Art Prophets, Richard Polsky introduces us to influential late twentieth-century dealers and tastemakers in the art world. These risk takers opened doors for artists, identified new movements, and resurrected art forms that had fallen into obscurity. In this distinctive tour, Polsky offers an insightful and engaging dialog between artists and the visionaries who paved their way.
 
Table of contents
Ivan Karp and Pop Art
Stan Lee and Comic Book Art
Chet Helms, Bill Graham, and the Art of the Poster
John Ollman and Outsider Art
Joshua Baer and Native American Art
Virginia Dwan and Earthworks
Tod Volpe and Ceramics
Jeffrey Fraenkel and Photography
Louis Meisel and Photorealism
Tony Shafrazi and Street Art

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As art investing has been as much a topic in the news as the art itself, a book on the Warren Buffetts of the art world would seem to make perfect sense. The great disappointment of Polsky’s book is that it fails as a primer on what it takes to be able to identify and exploit opportunity in the art world. Polsky (I Bought Andy Warhol) prefers to describe the 24 hours he spent naked in Walter De Maria’s landscape installation Lightning Field than in plumbing the genius and motivations of Virginia Dwan, De Maria’s generous yet mysterious patron. Polsky’s reflections on what it takes to be an art prophet are fairly generic: “Sometimes a visionary dealer can simply be someone who possesses a master salesman’s touch for getting the potential buyer emotionally involved with the work.” Polsky’s art prophets serve mostly as frames for describing some of the art movements of the past 50 years. This is not to say that chapters on comic book art, poster art, and ceramic sculpture—largely unappreciated in the fine art world—are not insightful. On the other hand, chapters on pop art, outsider art, and earthworks provide little more insight than other books on late 20th-century art. Photos. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
“[An] entertaining book of essays… Polsky’s inside information and chatty tone make for a stimulating read.” —Artinfo.com

“[The Art Prophets is] an honor for every prophet profiled, and a surprising, smart read for creative aficionados, or anyone interested in art’s future and the icons who paved the way.” —Royal Young, InterviewMagazine.com

“Clear, concise and energized by the author’s fiery passion for his subject.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Part art history, part character study and biography, this wonderful book about the business of art reads like a runaway horse. You don’t dare jump off! Hang on and enjoy every page.”— Sophy Burnham, author of The Art Crowd

“…A highly readable and fascinating look at the last 50-plus years of art history, rendered concisely in a few hundred pages.” –Carol Inkellis, Pacific Sun

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590514061
Publisher:
Other Press, LLC
Publication date:
10/25/2011
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
1,034,198
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

The evening was billed as “Ivan Karp Live in Los Angeles.” Not since Irving Blum’s Ferus Gallery first exhibited Andy Warhol’s original Soup Can paintings in 1962 had the spirit of Warhol returned to L.A. Twenty-five years later, here was the man who discovered Warhol—a dealer who rarely traveled above Fourteenth Street in Manhattan, let alone cross-country — about to descend on the art scene New York viewed with contempt as its lightweight counterpart. Great things were expected: revelations about the art world, never heard before anecdotes about Pop Art, secret histories of the period’s key figures.
   Jack Glenn had labored overtime to promote Karp’s visit, taking out ads in art magazines and working the phones to drum up a crowd. Now Glenn stood there, beaming at a space packed with artists, dealers, and collectors hoping to see the celebrated figure who had literally altered the course of art history by spotting the Pop Art zeitgeist. Though Karp was only in his late fifties at the time, he had already been credited with identifying a second important art movement—Photorealism. Would tonight be the night that he revealed a third?

Meet the Author

Richard Polsky is the author of I Sold Andy Warhol (Too Soon), I Bought Andy Warhol, and The Art Market Guide (1995–1998). He began his professional career in the art world thirty-two years ago and in 1984 founded Acme Art, where he showed the work of such artists as Joseph Cornell, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, and Bill Traylor. Since 1989 he has been a private dealer specializing in works by postwar artists, with an emphasis on Pop Art. He lives in Sausalito, California.

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