What Are You Looking At?: The Surprising, Shocking, and Sometimes Strange Story of 150 Years of Modern Art [NOOK Book]

Overview

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, ...
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What Are You Looking At?: The Surprising, Shocking, and Sometimes Strange Story of 150 Years of Modern Art

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Overview

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.
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  • What Are You Looking At?
    What Are You Looking At?  

Editorial Reviews

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As the former director of Tate Media and as the present BBC arts editor, Will Gomperz has justified an early description of him as "a complete maverick and an eccentric." He was also gained an enviable reputation for communicating about modern art in refreshing ways. His hip sensation 2009 Edinburgh Festival Fringe piece "Double Art History" served as a preview of this energetic recap of the subject, but What Are You Looking At? succeeds at being more free ranging, informative, and, believe it or not, provocative than that original. The art history teacher you always wish you had. Now in trade paperback and NOOK Book.

Library Journal
Gompertz (former director, Tate Gallery, London; arts editor, BBC) offers an accessible introduction to the often bewildering field of modern art. Given his stated intent to cut through the opaque language and pretensions of an elitist art world, readers might expect Gompertz to treat the avant-garde and its often inscrutable provocations with a degree of skepticism. Instead, his analysis is almost entirely sympathetic as he briskly moves from the mid-19th-century France of Manet and the impressionists to the early-20th-century New York City of emigré Marcel Duchamp and then to the present-day England of Damien Hirst and the Young British Artists. Rather than hold up older contemporary art as distinct from or preferable to the art of today, Gompertz attempts to forge lines of continuity that allow readers to connect celebrated moments in art history to what they encounter in contemporary art galleries. VERDICT While its cast of characters may already be familiar to students of art history, Gompertz's book will appeal to many for its wit, engaging prose, and often highly amusing anecdotes. [See Prepub Alert, 5/15/12.]—Jonathan Patkowski, CUNY Graduate Ctr.
Library Journal
Few of us would have the nerve to do a stand-up show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. But BBC arts editor Gompertz does, appearing there in 2009 in a one-man piece called Double Art History, styling himself as a substitute art teacher explaining modern art. That show, a sell-out, bodes well for his new book, which covers the artists, movements, and signal works of modern art while asking some unpretentious questions, e.g., why do we instinctively love or hate it? Former director of Tate Media (as in the wonderful Tate Britain and its wild sister, the Tate Modern) and named one of the world's top 50 creative thinkers by Creativity magazine, Gompertz apparently has an eye for the telling anecdote. A great art history lesson.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101561133
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/25/2012
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 178,458
  • File size: 24 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author



Will Gompertz writes, presents, and produces programs about the arts for the BBC. He lives in Oxford, England.
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