This is an impassioned, whistle-blowing essay on the outrageous glitz biz of the contemporary New York art scene. A reputable art historian, Marquis has let her subject percolate for over 15 years. Yet the shrill tone of early chapters may cause the book's dismissal as a general tirade against postmodernism, the entire art system, and its questionable ethics. Despite the gloom, Marquis concludes that there is hope in a second world of art that ``thrives without ever being noticed in the four New York Zip codes where the Art Biz lodges.'' Though she writes in a lively style for the art ``outsider,'' her footnotes and references should also fire up anyone familiar with the spate of recent muckracking literature on postmodernism. Recommended for both general readers and specialists.-- Mary Hamel- Schwulst, Towson State Univ., Md.
Marquis examines the behind-the-scenes complex that rules the contemporary art world, revealing it to be a nexus of hype, hypocrisy, gossip, greed, manipulation and secrecy. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)