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

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Channeling Bill Bryson’s engaging style, a former director of London’s Tate gallery wields his wit and expertise in this smart, entertaining narrative tour of modern art.

We all know what modern art looks like. We’ve seen Monet’s water lilies, we’ve admired Picasso’s nudes, and we’ve gawked at Damien Hirst’s shark, as well as the price tag. But what does it all mean? What is modern art? Who started it? Why do we love and/or hate it? And why is it such big money? What Are You Looking At? takes readers on a captivating tour of modern art from impressionism to the present day, telling the story of the movements, the artists, and the works that not only changed art forever but also helped create and define the modern world.

Refreshingly irreverent yet eminently readable and informative, the book is rich with extraordinary tales and anecdotes — a morning coffee in Paris with Monet and the impressionists; Marcel Duchamp purchasing his famous urinal; Sir Nicholas Serota, the director of the Tate empire, confessing his terror at not knowing what to think each time he encounters a new work of art.

With his offbeat humor, down-to-earth storytelling, and flair for odd details that spark insights, Will Gompertz is the perfect tour guide for modern art. His book doesn’t tell us if a work of art is good; it gives us the knowledge to decide for ourselves.

Synopsis:

For skeptics, art lovers, and the millions of us who visit art galleries every year — and are confused — What Are You Looking At? by former director of London’s Tate Gallery Will Gompertz is a wonderfully lively, accessible narrative history of Modern Art, from Impressionism to the present day.

What is modern art? Who started it? Why do we either love it or loathe it? And why is it such big money? Join BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz on a dazzling tour that will change the way you look at modern art forever. From Monet's water lilies to Van Gogh's sunflowers, from Warhol's soup cans to Hirst's pickled shark, hear the stories behind the masterpieces, meet the artists as they really were, and discover the real point of modern art.

You will learn: not all conceptual art is bollocks; Picasso is king (but Cézanne is better); Pollock is no drip; Dali painted with his moustache; a urinal changed the course of art; why your 5-year-old really couldn't do it. Refreshing, irreverent and always straightforward, What Are You Looking At? cuts through the pretentious art speak and asks all the basic questions that you were too afraid to ask. Your next trip to the art gallery is going to be a little less intimidating and a lot more interesting.

With his offbeat humor, down-to-earth storytelling, and flair for odd details that spark insights, Will Gompertz is the perfect tour guide for modern art. His book doesn’t tell us if a work of art is good; it gives us the knowledge to decide for ourselves.

About the Author

Will Gompertz was a director at the Tate in London for seven years and is now the BBC arts editor, where he writes, presents, and produces programs about the arts. In the summer of 2009, he wrote and performed a one-man show at the Edinburgh Fringe called Double Art History, a light-hearted lecture on the story of modern art. Recently named one of the world’s top fifty creative thinkers by Creativity magazine, he lives in Oxford.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780525952671
Subtitle:
The Surprising, Shocking, and Sometimes Strange Story of 150 Years of Modern Art
Author:
Gompertz, Will
Publisher:
Dutton Books
Subject:
Art - General
Edition Description:
B-Hardcover
Publication Date:
20121031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
9.56 x 6.49 x 1.24 in 2 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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What Are You Looking At?: The Surprising, Shocking, and Sometimes Strange Story of 150 Years of Modern Art Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$28.95 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Dutton Books - English 9780525952671 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , For skeptics, art lovers, and the millions of us who visit art galleries every year — and are confused — What Are You Looking At? by former director of London’s Tate Gallery Will Gompertz is a wonderfully lively, accessible narrative history of Modern Art, from Impressionism to the present day.

What is modern art? Who started it? Why do we either love it or loathe it? And why is it such big money? Join BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz on a dazzling tour that will change the way you look at modern art forever. From Monet's water lilies to Van Gogh's sunflowers, from Warhol's soup cans to Hirst's pickled shark, hear the stories behind the masterpieces, meet the artists as they really were, and discover the real point of modern art.

You will learn: not all conceptual art is bollocks; Picasso is king (but Cézanne is better); Pollock is no drip; Dali painted with his moustache; a urinal changed the course of art; why your 5-year-old really couldn't do it. Refreshing, irreverent and always straightforward, What Are You Looking At? cuts through the pretentious art speak and asks all the basic questions that you were too afraid to ask. Your next trip to the art gallery is going to be a little less intimidating and a lot more interesting.

With his offbeat humor, down-to-earth storytelling, and flair for odd details that spark insights, Will Gompertz is the perfect tour guide for modern art. His book doesn’t tell us if a work of art is good; it gives us the knowledge to decide for ourselves.

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