Shares observations about the subculture of contemporary art, in a narrative account that tours such arenas as a Christie's auction, Takashi Murakami's studios, and the Basel Art Fair to reveal how art has become an entertainment venue, luxury commodity, and lifestyle choice. 30,000 first printing.
A fly-on-the-wall account of the smart and strange subcultures that make, trade, curate, collect, and hype contemporary art. The art market has been booming. Museum attendance is surging. More people than ever call themselves artists. Contemporary art has become a mass entertainment, a luxury good, a job description, and, for some, a kind of alternative religion. In a series of beautifully paced narratives, Sarah Thornton investigates the drama of a Christie's auction, the workings in Takashi Murakami's studios, the elite at the Basel Art Fair, the eccentricities of Artforum magazine, the competition behind an important art prize, life in a notorious art-school seminar, and the wonderland of the Venice Biennale. She reveals the new dynamics of creativity, taste, status, money, and the search for meaning in life. A judicious and juicy account of the institutions that have the power to shape art history, based on hundreds of interviews with high-profile players, Thornton's entertaining ethnography will change the way you look at contemporary culture.
Contemporary art has become a mass entertainment, a luxury good, a job description and, for some, a kind of alternative religion. Sarah Thornton's shrewd and entertaining fly-on-the-wall narrative takes us behind the scenes of the art world, from art school to auction house, showing us how it works, and giving us a vivid sense of being there.
33 Artists in 3 Acts
Author: Sarah Thornton
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
This compelling narrative goes behind the scenes with the world’s most important living artists to humanize and demystify contemporary art. The best-selling author of Seven Days in the Art World now tells the story of the artists themselves—how they move through the world, command credibility, and create iconic works. 33 Artists in 3 Acts offers unprecedented access to a dazzling range of artists, from international superstars to unheralded art teachers. Sarah Thornton's beautifully paced, fly-on-the-wall narratives include visits with Ai Weiwei before and after his imprisonment and Jeff Koons as he woos new customers in London, Frankfurt, and Abu Dhabi. Thornton meets Yayoi Kusama in her studio around the corner from the Tokyo asylum that she calls home. She snoops in Cindy Sherman’s closet, hears about Andrea Fraser’s psychotherapist, and spends quality time with Laurie Simmons, Carroll Dunham, and their daughters Lena and Grace. Through these intimate scenes, 33 Artists in 3 Acts explores what it means to be a real artist in the real world. Divided into three cinematic "acts"—politics, kinship, and craft—it investigates artists' psyches, personas, politics, and social networks. Witnessing their crises and triumphs, Thornton turns a wry, analytical eye on their different answers to the question "What is an artist?" 33 Artists in 3 Acts reveals the habits and attributes of successful artists, offering insight into the way these driven and inventive people play their game. In a time when more and more artists oversee the production of their work, rather than make it themselves, Thornton shows how an artist’s radical vision and personal confidence can create audiences for their work, and examines the elevated role that artists occupy as essential figures in our culture.
Author: Anthony Haden-Guest
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Bestselling author Anthony Haden-Guest covers the past three decades of the American art scene. Filled with incredible anecdotes, dramatically told stories, and subtle critical assessments, "True Colors" tells the story of the art world that we have never heard before. "Sexier than "Artforum", brainier that "Vanity Fair"".--"Kirkus Reviews". of color photos.
Author: Sarah Thornton
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
This is an innovative contribution to the study of popular culture, focusing on the youth cultures that revolve around dance clubs and raves.
Art on the Block
Author: Ann Fensterstock
A tour of the last four decades of contemporary art in New York City reveals how artists pioneered new trends in gentrification and inspired art renewals, focusing on the achievements of such artists as Basquiat and Rauschenberg.
Art of the Deal
Author: Noah Horowitz
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Art today is defined by its relationship to money as never before. Prices of living artists' works have been driven to unprecedented heights, conventional boundaries within the art world have collapsed, and artists now think ever more strategically about how to advance their careers. Artists no longer simply make art, but package, sell, and brand it. Noah Horowitz exposes the inner workings of the contemporary art market, explaining how this unique economy came to be, how it works, and where it's headed. He takes a unique look at the globalization of the art world and the changing face of the business, offering the clearest analysis yet of how investors speculate in the market and how emerging art forms such as video and installation have been drawn into the commercial sphere. By carefully examining these developments against the backdrop of the deflation of the contemporary art bubble in 2008, "Art of the Deal" is a must-read book that demystifies collecting and investing in today's art market.
A Short Life of Trouble
Author: Marcia Tucker
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Aside from meeting some of the most famous artists of our time, from Marcel Duchamp to Bob Dylan, Tucker's personal story involves a tragic family life and years as a starving artist, related poignantly but without pandering. Deftly edited by close friend and artist Lou, this is an arresting tour of a life devoted to new art, with a perfectly charming guide"--PW Annex Reviews.
Author: Roger White
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
It's been nearly a century since Marcel Duchamp exhibited a urinal and called it art. Since then, painting has been declared dead several times over, and contemporary art has now expanded to include just about any object, action, or event: dance routines, slideshows, functional hair salons, seemingly random accretions of waste. In the meantime, being an artist has gone from a join-the-circus fantasy to a plausible vocation for scores of young people in America. But why--and how and by whom--does all this art get made? How is it evaluated? And for what, if anything, will today's artists be remembered? In The Contemporaries, Roger White, himself a young painter, serves as our spirited, skeptical guide through this diffuse creative world. White takes us into the halls of the RISD graduate program, where students learn critical lessons that go far beyond how to apply paint to canvases. In New York, we meet the neophytes who assist established artists--and who walk the fine line between "assistance" and "making the art." In Milwaukee, White trails a group of friends trying to create a viable scene where rent is cheap, but where the spotlight rarely shines. And he gives us an intimate perspective on three wildly different careers: that of Dana Schutz, an emerging star who is revitalizing painting; Mary Walling Blackburn, whose challenging art defies market forces; and Stephen Kaltenbach, a '70s wunderkind who is back on the critical radar, perhaps in spite of his own willful obscurity. From young artists trying to elbow their way in to those working hard at dropping out, White's essential book offers a once-in-a-generation glimpse of the inner workings of the American art world at a moment of unparalleled ambition, uncertainty, and creative exuberance.
The Value of Art
Author: Michael Findlay
Publisher: Prestel Verlag
What is art worth? How can a work by Warhol be sold for more than $100,000,000? This critically acclaimed book, newly revised, updated, and generously illustrated throughout, explains the market for art—and art’s value for all of us. In The Value of Art, internationally renowned art dealer and market expert Michael Findlay offers a lively and authoritative tour of the art world informed by almost a half-century in the business and a passion for great art. With style and wry wit, Findlay explores how art acquires value—both commercial and social—and how these values circulate among the artists, dealers, and collectors that comprise today’s complex and constantly evolving art world. In the process he demystifies how art is bought and sold while also constantly looking beyond sales figures to emphasize the primacy of art’s essential, noncommercial worth. Coloring his account with wise advice, insider anecdotes involving scoundrels and scams, stories of celebrity collectors, and remarkable discoveries, Findlay has distilled a lifetime’s experience in this indispensible guide for today’s art lover.
When you stand in front of a work of art in a museum or exhibition, the first two questions you normally ask yourself are 1) Do I like it? and 2) Who’s it by? When you stand in front of a work of art in an auction room or dealer’s gallery, you ask these two questions followed by others: How much is it worth? How much will it be worth in five or ten years’ time? And what will people think of me if they see it hanging on my wall? Breakfast at Sotheby’s is an alphabetical guide to how people reach answers to such questions, and how in the process art is given a financial value. Based on Philip Hook’s thirty-five years’ experience of the art market, Breakfast at Sotheby’s explores the artist and his hinterland (including definitions for -isms, middle-brow artists, Gericault, and suicides), subject and style (from abstract art and banality through surrealism and war), “wall-power,” provenance, and market weather. Comic, revealing, piquant, splendid, and occasionally absurd, Breakfast at Sotheby’s is a book of pleasure and intelligent observation, as engaged with art as it is with the world that surrounds it.
Author: Leonard Diepeveen, Timothy Van Laar
Publisher: Oxford University Press
This book examines the ways in which cultural arguments about value develop: the processes by which some practices, artists, and media in the artworld win and others lose. The authors argue that the concept of prestige, although uncomfortable and consistently overlooked, is an essential model for understanding artworld values.
Grayson Perry’s book will overturn everything you thought you knew about “art” Now Grayson Perry is a fully paid-up member of the art establishment, he wants to show that any of us can appreciate art (after all, there is a reason he’s called this book Playing to the Gallery and not Sucking Up to the Academic Elite). This funny, personal journey through the art world answers the basic questions that might occur to us in an art gallery but that we’re too embarrassed to ask. Questions such as: What is “good” or “bad” art—and does it even matter? Is art still capable of shocking us or have we seen it all before? And what happens if you place a piece of art in a rubbish dump?
Author: Pablo Helguera
In this provocative new book, Pablo Helguera argues that contemporary art makes us perform self-conscious or instinctive interpretive acts; and that the construction of value in artworks is determined less by the objects themselves than by the nature of our interpretive performances, having a trickle-down effect on practically every aspect of art in society. Based on many years of observations, Art Scenes aims to contribute to the neglected area of the sociology of contemporary art, proposing the inauguration of a field described as "Art World Studies." Pablo Helguera is a visual artist living in New York. He is the Director of Adult and Academic Programs at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. He is the author of many books including The Pablo Helguera Manual of Contemporary Art Style, What in the World ( A Museum's Subjective Biography) and Education for Socially Engaged Art.