Monday, 20 August 2012

If you want to know more about art, read this book

When I first got an interest in art, I tried to find out more about it.  It became obvious quickly that most books about art are unbelievably pretentious jargon laden “rubbish” - to use a technical term.  One exception was “The Story of Art” by Gombrich.  It is accessible on several levels – it uses normal language, it isn’t too much of a “tome” but still has good illustrations. 

The copy I have is the 15th edition from 1989 but I see from Amazon that there are later editions.

So that you can get a flavour of the book, this is a short excerpt from its introduction:

“There really is no such thing as Art.  There are only artists.  Once these were men who took coloured earth and roughed out the forms of a bison on the wall of a cave; today some buy their paints, and design posters for the hoardings; they did and do many other things.  There is no harm in calling all these activities art as long as we keep in mind that such a work may mean very different things in different times and places, and as long as we realize that Art with a capital A has no existence.  Fro Art with a capital A has come to be something of a bogey and a fetish…

Actually I do not think that there are any wrong reasons for liking a statue or a picture…. There are wrong reasons for disliking a work of art.”

1 comment:

  1. I don't really know a thing and will read anything that's put under my nose. Perhaps this is a book for me!


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