Sunday, December 23, 2012

Laughing your way through Modern Art

What Are You Looking At?
The Surprising, Shocking, and Sometimes Strange Story of 150 Years of Modern Art
By Will Gompertz

"There are times when those of us involved in the arts talk and write pretentious nonsense." -- Will Gompertz.

If you've ever been moseying through the modern art wing of a museum and wondered what any of it could possibly mean, then this is the book for you. Gompertz cuts straight through the perception that modern art is impenetrable and explains how we got where we are today. Writing with clarity and wit (he once did a stand-up comedy act based on art history) he guides you through Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, Surrealism, Conceptualism, and all of the other "isms." If you get lost along the way, just check the subway map printed on the inside of the cover. From Bauhaus to Pop Art, and from Georges Seurat to Jeff Koons, Will Gompertz is your guide.

If you'd rather have a fictional take on the mysteries of art, then keep reading.

Sacre Bleu
A Comedy d'Art
By Christopher Moore

Someone is killing the artists of Paris! Slinking around the creative underbelly of Montmartre is someone called the Colorman, always accompanied by a beautiful woman. Where they go, tragedy follows. Who are they, and why do they seem so fixated on the color blue?

This is a comic novel with overtones of mystery and art history. I did actually laugh a few times (and smiled pretty often) and learned more about the artists of Paris (from Van Gogh to Pissaro) than I expected.

Click on the titles or the covers to request these books.

Review by Danny Hanbery

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