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on June 17, 2001
I have - for professional reasons - read several introductions to contemporary art written in the late 90s, and this is by far the best. Hopkins does not only have a great knowledge on the field but he is also good at writing about it, and furthermore he is up to date with the latest scholary researches on the field without being academic in his way of formulating it.
I recommend this for students and scholars as well as for the just interested. No matter who you are, you will definitely know much more about contemporary art than before, and have a lot of good color reproductions of the works as well.
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on September 28, 2001
Here are some responses of undergrads at a liberal arts college in a seminar on contemporary art-
Student 1:
1. The book was interesting and well developed...it moved at a steady pace
and was consistent.
2. Hopkins used too many difficult words that weren't familiar and he was
unclear as to the main objective in some of his chapters.
3. In some areas of the book, Hopkins only touched on some of the artists
who seemed important and went too into depth on a few others. He needed to
keep that aspect of the book consistent...the rest was well done.
Student 2:
Hopkins used many examples of Contemporary Art that were very relative to the concepts he explained. While they helped me to understand his ideas, some of his writing was very difficult to understand. He was wordy and used many uncommon terms making reading slow and hard to comprehend. This would be an excellent book for those who are in the advanced stages of learning about Contemporary Art.
Student 3:
Hopkins does a wonderful job of providing ample examples for the reader.
However, he does not do a very good job of explaining the examples without
creating some confusion. Hopkin's also uses a vocabulary that is too
advanced for the undergraduate reader that this book is intended for.
Student 4:
Hopkins used some very interesting examples to try and create a new way of looking at the transition from modern to post-modern art. I think that the book is mislabled as a beginner book, since from the start the author assumes that we have a strong basic knowledge of art history. To be fair the issue he is talking about in this book is so complex that writing an introduction is a very difficult task, I think that Hopkins did a good job.
Student 5:
-The book takes a different view on 20th century art, and helps put things
in a historic context.
-The book is difficult to understand at times, and seems to be at a higher
than introductory level.
-Some of the references to works are vague, and they are hard to connect to
the photos.
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on October 3, 2007
This is one of the more interesting modern art books I've had. It's goes beyond a discussion of the artwork and places everything in a historical context. It also discusses the artist's relationships and attitudes and how they are influenced by and how they influence their times.
Overall, good book if you're into modern art.
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on January 16, 2010
David Hopkins takes a very particular point of view that excludes or maginalizes a vast amount of art that was produced in the period 1945 to 2000; work that was considered important in its time, and is still considered important today. For example, the various forms of Realist painting that arose in the mid-1960s, and continued to be vital forces at the end of the century, are mostly ignored. This is because Hopkins is pretty much only telling the story of Conceptual Art.
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on December 9, 2014
I really enjoyed Mr. Hopkins work, although I would caution that this book isn't for art beginners. I have some education in art history and thoroughly enjoyed the depth that Mr. Hopkins went into here, but unless you have some foundation in art you might become easily lost (I'd like to read it a second time with a highlighter in hand!).
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VINE VOICEon February 21, 2008
After Modern Art gives the reader an overview of post war modern art. I found the author's references to more in depth material useful especially since some of it, including Greenberg's essays, are available on the web. The author mostly considers artists from America and Europe, but toward the end there is some mention of Russian artists who the west became aware of after the fall of the Berlin Wall. I wish the author had included more in depth material on the ideas behind the art he presented but I guess this would have made the book too large. This is a book that will make you want to read some of the books and essays that were pivotal to the artists. Many people find modern/contemporary art difficult to phantom. I think this is because much modern and contemporary art is a reaction to what came before. For instance, without knowing the masculine aspect of the Action Painting period one might not get the reference to genitals in the upper part of Jasper John's flag paintings. Also, with knowing that the bull was important to Picasso, one might not get why Andy Warhol used bull images in one of his wall paper type paintings. This book can help dispel that confusion as it neatly links each successive period in art to what came before.
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on July 19, 2015
Except for historical points, this selection is written in Artspeak which gives me an impression of who will be impressed. As an example, out of this text about Pollock: visual ‘field’ ... accented by the fluid syntax---and punctuated by concentrations of line and color. Etc...
"Artspeak, is the language of intellectual kitsch. Even those who like it have to make believe they understand it."
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on July 12, 2014
Very good review of the evolution of art during this time period and the competing artistic theories. The author stresses the interrelationship of artists,theory, and world events in the development of art in the post WWII period.
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on April 19, 2015
Worst book to read for any class. I personally enjoyed reading "The Scarlet Letter" more than this. This reading is extremely dry and I have to read it multiple times to even grasp what he is trying to say most times. He uses long, uncommon words and it makes it extremely difficult to read. I was hoping I'd learn something from this text, rather I am more frustrated than ever trying to decipher it... It's a trap, don't get it....
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on March 12, 2001
This is a strong, broadly inclusive introduction to modern art disguised as a "regular"-looking paperback. The book is refreshingly un-dogmatic, and though there is evidence of the author's pomo leanings, he is not earnest about it. His prose is consistently smooth, nearly melodic in places. With its chronological and balanced approach, this is a palatable, but spicy, beginner's text.
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