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The Art Prophets: The Artists, Dealers, and Tastemakers Who Shook the Art World Hardcover – October 25, 2011
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“[The Art Prophets is] an honor for every prophet profiled, and a surprising, smart read for creative aficionados, or anyone interested in art’s future and the icons who paved the way.” —Royal Young, InterviewMagazine.com
“Clear, concise and energized by the author’s fiery passion for his subject.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Part art history, part character study and biography, this wonderful book about the business of art reads like a runaway horse. You don’t dare jump off! Hang on and enjoy every page.”— Sophy Burnham, author of The Art Crowd
“…A highly readable and fascinating look at the last 50-plus years of art history, rendered concisely in a few hundred pages.” –Carol Inkellis, Pacific Sun
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Top Customer Reviews
The chapter on outsider art is another. You may have seen or heard of the work of Bill Traylor or the Philadelphia Wireman, depending on what exhibitions have been mounted in your part of the world when you were paying enough attention. But few of us will have heard of John Ollman, the straw that stirred this drink from a gallery whose owner had the vision to turn it all over to him; or of Virginia Dwan, the comely and well-heeled patron of earthworks one needs to mount a trek to in order to see.
We gain a broadened knowledge of, and a deepened appreciation for, the wide spectrum of contemporary fine art movements. You've heard of Christo, even seen one or two of his works, maybe even in person; but how his work differs from those made possible by Dwan's patronage, and her artists' persistence, is explained and detailed here. And the survey isn't confined to the settled past: some contemporary practitioners, emerging even as the book went to press - ceramicists Diego Romero and Jane McDonald are two - get their very interesting due.
All the while, the writing is smart without being pedantic, lively but not histrionic, engaging but not showy or self-centered. Polsky, whose prior books on the contemporary art world have been humorous romps fueled by dishy tales of the eccentric players on that stage, here provides no-nonsense accounts of the ten selected movements he charts, and how they came to be.Read more ›
The author, Richard Polsky, writes in a Pop Art-like breathless style, with many snap aesthetic judgements that are unlikely to stand the test of time. He often appears more interested in how someone turned a good buck on the latest rage than on a mature evaluation of the artists and artworks that have caught his personal fancy.
Two wildly separate side points: 1. I think it was despicable for Tony Shafrazi in 1974 to vandalize Picasso's Guernica and I object to Mr. Shafrazi's inclusion as an "art prophet" in this book; and, 2. It strikes me that the book's jacket design by Carin Goldberg is perfect.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have one of his previous book, and I expected the same good read. But this one is bit boring and I couldn't even finish it.Published 10 months ago by Edith Piaf