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Art School: (Propositions for the 21st Century) Paperback – September 11, 2009

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Editorial Reviews


Steven Henry Madoff's anthology appears at a particularly apt moment, as the development of social, research-based, and post-studio forms of artistic practice raise questions about central tenets of traditional art education. With essays and discussions by important theorists, artists, and curators, this book lays the ground for a critical debate on the future of the art school.

(Bruce Altshuler, Director, Program in Museum Studies, New York University)

An indispensable source of experienced voices: artists, teachers, theorists, art historians, critics, administrators, former students, curators. Art School is an amazing cross-section of art world contributors providing as complete a picture as is imaginable on the needs and possibilities of the art school in the 21st century.

(Garry Kennedy, former President and Professor Emeritus, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design)

Its positive attitude and open-ended, forward-thinking discussions make this text an essential read for anyone considering any kind of arts education.

(Amanda Rataj C Magazine)

About the Author

Steven Henry Madoff, an award-winning writer, editor, and poet, has written extensively on contemporary art for such publications as Artforum, the New York Times, and Time magazine, and published numerous monographs on leading artists. He is Senior Critic at Yale University's School of Art.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 373 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (September 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262134934
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262134934
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #536,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steven Henry Madoff, award-winning art critic, curator, poet, and educator has curated internationally and published widely over the last quarter of a century. He has served as Executive Editor of ARTnews magazine, is a Contributing Editor at Modern Painters and ARTnews, was President and Editorial Director of a division of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, lectures on contemporary art and education throughout the world, and has held the position of Senior Critic at Yale University's School of Art. He is the founding Chair of the Masters in Curatorial Practice at the School of Visual Arts in New York. His books include Art School (Propositions for the 21st Century) published by MIT Press; Pop Art: A Critical History, from University of California Press; and Christopher Wilmarth: Light and Gravity, from Princeton University Press, among many others. His criticism and journalism have appeared regularly in such publications as the New York Times, Time, Artforum, Art in America, Art + Auction, Tate Etc., as well as ARTnews and Modern Painters. He is the author of monographic essays on such artists as Marina Abramovic, Rebecca Horn, Kimsooja, and Ann Hamilton, among many others. He has been a curator for the Venice Biennale and most recently directed a multi-platform program of exhibitions and events, "Host & Guest," at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including those from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Academy of American Poets. He holds his Ph.D. from Stanford University and his B.A. from Columbia University, where he was the Butler Scholar in the Humanities. He is currently at work on a book concerning the history and theory of interdisciplinary art practices from Wagner to the present.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ames96 on December 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have had the chance to read several chapters in this book and I am impressed by the composition of the book alone. I love that the book covers several contemporary issues in art and the teaching of the visual arts. I love several of the conversations that talk about what should and should not be taught in art schools. I like how several artist's give their personal reflections of what effected them as a student of the visual arts and what they have been able to do with that knowledge gained. I feel that sometimes this book got a little bland and boring at parts but over all it was a pretty good read and can be beneficial to those who would like to learn contemporary methods in teaching art.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Deniz Tirpanci on December 2, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is composed of valuable essays from critical thinkers of our century. I recommend it to young artists who are wanting to understand the artworld. This book has every subject in it that should be discussed in classrooms. It holds light in to how art schools prepare students for the art world.Consider it a proffessional seminar...Multiple opinions,and voices.Very Informative.
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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful By S. R. Sopha on April 19, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some books should be required reading before attending college. This is one of them. The problems of the artworld are very real, and very dangerous. A vast amount of money is wasted each year by students who think they need to attend an art college, only to find the fire sucked out of them. Became a trained professional in a non-professional field.
The real beauty of this book, so far, is that it discerts how the art world actually functions; not refering by way to financial power, but of the history chase and denial. It explains how, probably mostly because of Duchamp, there is a constant struggle with mentor, how this pushes art forward, and how the predators with money prey upon the artists, who by the way are not innocent. In essay form, this book will make you look differently at art education in general and the art world as a whole. I just started reading it, but know it will be an important manuscript that may push forward a change in art education on all levels.
If you like thick, meaningful discussion that requires educated thought, buy this.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a person whose interest in art education has recently burgeoned, coming to it from a more criticism/theory-oriented field, I found this to be a fascinating and rewarding collection of essays. Another reviewer said it's not practical, and he's right--you won't find sample syllabi or guidelines for structuring a seminar here! But, if you're interested in defining your personal philosophy of education, there is plenty here to identify with or against.

I didn't make it through all of the "surveys" in the appendix--responses from artists about their own experiences as students and teachers. The anecdotes are "proof" that everyone's experience with education is highly individual, subjective, contingent on properties of environments and people, that no one pedagogical system can have universal effectiveness--which, once you've read through all the essays in the book, is a moot point.

Re: The Kindle edition, I've never seen an ebook like this one before. It looks more like a PDF, with an interface that keeps the pages of the printed edition separate and numbered. It's clear that the publishers put a lot of resources into producing the ebook but I can't say that it improved readability.
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