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Art as Therapy Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 239 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (October 14, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714865915
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714865911
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A captivating, uncomplicated read that challenges how artists, dealers, and particularly, art museums do business, and anyone who cares about art should get a copy.—The Denver Post

When I read through Art as Therapy, paintings that I had long admired suddenly became new when seen through the filter of self awareness and exploration. Really a gem of a book.—Goop

Bountiful food for thought here, elegantly phrased and finely illustrated.—The Seattle Times

A profoundly refreshing and heterodox approach to art. . . Art as Therapy upend[s] the art world's self-referential culture [and] boldly positions art at the center of our daily lives.—Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Alain de Botton is the bestselling author of How Proust Can Change Your Life and Religion for Atheists in addition to other works of fiction and essays. In 2008 he founded The School of Life, dedicated to a new vision of education. His work has been reviewed in The Times, The Guardian, The Economist among many others and he has appeared on BBC Radio 4, Question Time and Newsnight. His popular TED talks have combined received over 3 million views. De Botton lives and works in London. John Armstrong is a philosopher and art theorist based at Melbourne University in Australia. He is the author of several books, including The Intimate Philosophy of Art, Conditions of Love and In Search of Civilisation.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Jshah on October 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I just received this book yesterday and I am savoring it page by page. I have been a huge fan of Alain de Botton for years now so it is no surprise that I pre-ordered this book. His take on the role of art in our individual lives and our spiritual lives is thoughtful and at times, provocative. He talks about art in the context of universal, human truths. He delves into each picture, extracting hidden emotions and details that reveal deeper layers and new ways to look at the art and relate it back to the human truths. I haven't finished it in a day - because this book is meant to be read a few pages at a time and meditated upon.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Carolina Katharine on November 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Doesn't get better than this. Most books about art are flat, condescending, basically showing off the author's smarts. This book is very accessible to anyone who loves art and for anyone who has an interest ranging from professional to collector to novice. An intriguing take on humanity in art and how we communicate with art and how modern life dictates our understanding. Thoughtful, enlightening, refreshing, beautiful! Well edited, beautiful lay out, keenly developed and a book that is enjoyable to read over and over again. Brings a sense of discovery to the art viewer. Makes me want to head the nearest museum! Would make an excellent gift for anyone, whether for the holidays or as a thank you.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen on November 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is so different from others I have read. Here, art is not about history, not about technique. It is about the relationship between the viewer and the work. Art - either viewed or practiced - has depths of wisdom and perspective to impart. This is so delicious a book, that I limit my time with it, to make it last. Very interesting. Beautiful artwork.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Leonie J M on October 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This wonderful book takes you deeply into the effects of art through the ages on the reader emotionally, intellectually and philosophically. I strongly recommend it. A book to read again and again.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Antti Nikkanen on November 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book kind of "accidentally". You could not consider me a fan of art. I still found the book very interesting. A slow read book, not only because the language is quite difficult but the ideas need a lot of time to be thought about. After finishing the book I found myself to be more calm with the discomfort the universe provides us.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. Tucker on January 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I very much enjoyed the first part of de Botton's new book, which he calls "methodology". In this section, he elucidates 7 areas of the human condition commonly addressed in art (suffering, love, etc.). This section reads as a very moving meditation on old ideas brought into very thoughtful new focus.
After this section ends, though, I felt de Botton lost his way a bit. The remainder of the book feels less deeply thought-out, as if maybe he was writing for a looming deadline (which is rather doubtful, given his excellent track record of publishing successful books, and his personal fortune). The book disappointingly veers off into a persuasive essay on how public art should be displayed and considered, and stops being fresh and original.
I was left wanting to re-read the first chapter, and wishing de Botton and his co-author would re-write the remainder. The book is beautifully constructed, and the illustrations are worth the price of the whole thing. It's certainly worth reading, even if it does leave the reader wishing for less political opinion, and more thoughtful discourse on the nature of art and healing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By K. L. Cotugno VINE VOICE on January 25, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a book I bought as a gift for my daughter, so for the first time, my review is not a first hand experience. She is an art therapist, working in a jail system, and is pleased to have a reference work that helps her with her clients. This is the first such book that she's come across, and it is a welcome addition to her library.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Frederic Mulligan on March 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
armstrong and debotton together – WOW! – should be required reading for anyone who loves art, makes art, or wants to learn about art in a welcoming, accessible, unique manner; philosophical and practical and spot on. beautiful reproductions; worthy of shelve space in every home library. would serve to enhance museum going as well as daily life for its readers. art as therapy – not to be confused with 'art therapy' – is a wonderful adventure in the 'artfull'/ 'thoughtfull' life that goes way beyond art history 101!
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