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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keeping up is hard to do
All art can be classified into a style. This is because artists, dealers, collectors and curators love to put works of art into easy to describe buckets. For anyone interested in keeping up with the ever swelling list, Artspeak is an excellent reference. There are 146 entries, twice as many as the first edition, if that tells you anything about how busy the classifiers...
Published 13 months ago by David Wineberg

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good reference for art students, but not necessarily a good "browsing" book
I agree with other reviewers who said that this book is a good reference for art students, or for artists who want to look something up quickly, or explain a concept to a non-artist.

It's a brief overview of the second half of the 20th century (or at least it is now, thanks to the updated version) in terms of art movements and the major social and political...
Published 7 months ago by Mary Lavers


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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keeping up is hard to do, January 14, 2014
All art can be classified into a style. This is because artists, dealers, collectors and curators love to put works of art into easy to describe buckets. For anyone interested in keeping up with the ever swelling list, Artspeak is an excellent reference. There are 146 entries, twice as many as the first edition, if that tells you anything about how busy the classifiers are.

Art seems to love democratizing and splitting into ever finer categories. In addition to the broad divisions of style, there are techniques, countries, eras, races, genders and politics. Buzzwords abound (and are defined, thankfully). Content has also become key. Examples are AIDS art, Action art, space art and computer art, among many others.

Each alphabetical entry in the book is arranged into name, date range, country, key artists, and definition/description. A critically nice touch is that if a certain piece is described at length, it is usually shown as well. It is critical because words alone don’t do justice, especially when attempting to describe such things as installation art or assembly. The electronic edition is filled with links to other entries so you can quickly see the sometimes too subtle differences among them.

The book begins with a kind of almanac, a single page for each year since 1945, with historical highlights and art world highlights. It’s very useful for putting things in perspective, and a great jumping off point if you are doing research.

A relatively new development to note is collaborative art, in which at least two artists work together. For centuries if not milllennia, art was a solitary effort, expressing a style, talent and the thought of a single person. This change alone points art in a new direction, and promises to keep new editions coming.

David Wineberg
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ArtSpeak has been a favorite at our house for years so I was happy ..., February 19, 2015
ArtSpeak has been a favorite at our house for years so I was happy to see the new, updated third edition finally appear. It's as concise and smart and well-written as ever. Thanks! And we love the inexpensive e-edition--great for traveling and really the most beautiful e-book I've seen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars YES. We can use *the wo*rds "beguiling" and "lexicon" in* the same breath., February 23, 2015
I picked up my copy of AS3 last night to research more about Naum Gabo within the constructivism movement whose work I discovered in a museum in Berlin, and was not disappointed. Immediately I had many of my preconceptions both authenticated and greatly expanded.

I am now armed with a concise yet thorough definition of the movement and its primary advocate-artists AND was subsequently seduced by the author's fluid writing into reading further through the sections on "Content" (vs Subject) "Semiotics" & "Simulation"! On a school night no less.

This is a welcome unpretentious update of a highly researched resource that is an absolute pleasure in which to cherry-pick specific terms or to read from cover to cover.

For Boomer art lovers like me this book will mirror a lifetime of visual excitement & discovery. For younger readers and burgeoning artists it offers a fabulous entree into the vast and daunting array of artistic movements since WW2.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ambitious update!, February 24, 2015
I have been a fan of Artspeak, since its first edition. It told me what I needed to know with a clarity that is very rare in art writing. Also important: it helped me make connections between specific artists and movements. (I like the way this book encourages me to read, jumping around in my own order.) I was surprised by the ambition of this newest update, keeping up with an art world that has changed so much in the last few decades. I was particularly impressed with his much expanded coverage of art from Asia. As always, the strategy of his presentation is clear, and it is visually striking, with apt illustrations and a savvy design. I highly recommend it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clarifies The Artworld Gobbledygook, January 24, 2014
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This review is from: ArtSpeak: A Guide to Contemporary Ideas, Movements, and Buzzwords, 1945 to the Present (Hardcover)
The timeline is helpful but implies an intentional sequence which in many cases seems quite arbitrary. The word definitions are very helpful. They introduce some new words which appear with some frequency in the art world but are not easily defined.While acknowledging that some movements are vague and not really movements at all but rather the result of chance groups that meet together for a period of time without a real central focus, still one is given a window into a possible conversation which would otherwise be buried due to language barriers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great new edition, February 26, 2015
Since I began teaching art students many years ago, I have found ArtSpeak to be an incredibly clear source for communicating the ins and outs of contemporary art and the art world since World War II. This is certainly no simple task! Bravo to Mr. Atkins for this new, long-needed updated
edition. I'm glad to read that the E-book is equally stellar. I plan to get a copy before traveling to Europe later this year.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good reference for art students, but not necessarily a good "browsing" book, July 22, 2014
I agree with other reviewers who said that this book is a good reference for art students, or for artists who want to look something up quickly, or explain a concept to a non-artist.

It's a brief overview of the second half of the 20th century (or at least it is now, thanks to the updated version) in terms of art movements and the major social and political events of their respective times.

It is not necessarily a book that I would enjoy browsing through just to look at lovely art. It's definitely not a coffee table book...well, especially not my copy, since I was reading the digital version!

The digital version does have the added benefit of being hyperlinked with cross references so you can look up definitions as you read.

This review was originally posted on my blog, Cozy Little Book Journal, and is based on a digital review copy I received through NetGalley.
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ArtSpeak: A Guide to Contemporary Ideas, Movements, and Buzzwords, 1945 to the Present
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