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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Reading Tom Marioni is the Highest Form of Art", March 17, 2004
By 
John Held, Jr. (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Beer, Art and Philosophy (Paperback)
As the author rightly proclaims, by the nineties "the idea of social interaction in an art context became an art movement," but in 1970, when Marioni performed his signature work, "The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art," at the Oakland Museum, in which the debris of a drinking session was exhibited, "social artwork" was scandalizing.
Marioni's memoirs are the closest you get to sharing a drink with a respected artist, regaled with youthful impressions and insider artworld reflections, without the artist being present. Artists Chris Burden, William T. Wiley and Sol Lewitt, who contribute book jacket testimonials, have sat and drank with Tom Marioni. Why not you?
Since 1995, I've been attending Marioni's infamous weekly Wednesday gatherings that have continued his thirty year commitment in an extended performance involving hundreds of artists and friends. We drink and swap war stories. Some of the yarns in the memoir are familiar, reappearing as good friends, perfectly shaped after repeated telling. It's a blessing to see them gathered in print and paraded before a larger audience.
There's a reason Marioni's gatherings (and this book) are so successful. He's a perfect host and an entertaining raconteur. Difficult concepts are carefully constructed in terms his audience comprehend. Marioni's art may be challenging, but the ideas expressed are simply stated and make for great reading. His insights into the art of John Cage, with whom he interacted yearly from 1978 to 1992, when Cage would stay with Marioni and his wife Kathan Brown to explore visual art at Crown Point Press are especially moving.
People ask Marioni what a particular work is about, and as an artist he is loath to answer, knowing how easily mood can be explained away. But Marioni is also a curator, a perfect host and writer, who enjoys recalling the personages and mysteries of art. Art critic, Thomas McEvilley, who contributes an introductory essay, hails Marioni as "Northern California's foremost Conceptual artist." You'll see why after sampling this delicacy. Pull up a chair and get yourself a cool one.
John Held, Jr., San Francisco, March 2004.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Act of Drinking Beer with my Dad is the Highest Form of Art, September 10, 2007
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This review is from: Beer, Art and Philosophy (Paperback)
As a young kid, I grew up in my dad's studio. I remember various refrigerators with the "FREE BEER" sign on them and his weekly wednesday gathering of friends drinking beer in his studio or at the old San Francisco Breen's Bar on his turf corner at 3rd and Mission. Years later, I would see his refrigerator and a wall of empty anchor steam beer bottles lined up at the SFMOMA and would bring a humorous smile to my face--thinking my dad is the only person I know who could transform beer drinking into art--beer art. Although I am biased, I love my dad's work. There is always a puzzle, a natural beauty and a bit of humor in every one of his works.

My father's book takes a look at the development and history of conceptual art in the 1960's until now through his eyes and his experiences. Many of his ideas and art were very advanced for his time and are very relevant today. If you want to get another perspective on conceptual art, read my dad's book....and have a nice cold beer ready.

disclaimer: my dad did not ask me to write this :-)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cheers, September 8, 2013
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This review is from: Beer, Art and Philosophy (Paperback)
Tom Marioni writes so you can read, enjoy, ingest, digest and come back for me. An insider's guide to Conceptual Art that is relevant and fun to read.
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Beer, Art and Philosophy
Beer, Art and Philosophy by Tom Marioni (Paperback - June 2, 2004)
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