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In the Making: Creative Options for Contemporary Art Paperback – July 2, 2003

3.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The book's strength is its insightful, accessible approach to each artist's work. -- Modern Painter

About the Author

Linda Weintraub, Henry Luce Professor of Emerging Arts at Oberlin College, is the author of Art on the Edge and Over: Searching for Art's Meaning in Contemporary Society. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 415 pages
  • Publisher: D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc.; 1st edition (July 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891024590
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891024597
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 8.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Now, I've never written a review on Amazon before, but, then again, I've never felt so passionately about a book before.

I'm being forced to read this book for a class and I'm finding it incredibly torturous. Despite that, I'm going to struggle to keep my emotions out of this review.

The Preface of this book begins with questions:

"Why am I an artist? Who is my audience? How can I communicate with this audience? What is art's function in society?"

As a fledgling artist myself I have found myself asking these questions often. I know that there are no answers and I didn't expect this book to provide any. But I thought this book would at least probe and examine these questions. I had my hopes up that this thick text would provide some meaningful insights that would expand my knowledge, change my perspectives, and maybe even tell me how flat-out wrong some of my assumptions are.

Boy, was I disappointed.

Past the introduction, Weintraub, the author, ceases to ask anything. In fact, there is hardly any investigation into any of these questions period.

There is no critical thinking. There are no references to contemporary theorists or philosophers. Instead, the book is composed entirely of articles about contemporary artists who are meant to illustrate various strategies for tackling these problems. For example, to answer the question "who is my audience?" there is an article about Thomas Kinkade as an example of someone who makes "art-for-all."

But once you start reading the articles, the questions fly out the window. Instead, each article reads like an extended press release. The artists' works are written about in superlative, round-about ways.
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Format: Paperback
I think this would be an excellent resource for any artist, especially as a classroom tool (textbook?) TONS of color pictures!! While this book is basically an overview of contemporary artists it takes an interesting form in that it breaks the artists up into 5 'groups' (chapters.) Each artist is looked at in terms of their own oeuvre but also in relation to whatever category they have been placed in. Categories include: "Measuring Success" "Sourcing Inspiration" "Choosing a Mission" "Scoping an Audience" etc. Despite how 'buisness oriented' these topics sound, they are very poignant for contemporary artists, as Weintraub demonstrates. It has a great variety of artists, mediums and styles and a very good representation of women and minority artists. The writing is easy to understand and although there is a lack of heavy critique in this book, it still manages to present challenges: The artists themselves pose questions and challenges both through the interviews and through their work.
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Format: Paperback
I haven't written a review on amazon before, but want to do one now after reading the negative response above.
For me, this book is an incredibly insightful and inspirational read. It shows tons of different approaches to art, not in a didactic manner or 'how-to'way but simply by showing what different bodies of work are about, and how they function. Questions such as 'for how large an audience should you want to be working' are answered not by giving a figure but by showing various possible relations an artist can have with his or her audiences and how the nature of the relationship they choose to build affects their work.
the essays are short, but long enough to get to the point.Each essay can be seen both as a case study for aspiring artists and as an introduction into contemporary practice for any interested reader. There are a lots of good fullcolor photograps added to the text.
The small interviews printed next to the essays hold a lot of insightful information on the more practical side of being an artist - for instance how important do you perceive your location to be, how is your income built up and so on (these interviews take up a lot less space). Totally recommended, i don't know of any book quite like this. I go through it very often.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book outlines different approaches to art-making by sorting various makers by technique and methodology. Rather than becoming a stale catalog that oversimplifies through categorization, Weintraub curates this book with grace and skill so that it reflects diversity and scope of intentions in contemporary art-making practices. I would recommend this book as an interpretive tool for non-makers ,an exploration for emerging makers, and a reflection manual for those with a cultivated making practice.
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Format: Paperback
This is an impressive introductory survey of where contemporary art is today, and gives a fair account of the myriad options open to young artists. It's easy to understand, beautifully designed, affordable, and up-to-the-minute. As a studio art teacher, I consider this book a great teaching tool. Whereas most college-level art classes are still teaching traditional art-making, this book advocates for a poly-artistic approach more in keeping with the media age. It should be used in all Foundations classes, as well as higher level classes.
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