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Modern Sculpture: A Concise History (World of Art) Paperback – February 17, 1985


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Product Details

  • Series: World of Art
  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson (February 17, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500200149
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500200148
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sir Herbert Edward Read, (1893–1968) was an English anarchist poet, and critic of literature and art. He was one of the earliest English writers to take notice of existentialism, and was strongly influenced by proto-existentialist thinker Max Stirner.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By mikael paajanen on June 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
Modern Sculpture takes us through the thoughts and ideas that finnished a stagnated era and gave birth to true creativity. It is written in a clear, very understandable way... without loosing its depth of insight. Beautifully presented and with a magnificent choice of sculptures.... fantastic reading!!!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Hutchins on April 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
Though not for the uninitiated, this book offers much in the way of theoretical interpretations and background information of various facets of the modernist movement. There are many fine photos and interesting quotes from the major sculptors from 1890-1960 or so. This reads like an old British professor giving a lecture he's done a million times, and who might like to hear himself talk. That's who Sir Read was, I imagine. There's much to be gleaned from these pages.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mark Harris on June 30, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a curious book. The text is problematic. Herbert Read is an interesting figure in cultural history, but I find the historical account here sketchy and the criticism almost valueless. And I say that as someone who is not at all typically dismissive of views "out of the past." But Read makes many contentious aesthetic assertions that I find unhelpful even as spurs to thought. He has no patience for sculpture that is "about" space instead of "about" mass - but it is that tension that has defined modern sculpture, at least in large part. He comes perilously close to stating that almost all post-1950 sculpture except for the work of Henry Moore is depressing junk. (He finds tonier words to say that, of course, but still, the point of view is clear.)

Read has an annoying habit of privileging artists that he knew well personally (Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Eduardo Paolozzi) in his narrative. Moore is a great artist and it is not as if he needs any special pleading, but Read provides it anyway. It all comes across as unpleasantly clubby in the worst British sense. (From an avowed anarchist and the son of a farmer, no less!)

The illustrations are another matter. They are fascinating, but a vast number of the sculptors and pieces, especially in the second half of the volume, are referred to nowhere in the text, or at most in a list. Whoever put this edition together allowed the textual and visual sides of the book to lead separate lives.
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