- Series: Speak Series
- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Abbeville Press; Second edition (August 1, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0789203650
- ISBN-13: 978-0789203656
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 24 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,589,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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ArtSpeak : A Guide to Contemporary Ideas, Movements, and Buzzwords, 1945 to the Present (Speak Series) Paperback – August 1, 1997
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About the Author
Robert Atkins is editor-in-chief of the Arts Technology Entertainment Network and is also producer-editor of TalkBack!: A Forum for Critical Discourse, the first American journal about online art and electronic culture.
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As someone who works multidisciplinarily, this work provides a quick resource to make sure I am using any artistic concept accurately. On the rare occasions when I am still unsure if I am being true to the ideas, there are sufficient cross-references for use either within the book or as a jumping point for further research.
Reviewed from an ARC made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
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.