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Art's Prospect: The Challenge of Tradition in an Age of Celebrity Paperback – June 30, 2004

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Kimball knows his business.... His reviews make me hungry to see what I've missed. (The Weekly Standard)

One of the ablest and most philosophically skilled critics on the current scene. (Frederick Morgan)

A trenchant and courageous critic...his positive values and his historical grasp make him far more than a mere polemicist. (John Gross)

One of the most candid and perceptive critics of American culture. (Gertrude Himmelfarb)

There is much to be learned and enjoyed in these stimulating, provocative, and elegant essays. (Paul Johnson, Bowling Green State University)

A scathing critic but one whose tirades are usually justified...his intellectual rigor is refreshing. (Catherine Saint Louis The New York Times)

Roger Kimball of the New Criterion is at it again, for which throughtful readers should be grateful. (First Things)

His positions are not always predictable but are consistently well argued. (Cybereditions Critics Series)

Witty, insightful, and inciting compilation of twenty years of art reviews.... Kimball's opinions have an appealing candor, and, delivered in a lively colloquial style, make for engaging, intelligent reading. (Art Scope)

Kimball's art reviews are lucid mini-educations in the exercise of taste. (The Tennessean)

An approach that, in many ways, I very much enjoy. (Keith Russell Artschuttlebutt.Com)

In a penetrating and often hilarious series of articles he takes on what he considers the 'hucksterism' of both artists and museum directors....Kimbell never tries to hide his stripes. The result is lively and informative. (Nancy Chaplin Kliatt)

About the Author

Roger Kimball is managing editor of the New Criterion and an art critic for the London Spectator. His other books include Lives of the Mind, Experiments Against Reality, The Long March, and Tenured Radicals. He lives in South Norwalk, Connecticut.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Ivan R. Dee (June 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566635101
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566635103
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T. Mccobb on December 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Funny and irreverent, Kimball captures prosaically what so many of us artists and art lovers often feel. The nexus between art critics, gallery owners, and celebrity has always been insidious. Kimball shows no mercy when jabbing at politically correct shibboleths in the established art economy.

Contrary to what another reviewer (I must wonder whether he actually read the book) has posted here twice, Kimball does indeed offer us guidance in how to "approach art" with one very important message: The art itself and by itself is always more important than the critic. What he does not do is genuflect before the altar of over-intellectualization and deconstruction that enthralls so many art poseurs.

Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
In an artworld where cynicism and duplicity are the norm, Kimball offers an important commentary of the lack of values that inform much of the art and art criticism today. For most critics, art need only be "challenging" to be good. Kimball clearly states the importance of craft, skill and intellectual rigour as disciplines which artists need to cultivate. Kimball's stylish prose and precise vocabulary make this a highly enjoyable read.
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Format: Hardcover
Kimball is a breath of fresh air in the world of art criticism. Also, the New Criterion, the magazine his writes for, is terrific.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read the first 16 pages of this book. It is easier to be wrong than to be right as the history of knowledge clearly shows. On Page 16 he makes this statement regarding Kuhn's book The Structure of Scientific Revolution, "This book has done an awful lot to foster happy irrationalism about science." Having read Kuhn many years ago, my recollection is entirely the opposite (regardless how others may misinterpret what he said) and that is he points out the well-known and well-described fact that people including scientists are reluctant to change their opinions. There is an enormous literature regarding the tendency everyone has to be irrational. Kuhn's book as I recall fits into that literature. What flaws the book has viewed now some 50 years later, I cannot say as I have not reread it. My impression is that experts in the philosophy of science have some serious concerns about some of his conclusions. However, my distinct recollection is that this is a book that argues for rational evidence-based science not the opposite. It is a critic of the tendency to be irrational. I can give anyone interested a long list of examples given a few days to dig out the references. Probably, a starter book to read would be Paul Meehl's, Clinical vs. Statistical Prediction, another slim book as Kimball refers to Kuhn's. Hastie and Daws, Rational Choice in an Uncertain World is another excellent examination of irrationality. For examples of what I afraid is Kimball's bent (I quit reading books that I think are distorted since I wish to avoid mental clutter, see an argument for this somewhere in Hastie and Dawes, I think.) see The Art of Deception by Nicholas Capaldi. Amos Tversky would be another person to read (who unfortunately died at the relatively young age of 59).Read more ›
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