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A Decade of Negative Thinking: Essays on Art, Politics, and Daily Life Paperback – January 25, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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  • A Decade of Negative Thinking: Essays on Art, Politics, and Daily Life
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Mira Schor reminds us that some of the best, and most eye-opening, writing on art has always been made by artists themselves. The essays in A Decade of Negative Thinking demolish countless widely held assumptions about contemporary art, and do so with a compelling blend of skepticism and passion.”—Raphael Rubinstein, author of Polychrome Profusion: Selected Art Criticism, 1990–2002


“This collection of essays by one of the most engaging writers of contemporary art critically excavates and redefines the enduring questions in aesthetics and politics with extraordinary verve and urgency.”—Gunalan Nadarajan, Vice Provost for Research, Maryland Institute College of Art

From the Back Cover

"Mira Schor reminds us that some of the best, and most eye-opening, writing on art has always been made by artists themselves. The essays in "A Decade of Negative Thinking" demolish countless widely held assumptions about contemporary art, and do so with a compelling blend of skepticism and passion."--Raphael Rubinstein, author of "Polychrome Profusion: Selected Art Criticism, 1990-2002"
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books (January 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822346028
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822346029
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #496,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Tom Knechtel on April 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a terrific follow-up to "Wet," Schor's previous collection of essays. The fact that "Wet" has been continuously in print for 13 years testifies to the originality of its thinking and the need for a voice like Schor's in the art world. "A Decade of Negative Thinking" is even better: a more focussed, personal book. Schor's writing, always elegant and accessible, ranges from very funny, as she explores the prevalence of "Trite Tropes" in current art and the viral political satire spread through the web, to deeply moving. "Blurring Richter" and "Modest Painting" are essays that truly do unite the political and the personal in ways that are unpredictable and that change the way you view contemporary art. A writer who really makes you see differently and does it with enormous style and wit: what more could one ask for? I've already given away three copies of this book to friends!
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I am always looking for books that are relevant to studio painting theory and this was perfect. As a studio artist I related to the content and was informed. I wish I was still teaching painting on the graduate level because I would assign some of these essays to my students. Schor speaks clearly and distinctly, she understands methodology and practice and how these function in tandem. She also created a dialogue between artists and since painters tend to work in isolation is welcome. Many authors don't do this probably because books on art are often written from an art historical or art critic stand point. Schor who is also a painter enables her to make the distinction which I clearly identified with. I wish there were more writers as artists rather than the voyeuristic approach that it feels others take. The essay on small paintings I especially enjoyed as the theory behind content was discussed in depth. Great Read!
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Format: Paperback
A Decade of Negative Thinking, Mira Schor

P. Brown, Brooklyn, NY

I loved this book of essays by Mira Schor. She has an engaging, witty way of weaving personal observations and anecdotes into her writing. Not only is this book full of brilliant insights and intelligent ideas, it is enjoyable to read.

Schor covers a variety of subjects--feminism, politics, and art--treating them all with originality and humor. One hilarious segment offers like-minded liberals a fresh perspective on the inglorious years of the Bush administration. Descriptions of parodies from television, YouTube, and emails satirize the times with a light touch, allowing the reader to visualize the situations and appreciate the jokes.

As a painter, I am attracted to Schor's ideas about the current art world and some of its absurdities. I am validated by her intelligent, well-documented arguments supporting "Modest Painting," that is, paint-on-canvas art. Another wonderful essay is "Weather Conditions In Lower Manhattan," written after 9/11. It describes the tragic occurrence on that day and the following weeks from Schor's point of view and is a compelling and moving essay--a classic worth treasuring as a remembrance.

Even the footnotes throughout the book provide an abundance of fascinating information and make good reading in themselves.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in contemporary life and art!
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