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Tidying Up Art Hardcover – November 1, 2003
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Oh yes, we enjoyed it ourselves, too. We keep it on the coffee table to amuse our guests while we are mixing drinks or stirring the pot in the kitchen. Everyone loves it.
Mondrain, Klee, Picasso, Heering and Lichenstein all get fascinating tidy versions and the Van Gogh (see the book cover above) is another winner. I was though, expecting to see many more like the Van Gogh, that is keeping the basic painting and moving objects within it. Too many of the examples are just moving one or two items, like the three apples in Magritte's 'Young love', placed in a triangular shape in the original with Wehrli's version just having the apples in a straight line. Why are there no examples of tidy sculpture?
'Tidying up art' is a great idea and the book is well printed and designed but I wish there were lots more examples of Wehrli's creative fun. Maybe a second edition is on the way.
***FOR AN INSIDE LOOK click 'customer images' under the cover.
The cover shows one of these comparisons. On the left is Van Gogh's painting of his bedroom in Arles. (It seems quite neat & tidy to me.) The bed is made, with the pillows neatly arranged. The few pieces of furniture are all placed against the walls. Clothing is hung up on hooks. The picture on the right shows Wehrli's "tidy" version, with the chairs & pictures stacked upon the bed & the clothing shoved underneath the bed--the out of sight & out of mind approach to housekeeping.
Rating = A few nudes (pp.10, 11, 28). No graphic violence. No bad language. Suitable for anyone who can take a joke about serious art.
P.S. Don't look for Ursus Wehrli in The Books that Shaped Art History: From Gombrich and Greenberg to Alpers and Krauss. However, Wehrli's 17-minute presentation about THIS book is available on YouTube.
Most recent customer reviews
i know it will cheer me up in the future