Tuesday, 6 October 2015

30,000 Years Of Art

30,000 Years Of Art
The Physical Impossibility Of Death In The Mind Of Someone Living
30,000 Years Of Art: The Story Of Human Creativity Across Time & Space, published by Phaidon in 2007, featured 1,000 artworks from cave paintings to conceptual art. Each work was illustrated by a full-page, colour photograph, and accompanied by a few paragraphs of explanatory text. Other Phaidon books based on the same format include The Art Book, The Photography Book, The Design Book, The Pot Book, and The 20th Century Art Book.

The second edition of 30,000 Years Of Art, published this week, includes an additional twenty-five contemporary artworks, thus it has better coverage of the 1990s and 2000s. (Damien Hirst's iconic shark, The Physical Impossibility Of Death In The Mind Of Someone Living, is one of the additions.) However, almost 400 entries have been removed from the new edition, leaving a new total of 600 works. With its bright yellow cover, it resembles a slightly smaller volume of Phaidon Design Classics.

Phaidon's The Art Museum and Art In Time are also profusely illustrated art surveys. The Story Of Art (by EH Gombrich; also published by Phaidon), A World History Of Art (by John Fleming and Hugh Honour), and Art Through The Ages (by Helen Gardner) are the best single-volume art histories.

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