Thursday, 28 July 2016

100 Ideas That Changed Art

100 Ideas That Changed Art
100 Ideas That Changed Art, by Michael Bird, is part of Laurence King's 100 Ideas That Changed... series. Other titles include Advertising, Photography, Film, Architecture, and Graphic Design. Every book in the series has the same format: 100 chapters, each with a single-page essay and a full-page illustration.

The book's 100 ideas include various forms of art (frescoes, mosaics, printmaking, photography, performance), artistic media (clay, stained glass, oil, watercolour), and traditional classifications (still life, portrait, landscape). The chapters on technical aspects - such as frames, canvas, welding, and plastics - are the most interesting, as (unlike the other subjects) they rarely feature in conventional art histories.

The chapters are organised by theme, rather than as a series of 'isms': "I tried... to get rid of every single 'ism', although one or two resisted paraphrase to the bitter end." As the author recognises, each chapter is a capsule summary of a vast subject: "each idea has its own distinct history in art. Many of them have been the subject of books in their own right", though unfortunately (unlike the other 100 Ideas... titles) there is no bibliography.

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