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Seven Days in the Art World (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 7. September 2009

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'Parachutes the reader into the real nitty-gritty of how it all works - openings, dealers, artists, prizes, auctions et al. Reading this book is like having your own spy in the art world' Alan Yentob 'A thorough insight into the contemporary art world through seven fascinating stories ... a must-have for all art buffs' Tatler 'Curators and dealers provide the insider info and often the laughs, as the closed world of art is systematically demystified' Dazed and Confused 'An excellent, vivid, wittily written book - the characters are tightly drawn, the events covered are important, and the aphorisms come thick and fast - I'm hoping for a second volume' Sunday Times 'A lively, compulsive and splendidly gossipy manual' The Times 'Fascinating, not least because while she was researching and writing, it must have seemed like an insider's view of a world that would last forever. The book may now stand as its memorial' Art Quarterly 'A coherent account that's informative and entertaining - for a casual overview of how the international art scene operate, in all its ruthless eccentric, spectacular glory, Seven Days in the Art World is hard to beat' Jewish Quarterly


Shares observations about the subculture of contemporary art, in a narrative that tours such arenas as a Christie's auction and the Basel Art Fair to reveal how art has become an entertainment venue, luxury commodity, and lifestyle choice. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe.

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81 von 84 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Being "in" isn't the same as being "insightful." 21. November 2011
Von REC - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I asked two people about this book before reading it. A woman who worked at Sotheby's said it amounts to gossipy beach reading for a future gallery intern. The other, who is an arts journalist herself, said it was great.

It certainly offers a snapshot overview of key practices within the art world. However, the author lacks any sense of analytical distance that could offer true insight, this coupled with a tinge of self-absorption that lets the reader know just how "in" she actually is, when that doesn't really need to be a subject. (For example, she refers to Robert Storr, previous director of the Museum of Modern Art, as "Rob" Storr" and then waxes poetic about how much she enjoyed swimming in an exclusive pool at a 5 star hotel in Venice.)

The book concludes with her explanation of "ethnography" and her chosen research methods, which seems to lend academic authority to the work, yet remains unconvincing. The book is basically thrilling tale of the lives of precious elites who are extremely interesting and beyond the reach of plebs like you (but not her).

However, as a practicing artist in NYC, I found aspects of the book that treated the artist's side of art world disappointing. For example, I've been through and conducted many an academic critique. Thorton's treatment of the art critique hardly deals with the art at all or what was said about it, and simply narrates in detail the mood of the room, how people shuffle about, etc. I guess the crit she visited was simply that boring, but I've been in many when people breakdown, some cry, some argue, get nasty and go into hysterics. Her crit was dull.

Another chapter, the most disappointing, was the "the studio visit." Her single visit was with Takashi Murakami, whose studio practice so radically different from almost any other artist on earth it's essentially irrelevant "ethnographically." One quote claims Murakami's operation makes Warhol's Factory look like a lemonade stand. He employs dozens of people on two continents and travels so much he rid himself of an actual home. Fascinating, yes. Helpful for understanding how studio visits function within professional art practices, not at all. If you want to know what studio visits are like, this chapter will be misleading.

I recommend the book as being entertaining and mostly informative, yet the author mistakes being "in" with being "insightful" and the reader should keep this in mind.
108 von 114 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Fantastic Read 31. Oktober 2008
Von D. Moulton - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Sarah Thornton's book offers an attentive, ethnographic eye to art, artists, and the world in which they exist. She writes clearly and with great attention to detail not only to the art, but the people and super-sized personalities that they house. This and her access to many of the major art events in the world (Basel etc.) kept me turning to the next page.

At one point I was a little wary of her comparisons of art to a sort of religion for some (thought it was overstated), but her arguments are strong and persuasive and she's definitely changed my mind. Also, the reader doesn't finish this book with a full understanding why some art is valued as much as it is. (But honestly, I didn't expect this. That's an answer we may never have.)

All-in-all, I have to agree with the Publisher's Weekly review above on auctions and the book as a whole. Thornton truly offers an "...elegant, evocative, sardonic view into some of the art world's most prestigious institutions."

$12 Million Stuffed Shark was the book that started this whole art book kick I'm currently on and I had to know more about the hidden quirkiness of this ever-growing area of interest. This was the next must-have on my list and I wasn't let down.
Highly recommended.
58 von 62 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Excellent guide to today's wacky art world 26. November 2008
Von S. McGee - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
This is, hands-down, the single best guide for outsiders to the inner life of the art world, from the fledgling artists hoping to make their mark to the affluent collectors and the dealers, curators and advisors who surround them.
Her structure is carefully chosen and works beautifully -- breaking the art world down into seven parts, each devoted to a specific group or dimension (the auction, the studio visit, the art fair, etc.), she sheds light on the characters and issues that arise in the context of each. There is enough overlap to make this structure function -- for instance, we encounter gallerists Jeff Poe and Tim Blum first at ArtBasel, then rejoin them as part of her chapter on visiting Takashi Murakami's studio(s), where Poe and Blum discuss an upcoming retrospective with the artist and museum curators. To me, the most intriguing and enlightening part of this structure was the way it shifted, from one chapter to the next, from a view of the art from the outside (the perspective of the collector or the critic, say) to the inside (the creative process itself.) So, a chapter about the "crit" process at CalArts is followed immediately by one about the vast artworld schmoozefest that is ArtBasel (with the NetJets booth and the omnipresent champagne).
Thornton has an eye for that kind of telling detail that only the best journalists possess and a knack for knowing (most of the time) how to use it best. For instance, in the studio visit chapter, she spots the passports of Blum and Poe are crammed full of visas and entry and exit stamps -- not just a random observation but one that reflects the global nature of the art market itself, which requires its participants to dash from visiting a collector in Russia to an art fair in London and on to visit a studio in Beijing. The only downside of this "ethnographic" approach is that sometimes the details that she observes and includes as a result of this feel less useful -- we don't care how heavy her handbag begins to feel at ArtBasel, or how the Japanese car drivers in Toyama jump to open doors for visitors so that no fingerprint mars the shine on the car.
I've attended a number of Christie's auctions, stuffed into the uncomfortable press section that Thornton describes so accurately, and watched the bidding process. Reading this section, I felt as if I were back there again, experiencing the moments of boredom and tension that she chronicles so compellingly. There is no disconnect between my experience and her portrayal of it -- just additional level of background detail that I had never appreciated before (such as the fact that Christopher Burge has nightmares of being caught naked or without his sale "book" in front of an audience of a thousand angry would-be bidders).
The only area in which Thornton fails to deliver is describing the creative process itself in a way that the average reader will find comprehensible and compelling. But that, I suspect, is as much due to the inherent difficulty of discussing a visual art in words -- certainly, the young art students she profiles struggle as much themselves to do just this.
What impressed me the most -- in addition to the high level of reporting and writing -- was Thornton's ability to weave a path through all the politics and ego that fills the art market (and makes comparable nonsense on Wall Street and in Washington look like child's play in comparison...) Even as she chronicles the auction scene, she doesn't get caught up in the buzz and excitement or fall victim to the too-easy trap of criticizing people for being willing to pay outrageous sums for works of art. She addresses those concerns, most effectively in an anecdote where one collector, charged with selling her parents' immense collection to create a charitable foundation, muses on the auction process: "It's been a real loss of innocence... When you think of all the good that money could do... Nobody in the auction room thinks about that." But Thornton doesn't dwell on that, any more than she succumbs to the gushing that is all too often part of the art market. It's an admirably balanced portrayal.
All in all, a tour de force.
Anyone looking for more insider-y glimpses of the art world might turn to Collecting Contemporary, by a major collector, or to a novel penned by the wife of a hedge fund manager who is a force of sorts in the New York art scene: Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him.
24 von 26 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A Week of Art 6. November 2008
Von Christian Schlect - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Those interested in entering the frenetic international art world, or simply interested in its current goings on, should buy and read Sarah Thornton's book.

It coupled with "The $12 Million Stuffed Shark" by Don Thompson would be a great two volume present for any aspiring artist, museum curator, or art-gallery owner of your acquaintance.

Ms. Thornton has a good ear for dialogue and a sharp eye for the telling detail. She, while quite capable of the pointed comment, is obviously fond of most of the various people who derive their living from art at the edge and is quite respectful of their work.

(I personally would much rather possess one of J.M.W. Turner's paintings rather than any two of the art works by recent Turner Prize contestants. The Turner Prize contest being described on one of the seven days referred to in this book's title and named for the great English painter of seascapes.)
18 von 22 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Hmmm, interesting, but, it's not a hen 9. März 2010
Von Dr. Green - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
I'm of two minds with this one. On the one hand, I'm glad someone's done it; harangue the art market (if that's what you want to call it) in their own ecosystem. In retrospect however, the effort lacked either (or both) objectivity and personal judgement. If anything, it appears Thornton was swallowed by the mesmerizing beast of the art market, and taken to its lair for re-education. Where is the feeling of the hunt? Where is the aftermath of conflict? Even sarcasm or beat writing would have made it more interesting. On the other hand, Thornton didn't appear to be distanced enough from her subject to capture serious data, and thereby extending academic knowledge. It appears as if she couldn't make up her mind which of the flies on the wall to be. If it weren't a book, it would pair well with an east coast USA Martha Stewart type magazine; but as it is, I found it to be a story minus a bit of story telling.
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