- Gebundene Ausgabe: 240 Seiten
- Verlag: Phaidon; Auflage: 1 (14. Oktober 2013)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0714865915
- ISBN-13: 978-0714865911
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 21,6 x 2,5 x 27,9 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 2 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 15.687 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Art as Therapy (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 14. Oktober 2013
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A captivating, uncomplicated read that challenges how artists, dealers, and particularly, art museums do business, and anyone who cares about art should get a copy. ""The Denver Post"""
When I read through "Art as Therapy", paintings that I had long admired suddenly became new when seen through the filter of self awareness and exploration. Really a gem of a book. "Goop""
Bountiful food for thought here, elegantly phrased and finely illustrated. ""The Seattle Times"""
A profoundly refreshing and heterodox approach to art. . . "Art as Therapy" upend[s] the art world's self-referential culture [and] boldly positions art at the center of our daily lives. ""Publishers Weekly"""
"One of the most intellectually exciting books I have read this year. . . full of illumination and insights. . . The four teenagers to whom I gave the book have all been thrilled by the sense that art isn't the preserve of high priests. Best of all, I took my student son to the Rijksmuseum and, utterly absorbed, he said he would never look at art the same way again. De Botton is throwing open a door and doing what art ought to do: making us think and feel afresh. I hope many people step through it." - The Times
"A highly optimistic vision. . .roams widely through subjects as immense as love, nature, money and politics. De Botton and Armstrong's examination of love is most rewarding." - Royal Academy of Arts
"Asking the questions that always swirl through your mind when striding around Tate Modern. . . "Art as Therapy" massages the mind in all the right places." - Vanity Fair on Art
"It's like going back to college, but in a good way. . . A little bit like dipping in to a modern day Gombrich albeit through the eyes of Oprah. . . A really entertaining and thought‐provoking look at the role that art plays - or could play - in our lives. . . Part philosophy, part art history, the book takes work that is considered by many to be lofty and rarified, and relates it to our everyday lives. ["Art as Therapy"] makes the reader consider the work far more intensely and deeply than perhaps we otherwise would." - A Little Bird
"A true meditation on the power art has to transform our lives." - The Mayfair Magazine
"The beautifully designed and illustrated book, "Art as Therapy" argues for a new way of using art to help us with a variety of psychological ills." - The School of Life
"One of the most intellectually exciting books I have read this year. . . full of illumination and insights. . . The four teenagers to whom I gave the book have all been thrilled by the sense that art isn t the preserve of high priests. Best of all, I took my student son to the Rijksmuseum and, utterly absorbed, he said he would never look at art the same way again. De Botton is throwing open a door and doing what art ought to do: making us think and feel afresh. I hope many people step through it." The Times
"A highly optimistic vision. . .roams widely through subjects as immense as love, nature, money and politics. De Botton and Armstrong's examination of love is most rewarding." Royal Academy of Arts
"Asking the questions that always swirl through your mind when striding around Tate Modern. . . "Art as Therapy" massages the mind in all the right places." Vanity Fair on Art
"It s like going back to college, but in a good way. . . A little bit like dipping in to a modern day Gombrich albeit through the eyes of Oprah. . . A really entertaining and thought‐provoking look at the role that art plays or could play in our lives. . . Part philosophy, part art history, the book takes work that is considered by many to be lofty and rarified, and relates it to our everyday lives. ["Art as Therapy"] makes the reader consider the work far more intensely and deeply than perhaps we otherwise would." A Little Bird
"A true meditation on the power art has to transform our lives." The Mayfair Magazine
"The beautifully designed and illustrated book, "Art as Therapy" argues for a new way of using art to help us with a variety of psychological ills." The School of Life"
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Alain de Botton (b.1969) is the author of bestselling books in more than 30 countries, including The Consolations of Philosophy, How Proust Can Change Your Life, Status Anxiety, and, most recently, Religion for Atheists. He founded the School of Life in London in 2008, which supplies good ideas for everyday life in the form of courses, classes, workshops and talks. John Armstrong (b.1966) is a British philosopher and art historian based at Melbourne University. He is the author of five well-received books, including The Intimate Philosophy of Art, Conditions of Love: The Philosophy of Intimacy, and In Search of Civilisation: Remaking a Tarnished Idea.
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I can recommend this to artists, art historians and anyone who just loves to look at art.
I saw it and just had to have it.
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But that's when the book's analysis started falling apart for me, since that's where de Botton moves away from an understanding and awareness that the relationship between a person and an individual piece of art is always going to be just that: individual. Especially when we're talking about "art as therapy". The way I respond to Monet's Giverny paintings may be the way that someone else reacts to, say, a Vermeer interior, or a Ming vase -- or even something utterly unexpected, like a vibrant Kandinsky. de Botton, in contrast, implies that there is a way we as a society can somehow guide a viewer to have a certain kind of epiphany by looking at a certain kind of work of art. I'm with de Botton in suggesting that that kind of visceral, thoughtful, emotional reaction occurs -- and should be encouraged -- but part ways with him in suggesting that we, as a society, should somehow be guiding people as to what they should be thinking in response to certain works of art by showcasing them in galleries devoted to kinds of emotions (loss, friendship, etc.), commissioning work to help us understand grief, etc.
Consider one example that de Botton offers up: that of the central panel of a 15th century triptych that once belonged to Isabella of Castile. It features Jesus, resurrected, visiting the Virgin Mary. Clearly, it makes less intuitive sense to our secular society, even that part of it with a Christian tradition, so some kind of explanatory context broader than the one de Botton cites as hanging beside it is called for. But the one he suggests strikes me as slightly ridiculous. de Botton's ideal explanation would include none of the information or context: it wouldn't describe what the scene represents, include any historical information (artist, ownership), and instead would simply tell us that it's about a mother/son relationship, about reunion against the odds, however fleeting. "The picture makes the claim that such moments of return (and of survival), though fleeting and rare, are crucially important in life. It wants men to understand -- and call their mothers." I'm not suggesting that the original label is sublime, but de Botton's alternative strikes me as fairly ridiculous. I think that is certainly one kind of epiphany that someone standing in front of a painting like that and engaging with it could have -- but not one that they should be instructed to have. And therein lies the problem with the book, in my view.
Another of the problems is de Botton's misunderstanding/misreading of the art market. I tend to agree with some of his assessments, for instance that the pendulum may have swung too far in the direction of deferring to artists in the determination of what becomes art. But the idea that "we abandon to chance the hope that our key needs will be covered by the unstructured and mysterious inspiration of artists" is simplistic in the extreme. There's this little thing called the market. If artists aren't creating things that buyers can respond to, those objects won't sell. There are plenty of starving artists out there, still. Gallerists, art consultants, artists can all push as hard as they want (and they do...) but they also get a lot of push back from the folks with the money -- the collectors.
The patron doesn't need to be able to "direct" the art in order to determine the outcome, as de Botton suggests. He or she simply can keep their wallet shut unless and until they identify a a piece that they respond to. (Alternatively, they can find an artist whose work they admire and, yes, commission a specific piece: it happens quite frequently, contrary to de Botton's assertion, although more on a one-to-one basis than on a societal basis...) Nor, I'd suggest, is it always desirable that we do direct art as a society, as de Botton so glibly suggests might be wise. Yes, the Catholic church created some great art, along with the Inquisition, but great art was born in rejection of it, too. And more great art was born in opposition to the agendas of those who tried to "shape" art in the name of the totalitarian agendas of the 20th century than ever was created by its state sponsors. Do we really want to go down that road? And if we did, what suggests that we would end up with anything more than what we already have as popular culture?
Repeatedly, de Botton misunderstands the art market: he argues that people buy art solely because of the "brand name". That may be so for some collectors, but almost invariably, if you talk to collectors (as I've done, as a journalist writing about the topic) they have a tremendous passion for certain artists and kinds of work (like hedge fund manager Dave Ganek and photography). Similarly, there are big brand names whose works the biggest galleries and auction houses struggle to shift: I've seen gloomy works by Lucian Freud remain unsold at high-profile auctions. Regardless of how big the brand, there are some things nobody wants in their homes. Again, there's that pesky personal connection that trumps everything.
The idea that art can serve an analytical purpose, while hardly new, is well articulated and developed with panache here. I'm all in favor of getting more people in favor of great works of art, to that end -- and getting them to think about what it is that they're seeing and finding a way to capture their emotional response to it. But I don't think that de Botton's tactics, as explained here, will achieve what he states is his goal.
It's easy to chortle at the silliness and posturing of the art market and occasional excesses at the contemporary end of that market (which is what a lot of de Botton's specific criticisms are aimed at when it comes to art creation; I don't see him really arguing that Rembrandt, Velazquez, Manet, etc. aren't great and that we should be dethroning them in favor of artists now viewed as third-tier names), but he's making serious proposals, too. In their own way, they are just as excessive as what he is criticizing, but they have an additional downside. If someone is introduced to a painting and TOLD that this they should be responding to it in a specific way, instead of simply being invited to respond to it, how is that an improvement on today's art world environment?
2.5 stars: The analysis is worth about 1.5 stars, but the plates and images definitely make the book worth looking at! Still, I'm glad my copy came from the library and will go back there.