What do we mean when we talk about 'Modern Art'? Why do we love it or hate it? Will Gompertz takes readers on a fascinating tour which will change their concept of modern art for ever.
From Monet’s water-lilies to Van Gogh’s sun-flowers, from Warhol’s tin of Campbell’s soup to Damien Hirst’s shark, the author tells the stories hidden behind each masterpiece, revealing the lives and also unknown aspects of famous artists, sometimes through imaginary dialogues. Thus Manet encounters Cézanne, Monet talks to Degas, and Matisse has an argument with Picasso¿
If we read the book, we discover that Conceptual Art is not just rubbish, Picasso is a genius (but Cézanne is even brighter), Pollock is not only about drip painting, Cubism involves no cubes at all, Duchamp’s urinal changed the course of art and that a child aged 5 could not have executed it.
Refreshing, irreverent and always frank, he goes beyond the pretentious language of art and answers all the questions that the reader would normally be too embarrassed to ask. When you’ve read this book, visits to museums and galleries will no longer be an embarrassing experience.
The author synthesizes his history of art using a map of the London Underground where he has replaced the names of the stations with the artistic trends and the artists which belong to the various periods. Since it is located inside the cover of the book, you can cut it out and keep it in your pocket, so that the essential information about art is always with you when you need it.
A fundamental read, not only for art lovers but also for people who neither appreciate it nor love it but would like to begin to understand it.