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on February 14, 2009
Through Sarah Thornton's eyes I got a view into the art world I couldn't hope to get on my own. She shows great restraint in stating directly the complete vacuousness of so many aspects of the contemporary art world and it's history. Thornton tracks the influence of big money, ego, and hazy modernist ideology from the top down and back up again. I do wish Thornton could have played devil's advocate more often. Had Thornton contrasted the basic functions of art - the same throughout history and in the popular arts - to the contemporary art world, her book would have been more revealing as to how distanced this world is from the past and from us - us non-millionaires and non-artist wannabees.
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on February 9, 2010
Artists at the turn of the 20th century sought to break with institutional art, the salons, the royal academies etc.

Contemporary art has erased that struggle and only seeks to please the powers that be thus banalizing it even more.

Sarah Thornton's research confirms these facts in a very profound way. Her straight forward way of looking at the subject matter cuts through all the BS.

I highly recommend this book to those artists who don't understand what this modern art world is all about and want to know.
Be warned, you might feel sick afterwards...
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I think if I read this book on its own I'd maybe have impacted me more. The problem was I read it after I had just read the "$12 Million Stuffed Shark" by Don Thompson. Sadly, Sarah Thornton's "Seven Days In The Art World" doesn't come anywhere close to matching Thompson's tome on contemporary art.

I actually found a couple of Thornton's chapters virtually unreadable and beyond boring especially the one on the Crit about an art school. Mainly I found the ground covered on art fairs, auctions and the entire business of art far more readable yet still lacking when compared to the Thompson book.

Having lived in Japan for decades I was curious about Murakami so the chapter on his process in making art was cool yet also never felt like I got any closer to the man. I think the main problem with Thornton's writing is she doesn't really do much beyond reportage really. I never felt I got a feel for any of the people profiled as I did when reading the Thompson book.
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on December 13, 2014
What could well have been a fascinating read (published in 2007) lost all credibility in the first chapter when Sarah Thornton writes about a night at a Christie's art auction. The writer aims to explore how a high-level auction affects the lives of art and all those who try to earn money from it. Yet not one word about the 2000 price-fxing scandal that Christie's and Sotheby's colluded in. How can anyone possibly try to explain the context of the art market without writing about one of its few seminal moments in the past generation. She is either a cowardly writer or out of touch with the meaning of the word "context."
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on October 19, 2011
Very informative book. Well written, the author describes the Art World effectively. It's like being in this exclusive circle and knowing all its secrets! I recommend very much.
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on June 29, 2015
A delightful read which makes me want to travel and see the many places that Thornton has visited.
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on May 29, 2009
Sarah Thornton has a gift that anyone entering the art world needs...A Bullsh-t detector...Buy this book...
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on July 11, 2014
Interesting at times, other times boring.
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