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Seven Days in the Art World Hardcover – Oct 28 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. The hot, hip contemporary art world, argues sociologist Thornton, is a cluster of intermingling subcultures unified by the belief, whether genuine or feigned, that nothing is more important than the art itself. It is a conviction, she asserts, that has transformed contemporary art into a kind of alternative religion for atheists. Thornton, a contributor to Artforum.com and the New Yorker, presents an astute and often entertaining ethnography of this status-driven world. Each of the seven chapters is a keenly observed profile of that world's highest echelons: a Christie's auction, a crit session at the California Institute of the Arts and the Art Basel art fair. The chapter on auctions (where one auction-goer explains, [I]t's dangerous to wear Prada.... You might get caught in the same outfit as three members of Christie's staff) is one of the book's strongest; the author's conversations about the role of the art critic with Artforum editor-in-chief Tim Griffin and the New Yorker's Peter Schjeldahl are edifying. Thornton offers an elegant, evocative, sardonic view into some of the art world's most prestigious institutions. 8 illus. (Nov.)
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“Starred Review. ...Thornton, a contributor to and the , presents an astute and often entertaining ethnography of this status-driven world. ... Thornton offers an elegant, evocative, sardonic view into some of the art world's most prestigious institutions.”See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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...
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.
Most recent customer reviews
A delightful read which makes me want to travel and see the many places that Thornton has visited.Published 13 months ago by Harbinger
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. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Mike Levin