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Seven Days in the Art World Hardcover – Oct 28 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: WW Norton (Oct. 28 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039306722X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393067224
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #277,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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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Review

“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.”

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4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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By Brian Maitland TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 25 2011
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Hardcover
Sarah Thornton has a gift that anyone entering the art world needs...A Bullsh-t detector...Buy this book...
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