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Keeping an Eye Open: Essays on Art by Julian…
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Keeping an Eye Open: Essays on Art (original 2015; edition 2015)

by Julian Barnes (Author)

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1444122,152 (3.68)2
Member:grunin
Title:Keeping an Eye Open: Essays on Art
Authors:Julian Barnes (Author)
Info:Vintage (2015), 288 pages
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Keeping an Eye Open: Essays on Art by Julian Barnes (2015)

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I was so disappointed. I found it hard to concentrate. Many of the paintings he talked about were not illustrated. Sigh! I found it time consuming to find the paintings. ( )
  mahallett | Mar 25, 2017 |
This book is an absolute joy!

Julian Barnes teaches by example how to appreciate art far beyond the confines of aesthetics or academic rigour. His studies of the artists reveal much about the art he discusses and illustrates the context in which these pieces were created. While this approach is not unorthodox for art historians, it is a lovely read for those not in the discipline and who want to better develop their analytical and appreciate eye for the art that surrounds. ( )
1 vote jordsly | Dec 3, 2015 |
The pleasure of reading Julian Barnes has become greater and greater as I've come to appreciate not only his perceptiveness but how he uses words to express his experiences. Revisiting such artwork as 'Medusa' all this time later, finding even more to it that amazes and delights is revelation that expands in the way that arguably both the visual arts and the art of writing does at its best. The metaphor settled on me gently, that writing fiction is a comparable process. Barnes outlines the choices the artist could have made but wisely avoided and that in so doing made the piece stronger. It was amusing to see Barnes later attack the Gods of contemporary art such as Koons, but understandable given his premise about what lasts and what makes one feel educated by art. Thought provoking and rewarding read. ( )
2 vote a_forester | Aug 10, 2015 |
A selection of essays that Julian Barnes has written over the years, mostly on French painters. Engagingly written and introduced me to new artists, and cured me of overfamiliarity of others. The UK edition at least is handsomely produced on quality paper with good reproductions, though I would certainly have liked to see more of the pictures the text refers to. ( )
2 vote rrmmff2000 | Jun 18, 2015 |
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"An extraordinary collection-- hawk-eyed and understanding-- from the Booker Prize-winning, best-selling author of The Sense of an Ending and Levels of Life. As Julian Barnes explains: "Flaubert believed that ... great paintings required no words of explanation. Braque thought the ideal state would be reached when we said nothing at all in front of a painting ... But it is a rare picture that stuns, or argues, us into silence. And if one does, it is only a short time before we want to explain and understand the very silence into which we have been plunged." This is the exact dynamic that informs his new book. Barnes, in his 1989 novel A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters, had a chapter on Gericault's The Raft of the Medusa, and since then he has written about many great masters of nineteenth- and twentieth-century art, including Delacroix, Manet, Fantin-Latour, Cezanne, Degas, Redon, Bonnard, Vuillard, Vallotton, Braque, Magritte, Oldenburg, Howard Hodgkin, and Lucian Freud. The seventeen essays gathered here are adroit, insightful and, above all, a true pleasure to read "--… (more)

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