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ArtSpoke: A Guide to Modern Ideas,…

ArtSpoke: A Guide to Modern Ideas, Movements, and Buzzwords, 1848-1944 (edition 1993)

by Robert Atkins

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257444,496 (3.5)1
Title:ArtSpoke: A Guide to Modern Ideas, Movements, and Buzzwords, 1848-1944
Authors:Robert Atkins
Info:Abbeville Press (1993), Edition: 1st, Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Art History, Purchase

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ArtSpeak : A Guide to Contemporary Ideas, Movements, and Buzzwords, 1945 to the Present (Speak Series) by Robert Atkins



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This is an essential reference for anyone interested in art and art history, from experts to the casual museum goer. The work starts with a timeline which includes both art and global events. This is a wonderful way to contextualize movements, artists and concepts. This is followed by an alphabetical listings of key terms with succinct explanations and examples.

As someone who works multidisciplinarily, this work provides a quick resource to make sure I am using any artistic concept accurately. On the rare occasions when I am still unsure if I am being true to the ideas, there are sufficient cross-references for use either within the book or as a jumping point for further research.

Reviewed from an ARC made available by the publisher via NetGalley. ( )
  pomo58 | Jun 2, 2015 |
All art can be classified into a style. This is because artists, dealers, collectors and curators love to put works of art into easy to describe buckets. For anyone interested in keeping up with the ever swelling list, Artspeak is an excellent reference. There are 146 entries, twice as many as the first edition, if that tells you anything about how busy the classifiers are.

Art seems to love democratizing and splitting into ever finer categories. In addition to the broad divisions of style, there are techniques, countries, eras, races, genders and politics. Buzzwords abound (and are defined, thankfully). Content has also become key. Examples are AIDS art, Action art, space art and computer art, among many others.

Each alphabetical entry in the book is arranged into name, date range, country, key artists, and definition/description. A critically nice touch is that if a certain piece is described at length, it is usually shown as well. It is critical because words alone don’t do justice, especially when attempting to describe such things as installation art or assembly. The electronic edition is filled with links to other entries so you can quickly see the sometimes too subtle differences among them.

The book begins with a kind of almanac, a single page for each year since 1945, with historical highlights and art world highlights. It’s very useful for putting things in perspective, and a great jumping off point if you are doing research.

A relatively new development to note is collaborative art, in which at least two artists work together. For centuries if not millennia, art was a solitary effort, expressing a style, talent and the thought of a single person. This change alone points art in a new direction, and promises to keep new editions coming.

David Wineberg ( )
  DavidWineberg | Dec 24, 2013 |
2 copies
  ncdocents | Nov 2, 2009 |
2 copies
  ncdocents | Nov 2, 2009 |
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Discusses the terms, movements, and major artists in the modern American and European art world

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