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British Art: A Walk Round the Rusty Pier by…
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British Art: A Walk Round the Rusty Pier

by Julian Freeman

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Julian Freeman's 16 essays on British Art turn the subject on its head and its side, and—without formally pretending to reassess it—give it a good shaking. Skating across the better part of 500 years, the book's choices of subject are unapologetic, and the ideas move in directions they don't usually go. Moving at full tilt or more sedately, the text always stays within reach of the popular reader. Like his successful first books, Art: A Crash Course and Design (in the same series), British Art is both provocative and affectionate. Freeman's text moves from discursive commentaries on the art of the British Isles to consider other matters, including spirituality, the business of exhibiting, and the weather. It's picky. It can't cover everything, but when it takes its aim, it's unerring.
  rossah | Jul 7, 2012 |
Art historian and critic Julian Freeman writes conversationally and with refreshing frankness and directness about British art. Some of the chapter titles perhaps reveal this: Cloudy with Sunny Spells, The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, Smut: Art and Industry, Your Ugly Mug, there are more simply titled chapters devoted to art in Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

This is primarily a text book with illustrations, and as such it works well. The text is well notated with the note references highlighted in red in the text, and the notes themselves appearing at the bottom of the same page. Examples of the work of some of the artists discussed appear alongside the relevant text, or with a page or so, strangely though the works illustrated are often not those mentioned in the text. There are about 160 full colour pictures, most are given a whole page to themselves, although that is not to say that they are full page size - many could have been shown larger than they are.

The book includes a bibliography, Register of Artists - a list of artists with their dates, Gallery contact Details, an Index and an Index of Illustrations.

A Walk Round the Rust Pier is an interesting and very accessible survey of British art. ( )
  presto | Apr 24, 2012 |
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'British Art' moves from discursive commentaries on the art of the home countries of the British Isles (including Ireland) to consider some of the ways that Brits of all colours and persuasions have handled the need to draw, the weather, industry, portraiture, spirituality, and more, in some very different conditions.… (more)

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