The $12 Million Stuffed Shark: The Curious Economics of

October 12th, 2010 No Comments   Posted in ebook Art

Why would a smart New York investment banker pay $12 million for the decaying, stuffed carcass of a shark? By what alchemy does Jackson Pollock’s drip painting No. 5, 1948 sell for $140 million?

Intriguing and entertaining, The $12 Million Stuffed Shark is a Freakonomics approach to the economics and psychology of the contemporary art world. Why were record prices achieved at auction for works by 131 contemporary artists in 2006 alone, with astonishing new heights reached in 2007? Don Thompson explores the money, lust, and self-aggrandizement of the art world in an attempt to determine what makes a particular work valuable while others are ignored.

This book is the first to look at the economics and the marketing strategies that enable the modern art market to generate such astronomical prices. Drawing on interviews with past and present executives of auction houses and art dealerships, artists, and the buyers who move the market, Thompson launches the reader on a journey of discovery through the peculiar world of modern art. Surprising, passionate, gossipy, revelatory, The $12 Million Stuffed Shark reveals a great deal that even experienced  auction purchasers do not know.

The $12 Million Stuffed Shark: The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art

Creamier: Contemporary Art in Culture: 10 Curators, 100

October 12th, 2010 No Comments   Posted in ebook Art

The latest book in the Cream series brings together 100 of the most exciting contemporary artists emerging today, chosen by 10 internationally renowned curators.

Each artistic spread includes a newly commissioned text written by the curator who selected the artists, as well as full-colour images illustrating the most recent works by the artists. Creamier is the most in-depth and original resource for anyone interested in emerging artists, that truly reflects the current moment.

Follows the award-winning Cream (1998), Fresh Cream (2000), Cream 3 (2003) and Ice Cream (2007).

Creamier: Contemporary Art in Culture: 10 Curators, 100 Contemporary Artists, 10 Sources

M.C. Escher: Visions of Symmetry (New Edition)

October 11th, 2010 No Comments   Posted in Art History

Doris Schattschneider’s classic M. C. Escher: Visions of Symmetry (1990) is the most penetrating study of Escher’s work in existence, and the one most admired by mathematicians and scientists. It deals with one powerful obsession that preoccupied Escher: what he called “the regular division of the plane,” the puzzle-like interlocking of birds, fish, lizards, and other natural forms in continuous patterns. Schattschneider asks, “How did he do it?” She answers the question by meticulously analyzing Escher’s notebooks, and the New Scientist described the result as “a collection of detective stories whose plots are brilliantly organized patterns.”

Like the first edition of the book, this new volume includes many of Escher’s masterworks, as well as hundreds of lesser-known examples of his work. It also features an illustrated epilogue by the author that reveals new information about Escher’s inspiration and shows how his ideas of symmetry have influenced mathematicians, computer scientists, and contemporary artists. Visions of Symmetry is a trip into the mind of a creator who continues to captivate the world.

Themes of Contemporary Art: Visual Art after 1980

October 10th, 2010 No Comments   Posted in ebook Art

A compact and accessible introduction to recent contemporary art history, Themes of Contemporary Art: Visual Art after 1980, Second Edition, focuses on seven important themes that have recurred in art over the past few decades: identity, the body, time, place, language, science, and spirituality. The opening chapter provides a concise overview of the period, analyzing how five key changes (the rise of new media, a growing awareness of diversity, globalization, the influence of theory, and interactions with everyday visual culture) have resulted in an art world with dramatically expanded boundaries. The remaining seven chapters each feature an introduction to one thematic topic; a brief look at historical influences; a detailed analysis of how contemporary artists have responded to and embodied aspects of the theme in specific works; and two profiles of artists who have extensively explored aspects of the theme in their work. The book’s thematic organization encourages students, gallery goers, and other readers to think actively and critically about the ideas expressed in the artwork instead of simply memorizing “who, what, when, and where.”

Themes of Contemporary Art, Second Edition, features more than 125 vivid illustrations (including 21 in color) that exemplify a wide variety of materials, techniques, theoretical viewpoints, and stylistic approaches from artists of diverse ethnic, cultural, and geographic backgrounds. It also includes an updated timeline that situates art within the context of the time it was created.

New to the Second Edition

*An additional chapter explores science as a theme in recent contemporary art
*Eight new artist profiles and revisions to existing chapters bring the examples well into the 21st century
*An updated timeline of world events and developments in art and pop culture
*Over 40 new illustrations of contemporary art

The Upset: Young Contemporary Art

October 10th, 2010 No Comments   Posted in ebook Art

A new breed of contemporary artists is celebrating newfound international recognition
for their style and approach to creating art that is sprouting from and largely
influenced by visual subcultures. These young artists, who are associated with the
widespread movements of Lowbrow Art and Neo-Surrealism, share similarities with
the popular art movements of the 1960s and 70s as well as urban art.
The term Lowbrow may sound self-deprecating; rather it represents a distinctive
artistic composition and technical approach in which art is produced. The Upset
documents this movement and the artists associated with it. Feeding off an array
of popular subcultures, they often draw influences from anime, comic books,
graffiti and street art as well as character design.
The often figurative and narrative artworks featured here employ classical techniques
with great skills to create sculpture, illustration, design and painting with
the use of spray cans, sharpies and elaborate colour palettes on canvas. With
the evolution of new media, artists are also blending these elements with various
disciplines in contemporary visual art.
Many of the artists in The Upset enjoy international fame and are represented
in prestigious galleries and museums worldwide. The book also introduces a
selection of promising talent who are breaking new ground, making it the perfect
source book for those interested in fine art and discovering young artists.

The Contingent Object of Contemporary Art

October 10th, 2010 No Comments   Posted in ebook Art

In this book, Martha Buskirk addresses the interesting fact that since the early 1960s, almost anything can and has been called art. Among other practices, contemporary artists have employed mass-produced elements, impermanent materials, and appropriated imagery, have incorporated performance and video, and have created works through instructions carried out by others. Furthermore, works of art that lack traditional signs of authenticity or permanence have been embraced by institutions long devoted to the original and the permanent.

Buskirk begins with questions of authorship raised by minimalists’ use of industrial materials and methods, including competing claims of ownership and artistic authorship evident in conflicts over the right to fabricate artists’ works. Examining recent examples of appropriation, she finds precedents in pop art and the early twentieth-century readymade and explores the intersection of contemporary artistic copying and the system of copyrights, trademarks, and brand names characteristic of other forms of commodity production. She also investigates the ways that connections between work and context have transformed art and institutional conventions, the impact of new materials on definitions of medium, the role of the document as both primary and secondary object, and the significance of conceptually oriented performance work for the intersection of photography and the human body in contemporary art.

Buskirk explores how artists active in the 1980s and 1990s have recombined strategies of the art of the 1960s and 1970s. She also shows how the mechanisms through which art is presented shape not only readings of the work but the work itself. She uses her discussion of the readymade and conceptual art to explore broader issues of authorship, reproduction, context, and temporality.