The Eclipse of Art: Tackling the Crisis in Art Today

Front Cover
Prestel, 2003 - Art - 126 pages
2 Reviews
"I have never met anyone who loved modern art, " begins Julian Spalding in this provocative new treatise. "I have, however, met plenty of people who have told me that I ought to like it." In this forthright and incisive vein, Spalding explores the key ideas underpinning modern art and finds them wanting. Writing with the wit, refreshing honesty and unwavering resolve he brought to The Poetic Museum, Spalding illustrates how artistic craft, learning, content, and judgment have each been compromised by commercialism, cynicism, and politics. He argues for the revival of an art whose ambition is to communicate, as profoundly and eloquently as it can, with everyone. His hope is that readers, when they close this book, will not only think, "I knew I was right not to like modern art, and now I know why, " but will also be enabled to look for the art of today that is of lasting quality. From the Introduction of The Eclipse of Art Never, in all these years of attending modern art exhibitions, have I been greeted with that full-hearted exhortation that there was simply no question that I just had to see such and such an exhibition as if it showed the work of a new Picasso, say, or a Matisse, or to lower one's sights, the next Henry Moore or Raoul Dufy. No artists, even the greats, are beyond criticism; all have off days, all work within the limitations of their natures, but all are unquestionably artists, even the minor ones, in the fullest sense of the meaning of that word: they celebrate our existence by making us more conscious of it. They might open a window, or a floodgate, but they all create the same quicksilver stuff. They each merit that magical name 'artist', and we can love every one ofthem to different degrees. But love is not a word that springs to mind when one thinks of much modern art--so much so that one wonders whether it is art at all.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - sanddancer - LibraryThing

Amazing book about the apparent crisis in modern art. It is a difficult subject but tackled here in an easy to understand way, with plenty of background information for those (like myself at the time of reading it) with limited knowledge of the subject. Read full review

The Eclipse of Art: Tackling the Crisis in Art Today

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

An Edinburgh-based critic and former gallery director, Spalding (The Poetic Museum) argues that contemporary art is sterile and today's viewers are "right not to like modern art." Artists have ... Read full review

Contents

Preface
6
TWO The Eclipse of Learning
41
THREE The Eclipse of Content
55
Copyright

3 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2003)

A former Director of the Glasgow Museums and Galleries. Julian Spalding is the founder of such award-winning museums as the Ruskin Gallery, the St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art, and the Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art. The author of The Poetic Museum (Prestel), he speaks and writes often about issues in contemporary art. He lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Bibliographic information