The Eclipse of Art: Tackling the Crisis in Art Today

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Prestel, 2003 - Art - 126 pages
"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.

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User Review  - Pantalaimon01 - LibraryThing

Highly readable account of why there seems to be such a disconnect between modern, especially 'conceptual' art produced today, and modern audiences. I found myself agreeing with much of what Spalding ... Read full 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


ummu loks
ONE The Eclipse of Language
TWO The Eclipse of Learning

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