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Modern

Genius, Madness, and One Tumultuous Decade That Changed Art Forever

By Philip Hook

Product details

Published By
The Experiment
Categories
Number Of Pages
384
Publication Date
April 19, 2022
ISBN
9781615198672

Modern

Genius, Madness, and One Tumultuous Decade That Changed Art Forever

By Philip Hook

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Description

A revelatory, fast-paced account of the most exciting, frenzied, and revolutionary decade in art history—1905 to the dawn of World War I in 1914—and the avant-garde artists who indelibly changed our visual landscape

Modern begins on a specific day—March 22, 1905—at a specific place: the Salon des Indépendants in Paris, where works of art we recognize as modern were first exhibited. Drawing on his forty five-year fine art career, author Philip Hook illuminates how this new art came to be—and how truly shocking it was.

With Hook’s expert guidance, we witness movement upon movement that burst forth in dizzying succession: Fauvism, Expressionism, Primitivism, Symbolism, Cubism, Futurism, and Abstract art. As Hook barnstorms across Europe—to London, Germany, Moscow, Scandinavia, and everywhere modern art was being made—his vivid accounts breathe new life into the work and times of Picasso, Matisse, Modigliani, Kandinsky, Malevich, Klimt, Schiele, Munch, and nearly two hundred other artists who painted, sculpted, and exhibited alongside them, and whose collective genius was understood and appreciated by few at the time.

Hook reconsiders the decade from a series of fresh angles: What was the conventional art against which Modernism sought to rebel? Why were avant-garde artists so self-obsessed? What persuaded a few bold collectors to buy difficult modern art? And why did others pay so much money for Old Masters at the same time?

Modern helps us answer these questions and more—and to see how avant-garde artists marshaled their genius (and oftentimes their madness) to create works of such profound consequence, they still reverberate today—and which, taken together, made for a movement more influential than even the Renaissance.

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Review quotes

Praise from the UK for Modern

A Sunday Times (UK) Book of the Year

“A mesmerizing pleasure . . . consummately well-informed and readable, replete with shameless gossip and memorable anecdote. The illustrations are well chosen and interestingly eclectic.”—Stephen Bayley, The Spectator Books of the Year

“Hook’s wonderful book captures a window of time when artistic ideals were shattered and reassembled in dynamic ways.”Mail on Sunday

“The author writes knowledgeably and from a position of privileged intimacy with the works he discusses. . . . Hook tells with zest and wit the story of this birth of modernism.”Literary Review

“A vivid survey of art, at once safe and extreme, in the decade before the Great War. This is a spirited history told with the rush and hustle of a true enthusiast. . . . Hook pulls his material together with verve and élan.”The Times

“Erudite and amusing . . . unfailingly enjoyable. Rich in anecdote and candid in opinion, it has a panache free of sanctimonious claptrap that makes it an invigorating introduction to the subject.”—Rupert Christiansen, The Spectator

“Hook is adept at writing about the many ‘isms’ of this period. From the boldness of Fauvism to the proto-fascism of Futurism, in his hands, these movements are less the theoretical contents of a dry art history lecture than a truly interesting framework through which to view his period of history.”Reaction
 

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Product details

Published By
The Experiment
Categories
Number Of Pages
384
Publication Date
April 19, 2022
ISBN
9781615198672

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