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What Are You Looking At?    by Will Gompertz order for
What Are You Looking At?
by Will Gompertz
Order:  USA  Can
Dutton, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

In an attempt to demystify modern art and offer an alternative to the art-speak you find in museums that tends to confuse more than enlighten, Will Gompertz created this refreshing, irreverent look at the modern art scene.

Many of the more famous works discussed here, such as van Gogh's The Starry Night, Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon and Munch's The Scream, are familiar and resemble one's concept of art. But there are other creations which either resemble an overturned dumpster or a sloppy house painter's drop cloth that make one wonder if much of what is deemed modern art isn't just a major put-on!

A BBC Arts Editor and former Tate Gallery director, Gompertz understands the average person's dilemma and addresses it in this book. He'll provide the necessary tools to help you not only consider what you see when viewing modern art differently but also determine if it is really art at all. Yes, Gompertz does believe that many folks take this topic too seriously and he does have a wicked sense of humor, so you won't find this a stodgy or overly pedantic narrative.

In fact, the sketches he shares of famous artists' lives and the author's commentary on trends and innovations are very entertaining and make this book both informative and fun to read.

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