Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Review: In My View: Personal Reflections on Art by Today's Leading Artists
In My View: Personal Reflections on Art by Today's Leading Artists by Simon Grant
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book contains brief, concise essays by today's artists on the art of yesteryear. It keeps its focus by getting the artists to concentrate on (usually) one work: the one that knocked them backwards.
In the space of two or three well-illustrated pages, the artist explains their reaction to the art and how it influenced them. This focus prevents the book being shallow or just a coffee-table book of lovely pictures, although it's that too. One could argue that we can't see how the writer was influenced, but it would be difficult to show that without doubling the size of the book, since influences can be quite subtle. I'm happy to concentrate on their inner response.
We can't help wondering how we are "supposed" to respond to art, even though we know it's a foolish question. Here we get the best answer we'll ever get: we see how other artists responded and were inspired. And it's not just painting: Man Ray and William Blake also get a look-in.
Reading a whole book about art can be daunting. This is a perfect book for those who want to dip in, learn something useful and then go away and think.
View all my reviews