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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  2,424 ratings  ·  104 reviews
Tony Award winner for Best Play and Olivier Award winner for Best Comedy. How much would you pay for a painting with nothing on it? Would it be art? Marc's best friend Serge has just bought a very expensive and very white - painting. To Marc, the painting is a joke, and as battle lines are drawn, old friends use it to settle scores. With friendships hanging in the balance, ...more
Published October 25th 2009 by LA Theatre Works (first published January 1st 1996)
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Many of the negative reviews here seem to have come from people who have never seen the play performed. I don't know how I'd have reacted to the script if I'd read it before seeing the play in performance but I bought the text the first time I saw it with the original London cast of Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay and Ken Stott. It was truly one of the greatest evenings I've spent in the theatre. I saw the play twice more with fresh casts each time and whilst the third casting wasn't quite up to th ...more
I love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love this play, have since I first saw. Every time I see a white painting, I laughed. This audio version is wonderful and will have people looking at you as you burst into laughter.

Truth about friendships and art. This audio includes talks with translator and actors. Brillant!
"If I am who I am because I am who I am and you are who you are because you are who you are then I am who I am and you are who you are, but if I am who I am because you are who you are and you are who you are because I am who I am then I am not who I am and you are not who you are."
Molto prima di Il dio del massacro (2006) Yasmina Reza scrive Arte (1994), pièce affine e complementare alla successiva. In Arte abbiamo tre personaggi che si confrontano mettendo a nudo i meccanismi della loro amicizia. Si intravede l’affetto, ma anche molta sopraffazione. Reza usa l’espediente del dibattito sul valore artistico di un quadro bianco dipinto a righe bianche per passare ai raggi X questi rapporti, definendoli infine con onestà come insanabili nelle disfunzioni, ma ugualmente solid ...more
When Serge spends a fortune on a piece of modern art, his friend Marc is horrified and tells him so. Then Marc goes to their mutual friend Yvan to gain his support, only for Yvan to sympathise with Serge. Over the course of an evening, the three men's discussion becomes a war zone as everyone reveals long buried resentments and fears.
A piece of pure theatre that wouldn't work as well in any other medium. It is an interesting little meditation on friendship, especially male friends. How much do w
Patrick O'Neil
Title: Art
Author: Yasmina Reza
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre: serio-comedy
Date Started Book: July 4, 2008
Date Finished Book: July 10, 2008

Before Reading:

What do I expect to gain from reading this?
Scenes and monologues for my students, a possible play for production.

CAST (Plays:)
Marc: stuck in his ways, rigid, literal
Serge: bought a painting, fancies himself an art collector, can be pretentious
Yvan: Emotional, used to be a jokester, engaged, mostly does what his psychiatrist and fiance say, in
I think Reza is one of the most brilliant playwrights writing today. This is the second play of hers I've read--the first was God of Carnage--and I've seen both performed. What I find so incredible is the way Reza structures conflict in a series of crescendos. The up and down motion of her conflict is more evident in God of Carnage, but in Art the action rises quickly, plateaus, and then rises again, plateaus, and rises, until in the final moments of the play there is a resolution, which is unde ...more
Brittany Petruzzi
"Never underestimate the pleasure of watching really good actors behaving terribly."

So said Ben Brantley in 2009 about Yasmina Reza's second Tony Award-winning play, God of Carnage. I'm almost certain that had I read Carnage instead of seeing its brilliance on stage, I would have found myself as annoyed at the horrible people before me as I was when reading 'Art'.

The thing is, just when you think you've had enough of Reza's letting these people have at one another for no good reason, she hits yo
A succint, minimalistic play featuring modern archetypes, just like the imaginary object of dispute, described within.
Nellie Airoldi
51 pagine divine che raccontano tre persone, tre piccoli mondi che si intrecciano e si perdono per ricostruire un'amicizia destinata a perdersi con lo scorrere del tempo. Un battibecco esilarante e incalzante che lascia con il fiato sospeso e immerge il lettore fino al midollo. Perché questi tre microcosmi, inesorabilmente, si collidono e si auto distruggono. Perché non è solo un quadro ma è l'eterno scontro tra moderno e contemporaneo che cresce e va a toccare tutte le sfumature dell'animo uman ...more
Serge buys an entirely white painting (with some lines in a different shade of white) for 20,000 francs. His friend Marc think the painting is rubbish. Their mutual friend Ivan is the eternal fence-sitter, agreeing with both Serge and Marc.

A pretty simple premise but this show ran for six years in the West End. The secret to its success was its minimalism. Serge, Marc and Ivan are all recognisable types of friend; we see the dynamics of our own friendships reflected in them. It's a little bit ab
Jonah Levine
This quick play by Yasmina Reza is not my favorite work from this playwright. It doesn't provide the depth and analysis of the issue it claims to discuss as her more famous "God of Carnage." Part of this, I think, is the language barrier. From the phrasing of some of the lines and from the potential I know this author possesses, it was obvious that a lot was lost in the translation from French to English. But I feel the main problem the play had was that it didn't raise the stakes enough to real ...more
4.5 stars

Three long-time friends getting their knickers into various twists over one of their number's purchases of a white on white painting for 200,000 francs. The existential angst which ensues is brilliantly and wittily enacted in Serge's living room. This is Sarte meeets Feydeau. I read this 80-page play en francais, and will see it performed in English on Tuesday in Toronto.
I found this to be a quick, delightful read. The banter between the three men seemed natural and well-paced. I also thought the breaking of the fourth wall was handled very smoothly and effectively. That said, most of the swearing was superfluous, and that really put me off.
ART starts as a Becketian absurd dialogue, but can not go farther than a silly imitation. Highly acclaimed and widely read, ART shows how a popularized version of a great tradition can deceive too many people who love to be labeled as intellectuals.
Emily Gail
I did not see this play performed, but reading it was enjoyable. I read it in French, so the pleasure that comes with reading in a language in which one is not quite fluent may have affected my enjoyment of the play. However even if I had read it in English, I would have enjoyed this short snapshot into the lives of interesting characters. I particularly enjoyed the plot of this play, since it pokes a bit of fun at the ridiculous prices that are often charged for modern art. Often, modern art is ...more
Decidedly French.
Mark Woodland
Contrary to popular belief, Art is NOT about an all-white painting. The painting, acquired for a large sum of money by one of the three characters, is merely the catalyst for the real action of the play: the destruction of a relationship. Three men, who have been close friends for years, discover the cracks and seams that their mini-society has as part of its nature. Until now, there has been a balance of the personalities, but when the painting in introduced, the dynamics shift, and the usually ...more
‘Art’. (I don’t know about the quotes, either. They’re in the title. I assume because the art in question in the play is dubious art, therefore making the quotes ironic?) I like Reza; I saw her God of Carnage a couple of years ago and was blown away. She writes very dark, very heavy pieces. ‘Art’ is about a man who buys a very expensive piece of art; it’s all-white, with some vague diagonal lines on it. His two best friends react in in ways he was not expecting to the purchase. The play is as mu ...more
Kyle York
This play uses the purchasing of a painting on the part of one character to explore the idea that aesthetic tastes really can be divisive. e.g., a friend of the character who purchases a sort of absurdly minimalistic painting (basically just a white painting with some stripes) is so offended and hurt and unwilling to let the issue of the painting go that as the play progresses you see how utterly controlling and insecure he is. This play has some really funny and truthful lines, like when one ch ...more
Sep 01, 2014 Adam rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Adam by: Emily
Shelves: urbana-library
Reza writes amazingly vibrant and realistic dialogue, and the three characters in this story really spring to life in its few pages. My current ideas about fiction value these moments of vivid character interaction over pretty much everything else, and the only thing really lacking about 'Art' is that, compared to the novels and tv shows I'm used to consuming, it feels so short and isolated. Makes me wonder if Reza's novels are worth checking out.
hmmmm. I think I preferred God of Carnage to Art, just because I felt there was no real peak and trough they all seemed to flow along quite calmly. I did like Yvan's monologue/rant 3/4 of the way through, I think the way she writes is very clever and natural and I love seeing that in plays because it makes things so real and yet she manages to make them deep and meaningful. this is a play that needs to be performed.
JeanLeslie Baker
I find Hampton's English translation of Reza's play a bit heavy-handed, especially in the non-dialogue passages. It works better acted on stage than it does read, and is certainly a better read for a British English audience than an American English audience. As a true French-English bilingual, I can say with confidence that Reza's original French version is superior to Hampton's, so if you can read French, do so.
My new favourite play.
A great synopsis of relationships and friendships. A great insight as to why simplicity is so powerful.

So here's my thought.

The play starts with 3 characters who initially appear to be simple and stereotypes. With a seemingly simple structure to their relationship.with a background of "typical" life choices. 3 lines on a white canvas

As the play explores their relationships one starts to recognize that each is not "a line" onto itself. Each line is progressively mo
Questo libro si esplica benissimo nell'estratto dalla poesia "Le otto luci" di Rabbi Mendel di Kotzk citata nell'opera:

Se io sono io perché tu sei tu
e tu sei tu perché io sono io,
allora io non sono io e tu non sei tu.
Ma se io sono io perché io sono io
e tu sei tu perché tu sei tu,
allora io sono io e tu sei tu.
I think I'll just have to accept that Yasmina Reza isn't for me. Like The God of Carnage, I found "Art" to be an ultimately unsatisfying play. There was a lot of sound and fury that came to a rushed conclusion that resolved little of the chaos that makes up the play. Many of the ideas and conflicts presented feel half-baked and pointless, although it's easy to imagine them being entertaining when performed with a talented cast, as this play was on Broadway (which I think accounts for its Best Pl ...more
Ryan Gibson
By the middle, the entire story thickened. The questions it made me ask myself hit me hard. Why are we friends with others? How does friendship work? Is it ok to lie to someone else? Can you lie to people you're friends with?
Love it. You see these dynamics play out in most social trifectas, but she depicts them so clearly. Very funny, character focused, tightly written. I normally find it a hassle to read a script, but this was a dream.
Would undoubtedly be better performed. The script is a bit thin and vague, seeming even to rely on types. Seeing those types filled out by actors making choices would undoubtedly improve the effect.
Sergio Frosini
Les dialogues des trois personnages m'ont toujours donné la sensation de fort "feminin", va savoir pourquoi

Très beau, quoi dire?

Et pour le voir-revoir sur scène...
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Yasmina Reza began work as an actress, appearing in several new plays as well as in plays by Molière and Marivaux. In 1987 she wrote Conversations after a Burial, which won the Molière Award for Best Author. Following this, she translated Kafka's Metamorphosis for Roman Polanski and was nominated for a Molière Award for Best Translation. Her second play, Winter Crossing, won the 1990 Molière for B ...more
More about Yasmina Reza...
The God of Carnage Happy are the Happy سه روایت از زندگی Desolation Plays 1: 'Art' / Life x 3 / The Unexpected Man / Conversations After a Burial

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“Yvan's a very tolerant bloke, which of course, when it comes to relationships, is the worst thing you can be.
Yvan's very tolerant because he couldn't care less.”
“Sarà per via dell'Antrios, sarà stato l'acquisto dell'Antrios?... No... Il male viene da molto più lontano... Viene dal giorno in cui hai usato, senza un briciolo di ironia, il termine decostruzione, riferendoti a un oggetto d'arte. E non è stato il termine decostruzione a irritarmi, ma la gravità con cui l'hai pronunciato. Lo hai detto, amico mio, con solennità, con convinzione, senza la minima ironia: decostruzione.” 0 likes
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