Art in Theory 1900 - 2000: An Anthology of Changing Ideas
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Art in Theory 1900 - 2000: An Anthology of Changing Ideas

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  3,348 ratings  ·  36 reviews
This popular anthology of twentieth-century art theoretical texts has now been expanded to take account of new research, and to include significant contributions to art theory from the 1990s.New edition of this popular anthology of twentieth-century art-theoretical texts.Now updated to include the results of new research, together with significant contributions from the 19...more
Paperback, 1288 pages
Published October 22nd 2002 by Wiley-Blackwell (first published 2002)
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Jana
Goes without saying... as this is the standard reference (at least back in my day). It's different than other reference books (I guess some wouldn't even call it that) in that it has parts or wholes of the original sources with a short abstract prefacing each. Also, the selections are grouped not only by periods but by ideas within periods such as "Objecthood and Redctivism" (within Modernism) or "The Critique of Originality" (within Postmodernism). Enough heady material for years of excavation...more
Mafe Pazos
MIND-BLOWING. Harrison's compilation catalogues the progression of discourse on the nature of form versus content, the formation of the historical perspective and the nuances present in the development of ideas through the art discussion and its significance to the understanding of existence and the search for meaning.

Beginning with the idolization of Cezanne and the rise of Expressionism, the conversation traverses down the path of Futurists, Social Realists, Neoclassicists and even Dadaists,...more
Brianne
a meaty read. LOTS of artist statements and writings on their own work. This is a collection of manifestos, reviews and essays that's unmatched by anything else i've seen. thorough and engrossing
Eleanor
unbelievably hard to read (i came accross the word altermondialisation - stupid bourriard and his stupid made-up words) but unfortunately this book is invaluable to any artist/art-student.
David Williamson
Possible the most important book I own, if you're into art, this is your Bible and shame on you if you do not own it.
Harlan Vaughn
It hit me, but felt like a kiss.
Shaun Johnson
Reading this entire book felt like an achievement. Near the end it was harder to read because mid-way I decided that art critics are boring. And they are. They just ramble on and on and on and on. The real jewel of this book is the text by artists themselves, their symposiums, and their interviews. As an artist myself I felt a profound kinship with this text. This book also introduced to me artists I knew little (or nothing) about, their movements, their politics, and their theories. It is not o...more
Cerese
A grad school must for any MFA. Depressingly difficult to read. Depressingly difficult to digest. Most informative in the end.
Marcia
Fascinating and so insightful. A great book for anyone studying art or anyone with a basic interest.
Cate Brooks
This is an incredible resource for anyone wanting to contextualize modern-contemporary art and who doesn't know where to start. The excerpts in it are the most valuable primary reources you will find in one place ranging from artists' statements, on all the wild movements during this exciting century, to contemporary criticism like that of Greenberg and Fry. The text is thick and painful at times but so rewarding. It offers the most pure perspective and explanation of these ideas from those who...more
Hadley Norman
Good reference to have. It is my begining strep whenever doing research.
Mary Emily O'Hara


Art in Theory is not a book you "currently read" or finish, really. It's a constantly accessible resource that allows a peek into any given intellectual era within the bounds of its temporal bracketing. I'm always checking it for references, then re-checking it for ideas, then combing it for inspiration. MUST HAVE ON DESK AT ALL TIMES. Thank you.
Lynne
Dec 31, 2011 Lynne rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: art
Not the type of book I could read cover to cover, yet full of pivotal moments in art from 1900-2000. I find myself dipping in and out whenever a new interest or area of art captures my attention. It was purchased as a mandatory text for the theory component of my art degree, but remains a staple on my bookshelf.
elmira
May 28, 2007 elmira rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: prospective art historians to analyze contemporary art, otherwise not worth the trouble
there are more than a couple of must read essays in Art In Theory, amazing writings by artists and art critics that are necessary to be discussed among artists and art historians mostly for one good reason, that these readings will confuse the artists in their art practice.
rosemary
May 09, 2007 rosemary rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: art students
Shelves: art-history-crit
a fairly good compendium of excerpts from primary documents (and the entire text of some shorter pieces). it's a mostly useful go-to guide, but is probably more helpful as a skipping stone, an index to direct you towards the original sources.
Catherine
Oh Art Theory... how I love thee but hate thee all at the same time. This book is a great resource and a must for any art historian. Filled with lots of great articles -- some great, some B.S., but still a good resource.
Stephanie
I haven't read this entire book, but I've read a number of the essays in it. It is full of a lot of very interesting art concepts and lots of interesting points of view. It really stretches the artist's mind!
Stephanie
I should probably re-read this I one. Read it when I was 19 and had other things on my mind. From what I remember, though, it's incredibly thorough and really thought provoking.
Elpetes
This book is packed with the most influential essays, ideas interviews and accounts of the past 100 years in art, if you are a fan of modern art this is a must buy.
Emily
I find it helpful to have many of these essays and articles located in one place. I particularly liked some of the writings by Donald Judd and Sol LeWitt.
Danielle
Amazing! Lots of different insights about the theories behind the progression of art in the twentieth century. It is a difficult read at times, but wonderful.
Rachel
I wish there was more summary about the different modernist movements, but a necessary anthology of short essays for the art enthusiast...
Raquel
An essential to anyone interested in critical theory and art. Always helpful and always something new to learn.
Manish
The best art book with no pictures. This is a great reference for any topic in modern or contemporary art.
Sally Whitman
Should be on the bookshelf of every graduate student in art history - an essential compendium.
Jaireh
dense but first person perspectives of artistic theory from canonical modern western artists
Lisa
Currently reading for my 20th Century Art History class. It's very interesting.
Octavius Neveaux
Jun 10, 2007 Octavius Neveaux rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who cares for art
i keep reading it over and over for the past 7 years
I'm fuckin' gaga for this book
Mandy McKee
Bad memories... but a wide variety of information and view points.
yao
Mar 05, 2007 yao is currently reading it
this book is very annoying
but it tells you a lot about modern art
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Charles Townsend Harrison, BA Hons (Cantab), MA (Cantab), PhD (London) was a prominent UK art historian who taught Art History for many years and was Emeritus Professor of History and Theory of Art at the Open University.

He was tutor in Art History, Open University, 1977-2005, Reader in Art History 1985-1994, Professor of the History & Theory of Art, 1994-2008, Professor Emeritus, 2008-2009; V...more
More about Charles Harrison...
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