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The Writing of Art

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  8 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
This collection of essays offers different ways of seeing twentieth-century art via the medium of aesthetics. In Mercure (1924), Picasso collapses the tradition of classical ballet into the visual arts; Paul Klee, in his work from the Thirties, searches for a purity of language reminiscent of German Romanticism; with his concept of the Void, Yves Klein emphasizes that, wit ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published May 15th 2012 by Pushkin Press (first published April 10th 2012)
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Michelle Welsing
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In The Writing of Art, Olivier Berggruen says that in Symbolism, "[a]bove all else, the work of art had to be evocative and emotionally resonant." Much the same could be said for this book. Though scholarly and clearly written by someone well-versed in twentieth century art history, it is accessible to the layperson because in the end it is about something universal: the experience of looking at a work of art and attempting to understand the sensations it evokes. Berggruen's premise is that the ...more
Olivier Berggruen - curator, art historian, collector - here brings together several short pieces on the work of Picasso, Paul Klee, Yves Klein, Ed Ruscha, Basquiat, Agnes Martin and Cy Twombly. The thread that connects these pieces is compellingly declared in the introduction:

"Sustained vision, prolonged engagement with the work of art, being attuned to the shifting qualities of our sensations, description of various flashes of vision - these are revelatory of a truth that the surface of things
Aug 15, 2017 added it
I found myself rolling my eyes three pages into the introduction. Bless his little heart - a man brought up in his father's art collection for millions explains his burning desire, a need that will not be silenced to write criticism... As for the main dish, I enjoyed two of the essays here, but overall found them a little underwhelming.
Darran Mclaughlin
Feb 17, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: german, art
What a waste of my time it was reading this book. It is 175 pages long but many of those pages are made up of notes or images, and the text is in a large font. There is barely any content here. I have to assume that Berggruen paid Pushkin Press to publish this because I don't see how they would think this was a book worth doing. Just as I was thinking that there wasn't a single interesting or provocative idea in the book I came across a section that compared Ed Rusha's word paintings to Mallarme ...more
George Luchinograd
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