In today's art world many strange, even shocking, things qualify as art. In this Very Short Introduction Cynthia Freeland explains why innovation and controversy are valued in the arts, weaving together philosophy and art theory with many fascinating examples. She discusses blood, beauty, culture, money, museums, sex, and politics, clarifying contemporary and historical accounts of the nature, function, and interpretation of the arts.
Freeland also propels us into the future by surveying cutting-edge web sites, alongside the latest research on the brain's role in perceiving art. This clear, provocative book engages
with the big debates surrounding our responses to art and is an invaluable introduction to anyone interested in thinking about art. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging
topics highly readable.
`Review from previous edition So many of the questions that define us as a culture have been raised through and by the art of recent decades, that without coming to terms with our art, we can scarcely understand ourselves. Cynthia Freeland has written a very smart book, in which high philosophical intelligence is applied to difficult questions raised by real works of art. It immediately situates the reader where thought and action meet, and since the issues
are inescapable, it should be required reading for everyone.
I know of no work that moves so swiftly and with so sure a footing through the battle zones of art and society today.'
Arthur C. Danto, Columbia University, author of After the End of Art
`This pocket potboiler provides some answers, a lot of questions and plenty of entertainment along the way'
`a pacy and readable introduction to art history'
Independent on Sunday
`admirable for its scope, compactness and exceptional clarity. Reader-friendly and thought-provoking'
`a book of simplicity and clarity that may well come to rival John Berger's Ways of Seeing as a reader's digest of the rubric of theories that make up contemporary art criticism . . . This is a valuable book for anyone perplexed by the arcane theorising of contemporary art'
Sue Hubbard, The Independent
`a useful crib'
List of Illustrations
1: Blood and Beauty
2: Paradigms and Purposes
3: Cultural Crossings
4: Money, Markets, Museums
5: Gender, Genius, and Guerrilla Girls
6: Cognition, Creation, Comprehension
7: Digitizing and Disseminating