Seven Days in the Art World - Sarah Thornton

Seven Days in the Art World

By: Sarah Thornton

Paperback | 1 November 2009

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The art market has been booming. Museum attendance is surging. More people than ever call themselves artists. Contemporary art has become a mass entertainment, a luxury good, a job description, and, for some, a kind of alternative religion. In a series of beautifully paced narratives, Sarah Thornton investigates the drama of a Christie's auction, the workings in Takashi Murakami's studios, the elite at the Basel Art Fair, the eccentricities of Artforum magazine, the competition behind an important art prize, life in a notorious art-school seminar, and the wonderland of the Venice Biennale. She reveals the new dynamics of creativity, taste, status, money, and the search for meaning in life. A judicious and juicy account of the institutions that have the power to shape art history, based on hundreds of interviews with high-profile players, Thornton's entertaining ethnography will change the way you look at contemporary culture.
Industry Reviews
"A field guide to the nomadic tribes of the contemporary art world. The book was reported and written in a heated art market, but it is poised to endure as a work of sociology." -- New York Times Book Review "The best book yet written about the modern-art boom ... a Robert Altmanesque panorama of the most important cultural phenomenon of the last ten years." -- Sunday Times [London] "Seven Days in the Art World... seems destined to outlive its moment... Thornton offers an indelible portrait of a peculiar society, simultaneously cutthroat and curious... glamorous yet filled with people who would have been unpopular in high school." -- Leslie Camhi - Vogue "An entertaining and lucid account of the mysterious ways of contemporary art... [Thornton] does well to resist the temptation to draw any glib, overarching conclusions. There is more than enough in her rigorous, precise reportage... for the reader to make his or her own connections." -- Peter Aspden - Financial Times "[An] intelligently written ... refreshingly open-minded exploration." -- Washington Post "A terrific book-detailed, gossipy, and insightful... By the end of the book, you almost understand how [Steve] Cohen could shell out $8 million for a rotting 14-foot shark pickled in formaldehyde." -- BusinessWeek "A one-stop tutorial on an often insular subculture ... light-hearted but sociologically acute." -- Time "Finely wrought and thoroughly researched...[with] an ingenious structure... and spot-on characterizations...the author draws readers into the experience... [with her] infectious curiosity and meticulous reporting." -- Annie Buckley - Artweek

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