The Contemporary Art Book

THE CONTEMPORARY ART BOOK: This book focuses on some of the most influential and thought provoking artists of the modern and contemporary eras.
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This book focuses on some of the most influential and thought provoking artists of the modern and contemporary eras.

The changes that occurred in the art world during the Modernist movement allowed new ways of thinking about art and new artworks to be made, which would have been traditionally considered a non-art object. The Contemporary Art Book showcases the various contemporary art works that have been created as a result. This book contains a wide variety of artists and works from a variety of mediums including painting, new media works in digital print and film, installation, sculpture and photography.

Beginning with a short introduction, the main body of this book consists of an extensive artist gallery. Large colour photographs are accompanied by a short description of the artists working methods and ideas, and a description of the images included and the motivation behind them. It also includes a short biographical note providing the artists background and professional experience. Accompanying each artist is a few key words that are relevant to the artist, suggesting related fields and other related artists.

The gallery contains the works of highly influential artists including Olafur Eliasson, known for his immersive installations that transform the entire gallery space, like his Weather Project of 2003 that transformed a space to include a higher suspended ‘sun’ that basked its warm glow on the viewer, Damien Hirst who in the 1990’s revolutionised the idea of ‘art’ with is often highly controversial formaldehyde tanks, Robert Mapplethorpe who produces edgy photography of the human body and was recently exhibited in the Galleria del’Accademia Florence which houses Michelangelo’s David, or Mariko Mori’s video installations which combines science fiction with art, to name a very few.

The artist’s gallery is followed by a timeline that details which the of contemporary art movement artists fall in, including Arte Povera (essentially ‘recycled art’), Feminism, Land art (also known as Earthworks or Environmental art), Pop art and performance art. These movements are described in detail in the pages following the timeline; giving the viewer a historical background of the artists contained in this book. The book concludes with list of museums and galleries and their related websites.

This publication is of a high quality and very well researched. The number of artistic mediums that have been included make it an excellent resource, both for students interested in a specific field and for the general interest reader. The inclusion of keywords as well as the time line and descriptions of art movements adds another level of both interest and relevance as a study resource. The language used is clear and concise and the photographs of the artworks of a very high quality. The Contemporary Art Book is an excellent publication.

Charlotte Bonham-carter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and a Masters in Contemporary art. She is a writer and editor for several publications. David Hodge holds a Bachelors degree in Art History and is a writer and researcher with a focus on art and politics.

Title: The Contemporary Art Book
Author: Charlotte Bonham-Carter and David Hodge
Genre: Art; contemporary art
Publisher: Cameron House
ISBN: 9781847960054
RRP: $59.95

Jade Wildy
About the Author
Jade Wildy is an art theorist and historian based in Adelaide, Australia and she is currently studying for a Masters of Art History at the University of Adelaide. Jade holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts, with a major in ceramics from the University of South Australia. Jade aspires to become an art writer and researcher to pursue her love of visual art and art history. Her current research interests centre around contemporary art with a particular focus on Environmental Art, but she also has a love for psychology, biology and contemporary culture through art, music and dance. Jade enjoys working in her established home studio, as well as fiction and arts writing, and have written numerous reviews for ArtsHub Australia on both visual and performing arts in addition to several book reviews.