33 Artists in 3 Acts

I just finished reading 33 Artists in 3 Acts, by Sarah Thornton.  If you are interested in contemporary art, then I highly recommend it.

Sarah Thronton

I was surprised at how well written it is: easy to read, entertaining and very accessible.  Not exactly the descriptors one can use, unfortunately, for some of the current writing about contemporary art. It’s no surprise that Ms Thornton has written for The Economist, the Guardian, Artforum and The New Yorker.

The book is divided into short chapters that chronicle interviews with artists such as Ai WeiWei, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons and Cindy Sherman.  The settings include the Venice Biennale, artists’ studios and art galleries on five continents.

In the course of her interviews, Ms Thornton poses the question, What is an artist? to the various artists.  The answers are sometimes amusing.   Andrea Fraser, a performance artist, can’t answer the question.  She says, “The more you think about it, the worse it gets!”

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