New art books10:15 AM
I'd like to share my latest book purchases and maybe rationalize how on Earth I am supposed to finish all of them. I bought them on the same day and almost couldn't carry them home.
In my defense, they were bargains. (Isn't that always the defense?)
Paul Johnson's preface got me really excited: "It is therefore essential that society defend itself against cultural breakdown. The best way it can do this is by grasping the importance of art to the well-being of mankind: as many people as possible making it their business to examine art constantly, inform themselves about it and develop their faculties of understanding and loving it."
Don't worry, Paul, I'm on it.
I usually begin checking the summary and flipping through the chapters. It always gets me down to see the first chapter is always about cave paintings. I want to skip it but can't bring myself to do so. It looks too much like cheating.
Usually Egyptian and Greek art come after, then I get a little motivated. But most times I want to cheat big time and start backwards, beginning with modernism (usually the chapter that mentions Turner).
I'm extremely suspicious about modern art but I love reading about it. It's like a sick curiosity: I want to see it where it all fell apart. Just kidding. Sort of.
This is probably why I like reading art books, it's like a roller coaster ride. You start very slow and with great anticipation, then there's a lot of excitement and that Renaissance high, and in the end you get slightly Andy Warhol nauseous.
Do you buy art books? About what artists or periods?