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I live in Bedford, England. Having retired from teaching; I am now a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Threshold Concepts in the context of A-level Physics. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. I have also recently become a keen playgoer to London Fringe Theatre. I enjoy mostly classics and I read the playscripts and add those to the blog. I am a member of Bedford Writers' Circle. See their website here: http://bedford-writers.co.uk/ Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Sunday, 10 August 2014

"50 Art ideas you really need to know" by Susie Hodge

This is another book in the '... ideas you really need to know series'. I have found these of mixed value. Some of them have been brilliant, others tedious

My main problem with this title is that it doesn't deliver, for me, what it says in the title. These are 50 art movements, which I think are separate from ideas, and there is an extraordinary emphasis on art movements since 1900. Impressionism, for example, is idea 19 in a chronologically arranged book. I felt that I did not 'really need to know' the intricate details of Colour Field painting and Mexican Mural art; many of these merited a line or at best a paragraph under the heading of Modern art rather than the two page spread each received. In this way of doing things Minmalism, which seems to have lasted a truly minimal seven years, receives the same space as the Early Renaissance (170 years) or Byzantine art (over a thousand years).

I wanted a book that went into art ideas. My needs were best met by the glossary. Why not a two page spread on Perspective, or Chiaroscuro, or Sfumato, or Oil painting? Actually Perspective and Oil painting don't even get into the glossary!

I felt I earnt little of value from this book. August 2014; 203 pages

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