Author(s): Matthew Israel
Written in an engaging, straightforward style by prominent art historian Matthew Israel, this book presents ten outstanding examples of contemporary art, each with significant historical or cultural relevance to contemporary art's big picture. Drawn from the fields of photography, painting, performance, installation, video, film, and public art, the works featured here combine to create a bigger picture of the state of contemporary art today. From Andreas Gursky's large-scale color photograph Rhine II to Kara Walker's acclaimed installation in the Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn, each work is carefully explored within the larger perspective of its social and artistic milieu. Articulate and insightful, this book offers readers the ability to consider each work in-depth, while also providing an easily digestible foundation from which to study the often challenging but continually fascinating world of 21st-century art.
"This illuminating read uses a fascinating list of recent works of contemporary art as the point of departure for a host of issues and concerns vital to our moment. Written with clarity and descriptive panache, Israel's voice speaks to a mass audience, something not always the hallmark of art writing. If you already love art and artists, this book will remind you why, as the discussion of a singular work branches out from the immediate view of aesthetics to the wide-view of how artists grapple with the inexplicable in our world. If you are not already a devotee then this book should set you on your way." --Franklin Sirmans, Director of the Perez Art Museum Miami
MATTHEW ISRAEL is Curator-at-Large at Artsy.net, where he also serves as Director Emeritus and Advisor to the Art Genome Project. He has written extensively for international arts magazines and is the author of Kill for Peace: American Artists Against the Vietnam War.