Cover image for Modern art : a crash course
Modern art : a crash course
Bell, Cory.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Watson-Guptill Publications, 2001.

Physical Description:
144 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 19 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N6350 .B45 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
N6350 .B45 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
N6350 .B45 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Covering the 1900s, a century obsessed with its own modernity, this amusing guide gives a reader-friendly introduction to the many movements of modern art. 200 color illustrations.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Watson-Guptill's humanities-"lite" series (other titles cover architecture, art, fashion, music, photography, and Shakespeare) is brimming with names, dates, garish layouts, and irreverent and low humor, but it is condemnably short on substance. In its drive to entertain, oversimplify, and sensationalize, the "Crash Course" series undermines meaningful appreciation. A comic-book time line ("helps you avoid any art faux pas") runs across the top of the entire book, and the graphics render each page into a multiframe web-inspired explosion of data and visuals. Following a mostly chronological organization, the lower portion of each double-page spread is devoted either to an artist ("Enter the Boss Picasso") or to a movement ("GRRRLs Feminism"). Boxy pop-ups entitled "Inner Circle" ("gives you an idea of who's in and where it's happening at any given moment") and "Outer Fringe" ("artists who aren't part of the most fashionable movement of the day, but out in the sticks pursuing their own agendas") further clutter the landscape. Reproductions are small, colorful, and occasionally sensational. The overall effect is cramped, and the tiny text is subordinate to the illustrations and guidebook-style design. The jack-of-all-trades journalist-authors provide ambiguous art history qualifications (Boyle is "a Renaissance Man himself"; Bell is an English major cum painter). Renaissance Art is the more informative and well-written book, incorporating more history and cultural background. But usage and audience are uncertain, and libraries clearly will be better served by standard art dictionaries or more satisfying examples of the instant-expert genre, including Carol Dunlap's The Culture Vulture: A Guide to Style, Period, and Ism (Wiley, 1994. reprint). Russell T. Clement, Northwestern Univ. Lib., Evanston, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.