Seven Days in the Art World
Named one of the best art books of 2008 by The New York Times and The Sunday Times [London]: “An indelible portrait of a peculiar society.”—Vogue
The art market has been booming. Museum attendance is surging. More people than ever call themselves artists. Contemporary art has become a mass entertainment, a luxury good, a job description, and, for some, a kind of alternative religion.
In a series of beautifully paced narratives, Sarah Thornton investigates the drama of a Christie's auction, the workings in Takashi Murakami's studios, the elite at the Basel Art Fair, the eccentricities of Artforum magazine, the competition behind an important art prize, life in a notorious art-school seminar, and the wonderland of the Venice Biennale. She reveals the new dynamics of creativity, taste, status, money, and the search for meaning in life. A judicious and juicy account of the institutions that have the power to shape art history, based on hundreds of interviews with high-profile players, Thornton's entertaining ethnography will change the way you look at contemporary culture.
- November 2009
- 5.5 × 8.3 in
/ 320 pages
- Territory Rights: Worldwide including Canada, Singapore and Malaysia, but excluding the British Commonwealth.
Endorsements & Reviews
“A field guide to the nomadic tribes of the contemporary art world. The book was reported and written in a heated market, but it is poised to endure as a work of sociology.” — New York Times
“Entertaining and lucid...rigorous, precise reportage.” — Financial Times
“[An] intelligently written . . . refreshingly open-minded exploration.” — Washington Post
“The best book yet written about the modern-art boom . . . a vivid, wittily written . . . Robert Altmanesque panorama.” — Sunday Times [London]
“A terrific book—detailed, gossipy, and insightful. . . . By the end of the book, you almost understand how [Steve] Cohen could shell out $8 million for a rotting 14-foot shark pickled in formaldehyde.” — BusinessWeek
“A one-stop tutorial on an often insular subculture . . . light-hearted but sociologically acute.” — Time
“An exhaustively researched and intelligently written. . . refreshingly open-minded exploration.” — Washington Post
“Finely wrought and thoroughly researched…[with] an ingenious structure… and spot-on characterizations…the author draws readers into the experience… [with her] infectious curiosity and meticulous reporting.” — Annie Buckley, Artweek