Seven Days in the Art World (Hardcover)

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December 2008 Indie Next List

“Each chapter in Thornton's new book is a separate essay about a particular aspect of the art world, and a day spent there. We are shown both the sincerely creative and the unbelievably pretentious, the front-page headliners and the little-known people behind the scenes. What a great idea for a book!”
— Anne Wilde, Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop, Mequon, WI


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.

About the Author

Sarah Thornton is a writer and sociologist of art. Formerly the chief correspondent on contemporary art for the Economist, she has written for many other publications, including the Guardian and the New Yorker. Sarah holds a BA in art history and a PhD in sociology. She lives in London.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780393067224
ISBN-10: 039306722X
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: November 17th, 2008
Pages: 274
Language: English