The Most Disruptive Works in Modern Art

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Pub Date 25 Jan 2022 | Archive Date 13 Jan 2022

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Discover art that dared to be different, risked reputations and put careers in jeopardy. This is what happens when artists take tradition and rip it up.
ArtQuake tells the stories of 50 pivotal works that shook the world, telling the fascinating stories behind their creation, reception and legacy.

The books begin with the rebels who struck out against Victorian conformism, daring painters and sculptors like Manet and Rodin, Van Gogh and Courbet, who experimented with expressionist and realist art styles as well as controversial subjects.

Moving into the fin de siècle and the 20th century, we study the truly iconic works and turbulent lives of artists like Munch and Klimt, Picasso and Egon Schiele, whose work into abstraction, surrealism and cubism shocked and scandalized, but ultimately changed the course of western art forever.

Moving into the second half of the 20th Century, we see spectacular works of conceptual rebellion, absurdity and political protest, from Andy Warhol and the Pop Art movement to Marina Abramovic, whose often visceral and violent works of performance art laid bare the savagery of the patriarchy and the human condition.

In the 21st century, we see how iconoclastic creators have pushed the boundaries of art even further, from Banksy to Louise Bourgeoise, from self-destructing paintings to experimental works of computerized art.

Complete with beautiful reproductions of their iconic works, as well as a glossary of terms and movements at the back, meet the huge egos, uncompromising feminists, gifted recluses, spiritualists, anti-consumerists, activists and satirists who have irrevocably carved their names into the history of art around the world.

In telling the history of modern and contemporary art through the works that were truly disruptive, and explaining the context in which each was created, ArtQuake demonstrates the heart of modern art, which is to constantly question and challenge expectation

This book is from the Culture Quake series, which looks into iconic moments of culture which truly created paradigm shifts in their respective fields. Also available is FilmQuake, which tells the stories of 50 key films that consciously questioned the boundaries, challenged the status quo and made shockwaves we are still feeling today.
Discover art that dared to be different, risked reputations and put careers in jeopardy. This is what happens when artists take tradition and rip it up.
ArtQuake tells the stories of 50 pivotal...

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Featured Reviews

Pros: I often wish I had majored in Art History, so I am thankful for books about art and artists where I can learn about one of my favorite subjects. The approach of this book is fascinating—50 works of post-18050 art that shook the world and often ushered in new eras of and approaches to art. Although many of these works of art are well known, I did not know the stories behind them until reading this book.

Some of my favorite details in this book were the timelines and history sections that set the art in time and place; the artists’ quotes; and that each artwork was captioned with the medium, size, and where it is displayed. Also, the works of art looked great in the digital copy I read, so I assume the printed copy of this book will be a showpiece.

Cons: Until the last section, this book mostly featured European and American artists. I would have loved to see more diversity in the artists featured.

Thank you to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group – White Lion for the opportunity to read this book.

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This is a beautiful book. I love reading books about art, and I found this one interesting among all the other books. It was fun revisiting all those paintings with a fresh view. I'd love to have the hard copy.

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The second book in the new Culture Quake series, ArtQuake by Susie Hodge is a step-up for me compared to FilmQuake. The most obvious reason is that I am not nearly as well versed into general art as I am with films, thus making this read very worthwhile, eye-opening, and even inspiring.

Hodge chose a collection of 50 bold and boundary-pushing works of art, from famous paintings like Van Gogh's "The Starry Night" and Bansky's "Girl with Balloon"/"Love is in the Bin", to subversive sculptures and "readymades" like Duchamp's "Fountain" or "Immersion (Piss Chris)" by Andres Serrano. Each piece has exhaustive and straightforward biographical notes on the artist's life, placing each of them in their historical and artistic contexts. A compelling, quick, and inspirational read that I would recommend to fellow artists and art-lovers.

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ArtQuake by Susie Hodge is a volume in the Culture Quake series and does a remarkable job of showing how these 50 works of art, some well-known some lesser known, "disrupted" the art world and in many cases the world beyond.

Like the other book in the series, FilmQuake, this is not about whether the reader or even Hodge "likes" each work. This is about how each one responded to its moment in history and what influence it had on what came after. Also just like the other volume, this will appeal both to novices as well as those more knowledgeable in art history. Anyone who claims they are so "versed" that either book wasn't that interesting to them is posing, and doing so horribly. Those who are knowledgeable or "versed" are always looking at ways of making new connections between works, between a work and its historical context, and in framing the larger history in slightly different ways. It isn't even always about "new" information but about juxtaposing known information with other things that might not always be discussed together.

These entries make for a type of history of modern art if read straight through but the book would also make a nice companion for those times when you want to read something but don't have time to jump back into that novel you're reading or the nonfiction book that is making a larger argument that requires some mental commitment every time you read. This is like the book of short stories or essays that you can pick up whenever you have a few minutes, then you can think about what you read when you go back to whatever you have to do.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.

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Following quickly on from Filmquake, which does the same for cinema, this gives us fifty key, semi-canonical moments of the art world of the Victorian era up, taking us from Courbet's "The Bathers" to, well, other dodgy art pieces concerning nudity for spurious reasons. So a shark gets pickled, a pope gets struck by a meteorite, someone takes the piss with a urinal, someone else does worse with shit, and someone gets to call something a "Decontextualization of an Action, Unannounced Performance, Behaviour Art" as if invisible theatre wasn't a thing fifty years previously. (Mind you, as regards the last piece, what the heffing kell are those men wearing only pink knickers and nothing else doing??!!)

Once again the book is structured around the timelines, to point out not only that each painting, happening and sculpture exists as a point in time, but equally as a section and chapter of a longer, wide-reaching narrative. The text labours this at times, demanding we accept each artist influenced each other, and built a bridge from A to C, wherever C was (probably somewhere involving nudity or shit). This clearly isn't a general narrative of 20th Century art – Rothko is absent visually; Christo and Jeanne-Claude get a name-check, but none of their works are here; Land Art ignored for being too subtle. But in being a guide to what artists have done (and still do) to get known, to make a difference and to make something different, this is a powerful survey, never extending its essays and box-outs beyond the necessary basics (pink knickers notwithstanding), and appropriately showing the cycle of real life influencing art influencing real life ad infinitum. Not exactly one for the vicar's wife at times, this is still an enjoyable slice of entertaining education. A strong four stars.

Filmquake :-

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A really informative and interesting look at art history, with a slightly humourous and more entertaining lens.
Just because it's about history and a serious subject, doesn't mean that it has to be dry and boring, which I was incredibly impressed about.

A comprehensive look at both well known and lesser known artists, with detailed information about the creation of famous works and not just the pieces themselves.

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I’ve read into it and it’s quite good! Very interesting and I like the design and the layout. I haven’t read all of it yet but from what I can say it’s great, not amazing but I really liked what I read and the different forms of art.

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"ArtQuake" as the title indicates shows you what has shaken up the art world, certain artists, their works, and even periods in history. You learn so much from how "ArtQuake" has divided the art periods, the timelines were a favorite of mine because it was separated for each art period, not just one huge timeline which I certainly appreciate and you can identify exactly when each art period began and what was happening in the world at that time. The artworks that were chosen, in "ArtQuake", to be discussed and which created such criticisms at that time the pieces were made, certainly lets you understand how controlled the art scene was, and although there's a reason for it all, and putting yourself during those time periods you can see how the certain artworks really gave critics something to talk about.

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