Pub Date 02 Oct 2014
A generational touchstone by the leading authority on the art world, a captivating book in three parts which seeks to answer the contentious question 'What is an Artist?'
Is being an artist a radical form of entrepreneurship or a vocational calling
like the priesthood? Is it an extension of philosophy or an offshoot of
In three richly interlinked but distinct 'acts' - Politics, Kinship and Craft - Sarah Thornton compares and contrasts answers to the simple but profound question: what is an artist?
33 Artists in 3 Acts draws on hundreds of personal encounters with the world's most important artists, to ask what it means to be making artworks in different parts of the world today. With Thornton as expert guide and trusted insider, we have unprecedented access to the lives of the artists, from late-night Skype chats with Ai Weiwei to taxi rides with Maurizio Cattelan on the way to and from the show that announces his death. We join Thornton as she rummages through artists' studios, homes and solo shows, inquiring about everything from their bank accounts to their bedrooms. The result is a series of cinematic experiences, which juxtapose artists in thought-provoking ways, and build up narratives that end with epiphanies.
33 Artists in 3 Acts is a generational touchstone, a powerful triptych and gripping anti-monograph about truth, integrity, credibility and recognition. Essential reading for anyone interested in contemporary art, this masterful act of storytelling will also delight any reader seeking to understand creative lives.
Praise for Seven Days in the Art World:
'Hard thinking but high spirited... Thornton swoops with a trained eye and sharp claws on the makers and breakers of reputation' Independent
'Rigorous, precise reportage... Entertaining and lucid' Financial Times
'A rich and reliably fair guide not to the art world, but to its more monied quarters and its uppermost echelons... Excellent' Scotland on Sunday
'Excellent, vivid, wittily written' Sunday Times
'Fascinating... An entertaining and interesting book' Literary Review
- With unmatched access to artists and the art industry, Sarah Thornton is the perfect curator of this anti-monograph.
- Seven Days in the Art World was a Book of the Year for the Independent, The Times and the Sunday Times, and has been translated into 15 languages.