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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2013
As a fan of Lichtenstein's work but not really knowing much about the background 'How Modern Art...' provides a fascinating insight into Lichtenstein's early life, his first pop art creations and his subsequent classics. Written in Sooke's accessible and interesting style 'How Modern Art...' has certainly wetted my appetite for the upcoming Lichtenstein exhibition at the Tate Modern (at time of writing) and I can now go armed with a further knowledge that will surely enhance my experience.

I absolutely love the penguin cover of the paper back that's been 'Lichtensteined.' There's no examples of the paintings in the book (with the exception of 'Look Mickey') but I believe the Kindle edition has. However I did enjoy looking them up on google as I read along. The only downside is the length, at only 50 pages I could easily have, and in fact wanted to, read more. But then isn't that the sign of a good book?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 July 2013
Roy Lichtenstein's work seems present a viewer with paintings about which there is nothing to say and little to think about. They can seem dated, and almost as banal as their subject matter. Simultaneously, with a bit of reflection, and even better with some background knowledge of the context in which Lichtenstein first developed his Pop art, a viewer realises there is much to think about and much that is witty, interesting and revolutionary in his work. Alistair Sooke provides the needed context and offers clear links for the reader between Lichtenstein's images, and his conscious and unconscious agenda as a painter struggling to free himself of the constraints of the prevailing salon, dominated by Abstract Expressionists. He also shows how Lichtenstein took visual cliches- the appearance of which are almost always fatal for fine art- and made them an integral and authentic part of fine art itself. Alistair Sooke offers a brilliant and lucid account of how Lichtenstein, created a series of unique masterpieces, which provided a penetrating visual commentary on American contemporary life and values.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2013
This epicurean monograph could - and should - prove to be the first of a whole new standard: Alastair Sooke to write a Penguin Special for each Tate exhibition. The content of this little gem positively sparkles with the insight and openness of the author so readily apparent when one has the joy of seeing him present a documentary. The chapters are short and pithy, each building on the wisdom and evidence garnered in the previous one, leading the reader round the oeuvre of this magnificent artist. I can't rave about this enough: please Alastair, another and another and another, share your evident passion for those you're passionate about.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 August 2013
I have watched and enjoyed Alistair Sooke's television programmes, and this book was not a disappointment. It is fun and informative - t's not academic scholarship, but seems completely appropriate for Lichtenstein and Pop Art.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Having had the opportunity to visit the Roy Lichtenstein retrospective exhibition at Tate Modern, this little book provided very useful background information. It answered the question of why Lichtenstein broke away so definitively from the Modern Expressionism of his contempories and created, in its place, the Pop Art concept for which he became justifiably famous. The book deals with his ideas on 'high' and 'low' art, authorship and originality in a very readable style. Highly recommended for those who are interested in this artist's iconic work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 December 2013
A clear and positive evaluation of Lichtenstein's work and influence. Each section is themed by one of Lichtenstein's subjects. A short work, but forms a strong impression.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 June 2013
A great little book for those studying modern art at university and yet it also hits the spot for those just interested or curious about this topic. A well written book by Alastair Sooke who gets to grips with the issues surrounding 'Pop Art' in a relatively easy way to understand.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This was an utterly perfect guide to Lichtenstein for anyone going to the exhibition at the Tate Modern. It's short, easy to follow (without being patronising), assumes no previous knowledge of the painter, and didn't shy away from the debate over Lichtenstein's work (genius or plagiarist).

It's also perfect for Kindle (although I do think the paperback copy is a little overpriced for such a short book).

If Mr Sooke would consider doing books like this for all of the Tate's (and other's) major art exhibitions I'd be first in the queue to buy them.
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on 2 February 2015
This is a simple to read essay, giving oodles of information in an informal manner - ideal if you are not an art historian but want to understand the background to the artist and his work. In fact, it galvanized me into buying a catalogue of the artist's work.
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on 13 April 2014
The reproduced pictures are very small on the Kindle. The title is misleading: he was an influential artist, but he didn't save world art. There is quite a lot of information on the web, you can save the cost of the book.
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