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Destination Art: Land Art · Site-Specific Art · Sculpture Parks Paperback – 24 Jan 2011
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'An excellent guide' --Metro
'If there is anything more likely to make you want to jack it all in and travel the world, I haven't found it yet'
--Artists & Illustrators
`The strength ofAmy Dempsey's writing is that she stresses the [artist's] personal vision behind their works'
--The Art Newspaper
About the Author
Amy Dempsey has worked for the Tate Modern Museum in London and is the author of Styles, Schools and Movements. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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What this book does so well is to almost overcome the limitations of description and reproduction, and allow you to engage with some truly beautiful and original art, without necessarily visiting it, and yet also inspires you to go and see it first-hand. The premise of this book is simple: to cover art which demands that you travel to a particular location to see it. This is not about galleries, although one or two do sneak in, such as the Museo Guggenhiem, Bilbao, this is all about art that demands that you visit it in its location and experience it on its own terms.
One of the wonderful things about this book is the breadth of destination art, ranging from the famous, such as Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty in Utah, to the not so well known, such as Le Palais Idéal, in Hauterives, France. Each of the fifty featured destinations has been lovingly and richly described, and a further one hundred and fifty are covered in less detail but are well described nevertheless. Having been to one or two of the destinations: the fantastic Cass Sculpture Foundation in Goodwood for example, it is interesting to see how well they have been described, in fact the quality of the writing just makes me want to visit again. As a sampler of what is out there, some of which you could easily get to, some of which would be more difficult to reach, it is an absolute joy.
In short, if you have an interest in modern or contemporary art this is a book you should treat yourself to, or if you are really lucky have someone else buy it for you, thanks to my Sister-in-Law and Brother for doing exactly this.
The lack of maps also makes it more difficult to cross-reference, and I found I was using my fingers or other page markers as I constantly had to flit from the indexes to the main body. For example, if there was some artwork you knew of somewhere in, say the UK, but you didn’t know its name or the artist, how would you look it up ? The list of places at the back takes an appreciable amount of time to go through. If there is a next addition, I would think it would greatly enhance it if some maps were included, particularly if the chapter headings are to remain the same.
I appreciate not everything can be listed, and it is a huge undertaking to embark on a subject matter such as this. However, I would have thought Antony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’ should have made it into the revised and expanded 2011 edition. It was the first place I looked up, and after a frustrating half an hour, realised it wasn’t there.
The Yorkshire Sculpture Park gets one small paragraph, whilst the ‘Memorial to Heroic Sacrifice’ in Postman Park in London gets four whole pages (although this latter one is an excellent place to go to, but the dedication of four pages was probably excessive).
I’ve given the book three stars as the photographs are wonderful and stunning, but the format I found to be frustrating to use. Good to flick through as a coffee-table addition, but I think I would have preferred a more useable edition.
The book features hundreds of sculptures from around the world, from private collections to public sculpture parks and all sorts of other settings in between. The layout consists of five chapters that discuss different aspects of land art. Each chapter features major works with thorough, well-articulated descriptions and information on the artsists. Then there are pages that show many minor works with brief descriptions dispersed throughout. It makes for a good mix as it allows the reader to browse or go in depth, depending on one's mood.
The photographs are good but could be better and the quality of paper isn't the best either, but for the price it's fine. The dimensions are just right too and the book has a good, solid weight to it.
I would highly recommend this book to any art lover. I found it difficult to put down after reading from the start, but also like to open at a random page to browse for 5 minutes. It's truly inspiring and extremely informative.
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