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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 31 December 2002
A pocket-sized delight of a book and a great companion to any bookshelf, The 20th Century Art Book: Mini Edition is something you'll want to flick through regularly. Each page features an analysis of the greatest artists of this century, along with an image of a related artwork. Apart from the familiar faces, this book will educate and inspire you with stories of little-known artists you'll want to find out more about.
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on 8 June 2001
this is a good book, especially for art students or any big art fan. It has artists that even i have never heard before and the pictures are so clear that it shows the original colours
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on 27 October 2000
this book is not full of great detail about the works or the artists, but is a great reference tool to discover the names of similar artists and further areas to investigate. images are brilliant and captions are consise.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 February 2014
If you are ordering this book, make very sure that you are selecting the right size. Some of the reviews here relate to the 'mini' version, people being disappointed that it was so small or advising that it could be taken around the gallery with you as it is the right size to pop in your pocket. The only way to get this edition around the gallery easily would be if the floors had been highly polished and the book could be pulled around on a blanket.

Published in 1996 and, therefore, being slightly premature this book includes 500 oil paintings, sculpture, collage, ready-made objects, installations and videos, the four latter being characteristic of the 20th-century. Perhaps works on paper might have been included for completeness? The graphic artist, Frans Masereel, is just one artist who deserves to be included – replacing such derivative works as, for example, Yong Ping Huang’s “The History of Chinese Art and a Concise History of Modern Art after Two Minutes in the Washing Machine”, 1987. Copies of both books, the latter in an English translation, were put through a short cycle, the combined pulp placed in a tatty, old wooden box and displayed as a [tatty?] work of art. Huang’s art, burning works and exhibiting junk and other found objects, sometimes ‘created’ with colleagues from the ‘Xiamen-Dada Happenings’ have led to censorship from official art museums and exhibitions. If only Monet had possessed this genius then he could have accomplished his ‘Waterlily’ and other cycles very much more speedily.

The book reproduces each work as a full-colour plate that is accompanied by a brief text, typically 150 words, that ‘sheds light on the work shown and its creator’, or ‘creators’ in the case of Gilbert and George, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Ulay and Abramovic, Komar and Melamid, and Tim Rollins and his collaborative group Kids of Survival, for example. A feature of the book is that each artist is cross-referenced to artists of a a similar style, matter or medium – thus Naum Gabo is linked to Domela, Hepworth, Lissitsky, Nicholson and Tatlin, whilst Joan Mitchell is linked with Gorky, Kline, De Kooning, Krasner, Mondrian and Rothko. It would have been helpful to have been told something about the selection and/or sifting procedures.

There are glossaries of terms [‘Abstract/Abstraction’ to ‘Watercolour’], artistic movements [‘Abstract Expressionism’ and ‘Art Informel’ to ‘Tachisme’ and ‘Vorticism’], museums and galleries [Australia and Austria to Uruguay and Venezuela]. The latter actually relate to the locations of the art works illustrated and, for the UK, these are Peter Stuyvesant Foundation Limited, Aylesbury; Fitzwilliam Museum, Scottish National Museum of Art; Cotton’s Atrium, London; Courtauld Institute Galleries; National Gallery; Saatchi Collection; Tate Gallery; Henry Moore Foundation, Much Hadham; City Art Gallery, Nottingham; Lady Lever Art Gallery, Wirral; Salford Art Gallery and Museum, and Southampton City Art Gallery.

However, the diversity of artistic mediums from the last century really required a short over-arching Introduction. As it stands the reader is plunged straight into Vito Acconci, Bas Jan Ader, Eileen Agar and Craigie Aitchison and the collection does not let up until Andrew Wyeth, Jack Butler Yeats, Jiro Yoshihara and Gilberto Zorio. The artists come from Argentina to Zaire, Yugoslavia to Armenia.

The enjoyment of this collection is the juxtaposition of very different works, works by known and unknown artists and acknowledged masterpieces. It also allows one to make knee-jerk responses to works like that of Huang, above. However, although colourful, ‘comprehensive’ and [if your coffee-table is strong enough] a focus for perusal and animated discussion, ultimately I found it rather unsatisfying.
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on 5 March 2015
The contents of this book are very poor, there is no information on types of art ("-isms"), no information on any artists. Instead, every page represents one painting of alphabetically arranged authors, and gives no idea on modern art as a whole.
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on 10 August 2010
I could read this over and over, cover to cover, its a pick up and flick through book, great for little moments when you have time to read, the problem is that it so good you can't put it down!!
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on 8 March 2014
I have many Art books, this is very concise and helpful. It will be useful for me to take to college. Fairly up to date. There were however a few omissions, I think on the whole an excellent book. However if it were to include a few more environmental Artists such as John Blakemore it would be more relevant.
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on 18 March 2013
I think it would be worth stretching the format to include two or more works by some of the artists. For example, the Andy Warhol page (obviously) has the Soup Can but nothing else. However, it is a good introduction to 20th century art for a newcomer like me.
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on 26 January 2016
Great little art book, every page has a different artist with a wide variety of artistic styles. Very useful to discover an artist you have never heard of before, then find out more about the artists other work on the internet by goggling their name. Unless you are an artist expert I'm sure you will discover a new artist that you enjoy in this book!
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on 13 February 2013
This is a good handbook for concise information on the wide selection of 20th century artists covered. My only complaint is that it tends to address mainly the representative picture selected, and not always generalise enough on the artists overall works.
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