Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton

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A fly-on-the-wall account of the smart and strange subcultures that make, trade, curate, collect, and hype contemporary art.

The art market has been booming. Museum attendance is surging. More people than ever call themselves artists. Contemporary art has become a mass entertainment, a luxury good, a job description, and, for some, a kind of alternative religion.

In a series of beautifully paced narratives, Sarah Thornton investigates the drama of a Christie's auction, the workings in Takashi Murakami's studios, the elite at the Basel Art Fair, the eccentricities of Artforum magazine, the competition behind an important art prize, life in a notorious art-school seminar, and the wonderland of the Venice Biennale. She reveals the new dynamics of creativity, taste, status, money, and the search for meaning in life. A judicious and juicy account of the institutions that have the power to shape art history, based on hundreds of interviews with high-profile players, Thornton's entertaining ethnography will change the way you look at contemporary culture.


About Sarah Thornton

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Sarah Thornton is a freelance writer who contributes to The New Yorker, BBC-TV, and She has degrees in art history and sociology. She lives in London.
Published November 17, 2008 by W. W. Norton & Company. 305 pages
Genres: History, Arts & Photography, Education & Reference, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Seven Days in the Art World

The New York Times

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Seven day-in-the-life chapters, each focusing on a different facet of the contemporary art world and its globe-trotting Prada-clad tribe.

Dec 07 2008 | Read Full Review of Seven Days in the Art World

The Telegraph

My favourite is from veteran New York art dealer Barbara Gladstone who, dressed head-to-toe in black Prada, bemoans the cramped booths at Art Basel: 'It is like being a whore in Amsterdam.

Oct 22 2008 | Read Full Review of Seven Days in the Art World

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Oct 17 2008 | Read Full Review of Seven Days in the Art World

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