Can an artist claim that an object is a work of art if it has been made for him or her by someone else? If so, who is the ‘author’ of such a work? And just what is the difference between a work of art and a work of craft?
The Art of Not Making tackles these questions head on, exploring the concepts of authorship, artistic originality, skill, craftsmanship and the creative act, and highlighting the vital role that skills from craft and industrial production play in the creation of some of today’s most innovative and sought-after works of art.
Michael Petry presents the art of over 115 contemporary artists – including Takashi Murakami, Matthew Barney, Tony Cragg, Cornelia Parker, Grayson Perry, Ai Weiwei, Daniel Buren and Carsten Höller – all of whom have one thing in common: they do not always make their own work. Instead, they often either employ others to produce it on their behalf, or appropriate objects made by someone else. Original interviews with the artists and artisans offer insights into this creative collaboration, which often produces works breathtaking in their scope and ambition.
This is a fresh, controversial and enlightening approach to many of the most influential artworks of our time.