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What is Contemporary Art?

A Children's Guide

Jacky Klein, Suzy Klein

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A fun, engaging and informative introduction to contemporary art


Why do some artists use elephant dung, eggshells and crushed cars to make their art? Who created sculptures from fluorescent lightbulbs? Are two giant hamburgers better than one? Does Rachel Whiteread's bed look comfortable to you? And why is there a suit hanging on the wall of an art gallery?

What is Contemporary Art? reveals all this and more. The perfect introduction to the world of contemporary art, it celebrates the work of around 70 artists from across the globe. Exploring subjects such as outer space, unusual materials and bizarre beasts, the book is packed with special features inkling pull-out information and ideas boxes, quotations by the artists and ‘How Did They Do It?’ prompts. Short biographies include fascinating facts on each of the artists, a glossary explains key art terms and a list of useful websites and art museums where to go next.

A beguiling book for children and parents, as well as the perfect support for school topic work on art history themes, What is Contemporary Art? invites young readers to understand, enjoy and question some of the most dynamic and exciting art of our times.

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'Lucid and rather jaunty without being flippant … a beautifully presented and accessible book that parents, teachers and older children will find valuable'
The Art Newspaper

Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC (no jacket)

Size: 30.5 x 24.0 cm

Extent: 64 pp

Illustrations: 74

Publication date: 1 October 2012

ISBN: 9780500515891

About the Author

Jacky Klein is an art historian, publisher and broadcaster specializing in 20th-century and contemporary art. She has presented and contributed to a range of radio and television programmes for the BBC, Bloomberg TV, Tate, the Art Fund and Christie’s, and has taught at a number of arts institutions including the Courtauld Institute, University College London, Christie’s Education and the Victoria and Albert Museum. She is also the author of Grayson Perry, also published by Thames & Hudson.

Suzy Klein writes and broadcasts on the arts and culture. She has hosted the drivetime programme on BBC Radio 3, and is a contributor to the Guardian and The New Statesman.