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Why is art full of naked people? (Why is…?)

& other vital questions about art

Susie Hodge


An irreverent primer that asks tricky questions about what makes art art

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Artists ask questions when they make art – and viewers ask questions when they look at art. This gently provocative book provides an engaging way for young people to start asking and answering questions for themselves. Why is art full of naked people? is structured around 22 questions, each one tackled over two spreads. The opening spread explores the question and answer, inviting the reader to study a full-bleed image of an important artwork. The second spread shows a selection of work on the theme from across history, showing how art can run with an idea to hugely different ends. The tone of the text is fresh and informal but not flippant.


'The question bubbles recur throughout the book, encouraging a child to dip in as the mood takes them, and helping them stimulate and support their thinking'

'Primarily aimed at children, this absorbing and entertaining book from the always interesting Susie Hodge sets out to answer the sort of questions many adults would like to ask as well'
The Artist

'A humorous look at the world of art, it makes a welcome addition to the class or school library!'
North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC (no jacket)

Size: 26.3 x 19.0 cm

Extent: 96 pp

Publication date: 8 September 2016

ISBN: 9780500650806

Contents List

Are stick men art?: Cave painting • Are there any ugly sculptures?: Greek and Roman sculpture • Why do paintings need frames?: Who looks at art? • Why is everything flat?: Painting in the Middle Ages • Why is art full of naked people?: Renaissance art and the body • What’s the story?: Romanticism and narrative • Who are all these people?: Portraiture • What’s with all the fruit?: Still lifes • Why paint so many fields?: Landscapes • Is it meant to be blurry?: Impressionism • Is it finished?: Artists’ work-in- progress • What is it exactly?: Abstract art • Is it upside-down?: Cubism • That’s just weird: Surrealism • Is that it?: Minimalism • Do artists ever copy each other?: Pop art • My kid sister could do that!: Conceptual art • What’s the point?: Why art matters • Why is art so expensive?: The value of art • Is it good or bad?: The art world • Why do I have to be quiet in a gallery?: Installations and performance art • Who’s who and location of artworks

About the Author

Susie Hodge is an art historian, author, artist and journalist with more than 100 books to her name. She has an MA in the History of Art from Birkbeck, University of London, and is a Fellow of the RSA. She has twice been named the No. 1 art writer by the Independent.

Claire Goble is an illustrator, animator and designer.

List of Contributors

Claire Goble