From a carved mammoth tusk (ca. 40,000 BCE) to Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights (1505–1510) to Duchamp’s Fountain (1917), a remarkable lexicon of astonishing imagery has imprinted itself onto the cultural consciousness of the past 40,000 years.
Author Kelly Grovier devotes himself to illuminating these and more than fifty other seminal works in this radical new history of art. Stepping away from biography, style, and the chronology of “isms” that preoccupies most of art history, A New Way of Seeing invites a new interaction with art, one in which we learn from the artworks and not just about them. Grovier identifies that part of the artwork that bridges the divide between art and life and elevates its value beyond the visual to the vital. This book challenges the sensibility that conceives of artists as brands and the works they create as nothing more than material commodities to hoard, hide, and flip for profit.
Lavishly illustrated with many of the most breathtaking and enduring artworks ever created, Kelly Grovier casts fresh light on these famous works by daring to isolate a single, and often overlooked, detail responsible for its greatness and power to move.
Finally, a book that asks, with a restless and sensitive eye, what it is that makes masterpieces sing across the centuries. A highly enjoyable history of art that is also a fascinating mediation on excellence.
— Jonathan Jones, art critic The Guardian
Kelly Grovier is a poet, historian, and cultural critic. He is a regular contributor on art to the Times Literary Supplement, and his writing has appeared in numerous publications, including the Observer, Sunday Times, and Wired. Educated at the University of California, Los Angeles, and at the University of Oxford, he is the author of 100 Works of Art That Will Define Our Age and Art Since 1989.