100 Works of Art That Will Define Our Age

Kelly Grovier, Thames & Hudson, £35

Every now and then a book about contemporary art appears which informs it audience in ways that neither the author nor

the publisher probably quite intended. This seems to be the case with Kelly Grovier’s 100 Works of Art That Will
Define Our Age, newly published by Thames & Hudson, just in time for this year’s Frieze Art Fair.


This is, without a doubt, a book that no one interested in contemporary artistic manifestations should ignore. Adorned with a cover that suggests the blurred double vision one suffers //--> after a bad knock on the head, it has a comprehensive suite of illustrations, well reproduced in good colour. The choice of names is extremely informative concerning the state of the art world right now. It is perhaps
a little more difficult to be complimentary about the text. The flavour of this is well
illustrated by this, the final paragraph
of Grovier’s description of Damien Hirst’s diamond encrusted skull, For the Love of God:

“What a strange geometrical hinge Hirst’s outrageous jaw is. It defines our age eloquently, src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"> an era of recycled retro that forgot it was

retro. When the skull was first unveiled as part of the src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"> British artist’s exhibition ‘Beyond Belief’, the lavish security it enjoyed as though it were

large proportion are associated with the so-called YBA movement.

The next largest

Gursky, Richter,
Gregor Schneider and Neo

art world has its limits.

The book scores fairly high in terms of making a place for female artists. In all, there are 23 inclusions – almost a quarter of the total. Rather strangely, however, no fewer than nine of

is not nearly as efficient in conveying information about large, often labyrinthine three dimensional objects as film. Meanwhile hybrid art ‘books’ – so called – are increasingly available on portable tablet /* xin-1 */ computers through the use of Apple’s iBook software. If these forty installations were all visible on an iBook, each represented by a film clip or a series of film clips, one would have a much better idea of what they are really like, and therefore of both their strengths and
keen to google_ad_height = 90; celebrate is bizarrely akin, certainly in organizational terms, to the world of the great official Salons, dominant during the closing years /* 9-970x90 */ of the 19th century. Did Bouguereau and Alma-Tadema define the art of their time?

The domain is on BIN Sales and available for purchase. 您访问的域名正在一口价出售中!

Yes, in a way that’s just what they did.


Reviewed by

Edward Lucie-Smith

The Jackdaw, October 2013