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'A New Way of Seeing: The History of Art in 57 Works' by Kelly Grovier published by Thames & Hudson
Grant Wood, American Gothic, 1930. Oil on beaverboard, 78 x 65.3 cm. Art Institute of Chicago.

LONDON.- A New Way of Seeing asks "what makes great art great?" and questions whether greatness can be pinned down to a single indispensable detail – a flourish of strangeness without which masterpieces from Trajan's Column to Munch's The Scream, the Bayeux Tapestry to Andy Warhol’s Brillo Boxes, The Book of Kells to Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss and Louise Bourgeois’s Maman – would not continue to sing in the popular imagination.

Kelly Grovier, one of the most exciting new voices in cultural criticism, answers these questions 57 times by combing the most revered paintings and sculptures in all of art history for overlooked details that, once spotted and explored, alter forever the way that we see and, more importantly, connect with these milestones of creativity. From a spectral sixth finger that ghosts Mona Lisa's hand and the unfinished pearl in Vermeer’s most famous painting, to a newly discovered planet that troubles the sky in American Gothic, Grovier's engaging detective work rescues from the surface of famous works a trove of surprises.

From a carved mammoth tusk (c. 40,000 BCE) to Duchamp’s Fountain (1917), from Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights (1505-10) to Marina Abramovićs The Artist is Present (2010), a remarkable lexicon of astonishing imagery has imprinted itself onto cultural consciousness over the past 40,000 years. It is to these works that Kelly Grovier devotes himself in this radical new art history.

Lavishly illustrated with many of the most celebrated artworks ever created, as well as important works that inspired or were inspired by them, Kelly Grovier’s A New Way of Seeing re-illuminates enduring masterpieces and invites every reader to marvel at each work afresh.

Kelly Grovier is a poet and cultural critic. He is a columnist and feature writer for BBC Culture and his writings on art have appeared in The Times Literary Supplement, The Independent, The Sunday Times, The Observer, The RA Magazine and Wired. Educated at the University of California, Los Angeles, and at the University of Oxford, he is co-founder of the scholarly journal European Romantic Review, as well as the author of 100 Works of Art That Will Define Our Age (2013) and Art Since 1989 (2015), both published by Thames & Hudson.

‘It is one of those hypnotic flourishes that, once spotted, transfixes the eye: the spiral of golden hair suspended on the goddess’s right shoulder in Sandro Botticelli’s Renaissance masterpiece The Birth of Venus.’

'Munch’s portrait of a shrieking figure has become an archetype of existential angst. More than a century after it was painted, its elastic countenance still hypnotizes, like a bare bulb swaying above cultural consciousness.’

Today's News

December 25, 2018

The Birmingham Museum of Art traces depictions of Jesus through art history

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The Met opens an exhibition focusing on early painting styles that emerged in the Pahari courts of North India

Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung recounts an important tale of Greek mythology

Torun gingerbread: the ancient luxury with a secret recipe

Sculptor gets laughs in New York with monuments to fake tragedies

Pilgrims gather at Jesus's traditional birthplace for Christmas

Andreas Beitin to become new Director of the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg

The Centre Pompidou presents major retrospective exhibition to the Japanese architect Tadao Ando

Exhibition provides new insights into Egon Schiele's working methods

Survey looking at the way Punk culture used the language of sexuality on view at the Museum of Sex

Newcomers join the Mayfair Antiques & Fine Art Fair in London's West End

Italian toy story: retired mechanic carves old favourites

Exhibition of paintings by Paul Gagner on view at Freight+Volume

'Crouching Tiger' star Chow Yun-fat vows to donate fortune

'A New Way of Seeing: The History of Art in 57 Works' by Kelly Grovier published by Thames & Hudson

Anthony Wilson brings together a collection of his songs and 35mm photographs in new book

Edward Hopper House Museum & Study Center opens a new site-specific installation by Angela Fraleigh

Kunsthalle Osanbrueck exhibits William Engelen's 'Today, the Organ Has Played Beautifully Again'

Collective, a new large scale contemporary arts space opens in Edinburgh

Galerie Urs Meile opens the first solo exhibition in the gallery of Swiss artist Mirko Baselgia

John Hansard Gallery presents a retrospective of the work of Edward Woodman

Solo exhibition by the Czech artist Milan Houser on view at the Kunsthalle LAB

Solo exhibition featuring 16 geometric, sculptural cityscapes by Bo Droga on view at Olsen Gruin

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