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Seven Days in the Art World (Paperback)


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"An indelible portrait of a peculiar society." —Vogue

Sarah Thornton's vivid ethnography—an international hit, now available in twenty translations—reveals the inner workings of the sophisticated subcultures that make up the contemporary art world. In a series of day-in-the-life narratives set in New York, Los Angeles, London, Basel, Venice, and Tokyo, Seven Days in the Art World explores the dynamics of creativity, taste, status, money, and the search for meaning in life.

About the Author

Sarah Thornton's Seven Days in the Art World was named one of the best art books of the year by the New York Times and is available in sixteen languages. She was the chief writer on contemporary art for the Economist. She holds a BA in art history and a PhD in sociology.

Praise For…

A field guide to the nomadic tribes of the contemporary art world. The book was reported and written in a heated art market, but it is poised to endure as a work of sociology.

The best book yet written about the modern-art boom…a Robert Altmanesque panorama of the most important cultural phenomenon of the last ten years.

Seven Days in the Art World…seems destined to outlive its moment…Thornton offers an indelible portrait of a peculiar society, simultaneously cutthroat and curious…glamorous yet filled with people who would have been unpopular in high school.

— Leslie Camhi

An entertaining and lucid account of the mysterious ways of contemporary art…[Thornton] does well to resist the temptation to draw any glib, overarching conclusions. There is more than enough in her rigorous, precise reportage…for the reader to make his or her own connections.
— Peter Aspden

[An] intelligently written…refreshingly open-minded exploration.

A terrific book—detailed, gossipy, and insightful…By the end of the book, you almost understand how [Steve] Cohen could shell out $8 million for a rotting 14-foot shark pickled in formaldehyde.

A one-stop tutorial on an often insular subculture…light-hearted but sociologically acute.

Finely wrought and thoroughly researched…[with] an ingenious structure…and spot-on characterizations…the author draws readers into the experience…[with her] infectious curiosity and meticulous reporting.
— Annie Buckley
Product Details
ISBN: 9780393337129
ISBN-10: 039333712X
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: November 2nd, 2009
Pages: 320
Language: English