Great works of art cannot be fully understood in a single encounter: to revisit and reconsider art again and again throughout one’s life is to be richly rewarded with an ever-deepening appreciation and insight. Similar benefits come from analysing a work of painting, sculpture or installation in detail. Modern Art in Detail: 75 Masterpieces spotlights the finer points that even connoisseurs may miss, casting light upon minutiae that a quick glance will almost certainly fail to reveal. These include subtle internal details, and the technical tricks employed by the artist to achieve particular effects. The book also looks at the themes and external and personal factors influencing the creation of an artwork – everything from global political events, to groundbreaking movements such as Cubism, Futurism and Primitivism, and even scientific and mathematical theories, which are often of great relevance.
The book examines 75 works of modern art, from Vincent van Gogh’s The Church at Auvers-sur-Oise (1890), to Paula Rego’s Visions (2015) , deftly charting the shift from the supremacy of artistic technique to the more recent dominance of the idea (or concept) behind the artwork itself.