Through Our Own Eyes: Popular Art & Modern History

Guy Brett, Author
Guy Brett, Author Library Company of Philadelphia $39.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-86571-092-4
Reviewed on: 02/01/1987
Release date: 02/01/1987
Brett, a former London Times art critic, surveys five popular art movementsthe protest patchworks (arpillera of Chile; agricultural commune paintings of Huxian, China; popular art in Zaire's Shaba province; the visual testimony of Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors; and art produced by the women protesters at Greenham Common in Great Britain. The author seeks to establish ""these productions as an artistic and social phenomenon of great significance which can often give a deeper insight into the contemporary world than the major established forms of art, or of the mass media.'' This thesis, however, is much larger than the 160 pages allotted to it and is often supported with undeveloped assertions and unjustified conclusions. For example, Brett states that ``mechanical reproduction has not in practice served to articulate the desires of the masses''; but what about popular photography? Fortunately, he is a sensitive reader of images and proves a competent guide in unfamiliar art terrain. The book includes 40 color and 100 black-and-white reproductions and photographs. (February)
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