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Art Attack: A Short Cultural History of the Avant-Garde

by Marc Aronson

Published by Clarion, 1998
192 pages
ISBN: 0-395-79729-2

Age 13 and older

Lively prose addressed directly to teenagers claims that it's young people who "take the most risks, who see the furthest, and who make the most challenging art." From the introductory summary to the final chapter-by-chapter listings of biographical dates and detailed source notes, Aronson brings insight and order to a subject that--according to the uninformed--often lacks both elements. Aronson's passion for both the avant-garde and for cultural history are a good match. He asserts that some avant-garde images have gradually made their way into the cultural mainstream, even though initially some were created at considerable risk, aesthetically and even politically. The book is illustrated with a wide variety of interestingly captioned artwork reproduced in black and white. All but one of the 14 chapters begins with an appealing suggestion of specific music to which one might listen while reading about avant-garde art. Few can remain neutral when confronted by avant-garde art (that's the idea, after all), or even while reading Aronson's blend of fact and opinion about this art. Rather than lifting fragments out their cultural history context, it's essential to consider the whole of this exciting, marvelously written volume. CCBC categories: The Arts.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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