A readable guide to the art of looking at art.There’s an art to viewing art. A sizable portion of the population regards art with varying degrees of reverence, bewilderment, suspicion, contempt, and intimidation. Most people aren’t sure what to do when standing before a work of art, besides gaze at it for what they hope is an acceptable amount of time, and even those who visit galleries and museums regularly aren’t always as well versed as they wish they could be. This book will help remedy that situation and answer many of the most frequently asked questions pertaining to the matter of art in general:
The Art of Looking at Art addresses these and countless more of the issues surrounding this frequently misunderstood microcosm, in a highly informative, yet conversational tone. History, fascinating and altogether human backstories, and information pertaining to every conceivable aspect of visual art are interwoven in twelve concise chapters, providing all the information the average person needs to comfortably approach, analyze, and appreciate art. Readers with a background in art will learn a few new things as well. This beautiful full-color book includes 45 full-page reproductions.
The Art of Looking at Art provides such a guide for those wishing to learn more about art, and also sheds new light on ideas and themes for the more experienced among us. We can all learn something new by revisiting that which we thought we already knew enough about already. Take a second look and check out The Art of Looking at Art by Gene Wisniewski.
Wisniewski covers prehistoric times to the present, providing a solid introduction to art movements and masterpieces through the ages. He also answers the big questions: Why does art exist? How did art begin? How should we look at art? Despite his tendency to jump from topic to topic, Wisniewski is a witty storyteller who pauses frequently to share a particularly juicy detail—Neanderthal surprises, animal artists, gruesome cabinets of curiosity, the wonders of rap music, the science of brain waves. Especially moving is Wisniewski’s spotlight on artists who struggled terribly in their lifetime and are now among the most revered. This is an enjoyable book, but cursory knowledge would be helpful to understand some of Wisniewski’s references. Even scholars will likely learn something new. Recommended.
"The Art of Looking at Art" by Gene Wisniewski takes the reader on a journey that encompasses artwork through the ages. The instruction in this book is a valuable resource for understanding the world of art better. It feels like a tour through a gallery. 5 stars and highly recommended.
In this welcome new publication, teacher and painter Gene Wisniewski distills his 20 years’ experience of teaching visual art into an entertaining and thought- provoking introduction to the world of art.
7/13/21, Artblog: Read the full review of Gene Wisniewski’s guide book that Artblog says “skillfully unpacks otherwise cryptic art history and art theory.”
8/31/21, Choice:The Art of Looking at Art was featured in Choice's "Top 75 Community College Titles" list.
1/4/22, Notes From An Artist podcast: Gene Wisniewski discussed topics from the book.