Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton

I enjoyed reading Seven Days in the Art World. The author approaches the art world from a sociological point of view. It’s not a tell all about artists and curators behaving badly by any means. I’m not too familiar with the art world, which is why this slim book seemed like a perfect introduction. The art world reminds me so much of the book world. It’s a business after all. As much as a gallery owner or curator loves the art, they’re there to make money. Even the artists can be financially motivated.

Each of the seven chapters is a profile of a a different aspect of the art world. The chapter on a Christie’s auction gives the reader a sense of the tightly paced and high energy of the event. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on the art crit, which explores life in a legendary seminar at the California Institute of Art run by Michael Asher.  The students spend over 12 hours discussing three people’s work. Each chapter was eye opening for me. Thornton spent 5 years researching and writing this book and though it might seem slim to the casual eye, it’s erudite and well-written.

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