From the earliest cave paintings through to the internet and street art, this inspiring book chronicles the 100 most influential ideas that have shaped the world of art. Arranged in broadly chrological order, it provides a unique and compelling take on the history of art. The book shows how developments in materials (oil paint, plastics, paint in tubes) and techlogy (paper, photography, welding) have radically changed the way that art is produced. But these changes run parallel with influences from wider culture such as the study of optics and anatomy and more conceptual concerns such as chance and ephemerality. Each entry explores when an idea first evolved and how it has resurfaced in the work of different artists up to the present day. Lavishly illustrated with historical masterpieces and packed with fascinating contemporary examples, this is an inspirational and wholly original guide to understanding the forces that have shaped world art.
Michael Bird is a writer, art historian, and broadcaster. His recent books include Sandra Blow (2005), The St Ives Artists: A Biography of Place and Time (2008), and Bryan Wynter (2010). He has published many essays and articles on modern and contemporary art and lectures widely. He is currently Visiting Lecturer at University College Falmouth.