How to look at Art

I bought this book when I was recently in Stockholm, at the National Art Museum, which I visit if I have a chance, it being one of my all-time favourite places. The title is "Mellan konsten och publiken" (= between art and its audience), the author is art pedagogue Göran Ståhle, and I expected this to be a source of education that would enrich my further explorations of art.

Well, maybe to some extent. But, I would label this pamflett rather than essay. The author is subjective, opinionated, ranting, furious, and sometimes he makes a point that I find interesting. It´s a bit like having dinner with someone who has a whole lot to get out of his chest and doesn´t appreciate being interrupted. Also, his texts could have done with some proof-reading.

Ståhle kicks in every direction: artists, politicians, critics, audiences, buyers, sellers, collegues. And he tends to be, what shall I say, hm, self-glorifying. At times. Sometimes he remembers to be becomingly humble, as well. And sometimes he asks some interesting questions. What I appreciate most about this book is its irreverence to a subject often treated with unnecessary solemnity and respect. I find that refreshing and he pokes rather hard at some of my own preconceived notions about art. Quite a useful thing, I think.

This book is very much perishable, it´s for the here and now and I shall attempt to pass it on as soon as I can. I can probably think of some interested recipients.

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