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Air in Time


Among our choices of leisure we now easily go see an exhibition. Consequently permanent collections in museums - synonyms of a more systematic or “boring” study of the history of art – suffer from an absence of attendance. It is true that the history of chronological events is no longer popular. Yet there are original ways of putting eras into order. It is the case of this big, well-illustrated book that chose to invert perspective. Rather than starting far away in the past, with the Egyptians or the Sumerians for example, the authors start with the most recent movements, such as Relational Art or Abject Art. From there they look back at the various influences. This goes to show that what we sometimes consider new, not always is. Sceptics will say that contemporary art often repeats itself. Others, like Lavoisier, will say that everything can be transformed and nothing is lost. In any case it is good to catch, like in a family tree that branches out, what we owe to ancestors such as Precisionism, Orphism or Picturalism. The rewinding stops with the art of the steppes, the one of the nomadic and freedom-loving Scythes of the first millennium.

Air in Time, Phaidon, 2016, 368 p., €59.95

Air in Time - Collective

Review published in the newsletter #467 - from 6 April 2017 to 12 April 2017

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