Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The Usborne Introduction to Modern Art by Rosie Dickins (Usborne Books)

The Usborne Introduction to Modern Art

Written by Rosie Dickins

Published by Usborne Books

Phew! After Usborne's brilliant "My First Sticker Art Gallery" I wasn't sure how they'd produce a child-friendly guide to modern art. With roots in controversy, and the aim of provoking a reaction, "Modern" art is usually something to tiptoe around.

Usborne's "Introduction to Modern Art" once again proves that they know their onions, and know how to make a book engaging and interesting, while at the same time cramming as much detail, information and substance as possible between the covers.

Through various "grown up" books I've shown Charlotte works by some of my favourite modern artists (Liechtenstein, Magritte, Dali, Ernst) but here you've got a masterful collection of works that stretch right back to the very beginning of the era now defined as falling under the umbrella "modern art" term.

In more detail, artists, their work and the movements that influenced them are explored and discussed. Though I'd readily admit the book is probably for an age range slightly above 6, Charlotte still wanted to read and learn about the stories behind great works of art, why artists produced them, the history of what was going on at the time (particularly poignant in passages of the book that discuss art produced during times of conflict).

Exquisitely detailed and illustrated, this is a fantastic book that really fascinates Charlotte, and one I keep sneaking off with to brush up on a bit of art history and to try and get a little inspiration for my own scribblings. A really brilliant introduction to modern art, an often unapproachable and difficult subject but deftly and expertly dissected here in this wonderful book.

Charlotte's best bit: The surrealists, such as Dali and Magritte

Daddy's Favourite bit: Love the pop art, particularly Liechtenstein and Warhol

(Kindly sent to us for review by Usborne Books)