Day 133 — Book Resource Ways Of Looking: How To Experience Contemporary Art

This is a book I found recently — Ways Of Looking: How To Experience Contemporary Art by Ossian Ward, the Head of Content at the Lisson Gallery and former art critic at Time Out London. Along with investigating numerous approaches to art — as event, confrontation, message, even as joke, since not only the mediums have changed over time! — he illustrates how it’s possible to accept or reject definitions of artworks, and to build that opinion on more than just gut instinct.

Ward’s process of TABULA — standing for Time, Association, Background, Understated, Look Again, and Assessment — is his suggestion for approaching what can often be confusing and challenging works. While I’m not sure about the definition of ‘contemporary’ as being post-2000, the development of technologies that have influenced art and some what has been shown since the publication of Berger’s Ways Of Seeing (1972) is evident through the plushly illustrated field guide provided. It’s a straightforward guide and presents a great number of examples, peppered with first-hand experiences of what it can be like assessing sometimes-challenging pieces.

Further Resources:

Interview with Ossian Ward

Book review