The Art of Looking Up.
The Art of Looking Up
White Lion Publishing
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9780711242173, $45.00, HC, 240pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: From the floating women and lotus flowers of the Senso-ji Temple in Japan, to the religious iconography that adorns places of worship from Vienna to Istanbul, all the way to bold displays like the Chihuly glass flora suspended from the lobby of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas: "The Art of Looking Up" by Catherine McCormack takes her readers on a fabulous and beautifully illustrated tour of the extraordinary artworks that demand an alternative viewpoint.
A history of art expert, Catherine deftly guides her readers through the stories behind the artworks--their conception, execution, and the artists that visualised them. In many cases, these artworks also make bold but controlled political, religious or cultural statements, revealing much about the society and times in which they were created.
Divided by these social themes into four sections (Religion, Culture, Power and Politics) and pictured from various viewpoints in glorious colour photography, tour the astounding ceilings of these and more remarkable locations: Vatican Palace, Rome, Italy; Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, UK; Louvre Museum, Paris, France; Dali Theatre-Museum, Figueres, Catalonia; Museum of the Revolution, Havana, Cuba; and the Capitol Building, Washington, DC, USA.
Four eight-page foldout sections showcase some of the world's most spectacular ceilings in exquisite detail.
Critique: Inspirationally beautiful to simply browse through, this coffee table style (9.7 x 1.1 x 12.6 inches) volume is impressively informative and exceptionally well written, organized and presented--making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community and academic library World Art History collections and supplemental studies curriculum lists. While an especially appropriate 'Memoral Fund' acquisition selection for libraries, it should also be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Art of Looking Up" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $35.99).
Editorial Note: Catherine McCormack is a writer and art history lecturer based in London. She regularly teaches at Sotheby's Institute of Art, Dulwich Picture Gallery and UCL, where she completed her PhD and was a Teaching Fellow. Her writing has been published in The Independent, Architectural Review, Stylist, Glass magazine, LABEL magazine, and in international academic journals and museum exhibition catalogues. She is also resident art expert at Blacks Club Soho and has appeared on Sky News and BBC Breakfast talking about art. Catherine is also the author of Women in the Picture (Icon Books, 2020).