Accidental Masterpiece

I finally finished the Kimmelman book that I've been dutifully toting around with me for weeks, ever since I bought the tickets to the 92nd Street Y talk with Alain de Botton and Michael Kimmelman (next week, kids, you can still make it!). The title is Accidental Masterpiece: The Art of Life and Vice Versa. It's also in paperback now, so you can carry it around with greater ease than I did.
I'll note that it took me so long to get through it because I insisted on reading it in small pieces. There's so much to digest in this book that is worth the time it takes to really consider the art being discussed that I thought I owed it some time. And it was worth it. Kimmelman's writing manages to illuminate art that otherwise I find to be tedious and personally inaccessible (though I allow that others might be deeply moved by it). It's much easier to discuss paintings and sculptures, but this book went beyond that. I found his discussion of pilgrimages to site-specific art on a large scale (earth art) to be really fascinating, though the artwork itself has never interested me. I thoroughly enjoyed the chapter that studied collections and I thought his analysis of collecting objects with personal significance to be very insightful. Ultimately, then, I feel he achieved his goal in presenting a discussion of art that not only offered me some context for certain pieces, but also led to my continued consideration of this art in the rest of life.

But don't worry, Alain, I still know who I'll try to slip my phone number to after that reading.

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