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Author: Wood, Alix
Publisher: Gareth Stevens
Year Published: 2015
ISBN: 9781482422740
Grades: Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6

But Is It Art? Art Installations

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“(Art) Installations give a more sensory experience than simply looking at a painting on a wall, or a statue on a pedestal.”
One in a series of six books titled But is it Art? this book would make an excellent addition to any school library or art school, as it ponders the question whether what we call art, is art.  This book explores whether art installations, defined as three-dimensional works of art are art. Readers are presented with different perspectives through questions and examples, but does not infer or state whether installations can be defined as artwork. Types of installations include art in and made from natural materials outdoors, street installations found in urban environments, temporary artwork (e.g. ice sculptures, sandcastles), sculptures that focus on the subject itself, special events and video/multimedia.  It also explores the use of spaces,  public, interactive and unusual places (e.g. a mud puddle), as well as in galleries. The argument of whether installations are or are not art, is listed at the end of the book for readers to discuss and ponder.  Because art installations are often public, they are controversial by their very nature. This book provides art teachers with a resource to discuss this topic.
The vibrant format of the book includes short paragraphs, lists of ideas, (What do you think?) questions, Arty Facts, and colourful photographs.  Many installation artists are identified throughout the book and listed in the index. The table of contents, glossary, book/website lists help readers access information easily.  The publisher’s disclaimer to educators/parents states that websites were reviewed for suitability at the time of the printing of the book, but take no account for possible changes or links that go beyond the recommended websites. The text is easily accessible to upper elementary students.  Perhaps the book could have included more text/information, as the appeal of this topic will be junior/senior high students.
Recommended for Art classes from upper elementary to high school.

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