Humor In Art: A Celebration Of Visual Wit

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9780871923042: Humor In Art: A Celebration Of Visual Wit
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“Insightful, and mirthful...Six comprehensive chapters define, examine, and illustrate various types of visual humor, including wit and whimsey, parody and satire, and even comic nonsense and Surrealism....Focusing on 20th-century studio art and design, the text also explores caricature and cartooning.”—Curriculum Review. “A light-hearted, visual romp through the whimsical and the witty in 20 century art.”—Art Times.

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YA--While humor is something we see as having value in our lives, humor in art was historically seen as being in poor taste, blasphemous, and sometimes even perceived as being subversive. Today's prevailing attitudes embrace a more lighthearted outlook, as this title illustrates. Roukes defines visual humor, showing how it can be funny yet advocate for a very serious cause. He highlights past and present artists such as: Guiseppe Archimboldo, a 16th-century painter famous for his portraits composed of fruit and vegetables; Thomas Nast, an American political cartoonist of the 1800s; and Marcel Duchamp, the famous Dadaist of the 20th century known for his "ready mades." The author also discusses categories or forms of humor such as satire and parody. He provides numerous full-color reproductions to illustrate his topics. The last chapter gives some exercises for individual artists or classes to do in order to stretch themselves creatively. The pictures are entertaining, and the contemporary content is easy for teens to comprehend. Roukes captions the examples with enough information for readers to understand the intention of the artist in creating the work. While the occasional high school student may wish to study humor in an academic sense, most will just enjoy the visual laugh.

Deborah Francis, R. E. Lee High School, Springfield, VA

Copyright 1997 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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