The art of the past can seem very far away, obscured both by time and by knotty academic theory. Foregrounding the experience of the contemporary viewer, Look Again shows how this need not be the case. Ossian Ward’s simple, ten-step programme acts as an aid to looking, breaking down the often obscure strategies of the Old Masters into intuitive categories – from Art as Honesty to Art as Vision.
Look Again’s novel approach is influenced by John Berger’s Ways of Seeing, but is here updated for the art world of the 21st century. Key to this book is an emphasis on ways of experiencing Old Masters – more than just looking. Just as contemporary art should be judged by how it moves us, cajoles us and envelops us, so too can the great paintings of the world be seen as immersive, captivating, even participatory experiences.
Ward does not deny the specific complexities and barriers associated with looking at art from other eras. Instead he offers readers a new formula to help illuminate this kind of art. His method not only provides the viewer with the tools to interpret a work of art, but also assumes that we hold some of this knowledge within ourselves already. In other words, everyone can share the enriching experience of Old Master paintings.
Table of Contents
Foreword and notes on usage • Introduction: A New Way of Seeing the Old • 1. Art as Honesty • 2. Art as Philosophy • 3. Art as Drama • 4. Art as Beauty • 5. Art as Horror • 6. Art as Paradox • 7. Art as Folly • 8. Art as Vision
Not only provides the viewer with the tools to interpret a work of art, but also assumes that we hold some of this knowledge within ourselves already. In other words, everyone can share the enriching experience of Old Master paintings --Antiques Diary
About the Author
Ossian Ward is head of content at the Lisson Gallery. He was previously chief art critic at Time Out London, and is also the author of Ways of Looking: How to Experience Contemporary Art.