Cream: Contemporary Art in Culture

Purporting to be a “portable exhibition in a book” with the aim of bringing contemporary art to wider audiences, this strangely shaped work (8″ high by 15″ long) was compiled by asking ten prominent curators from Europe and North America to each choose ten “emerging” artists. The book opens with an intriguing but disjointed E-mail symposium by the curators; next come ten short texts mostly on contemporary social issues, which seem rather out of place. The final 400 pages are given to the 100 artists, organized alphabetically. Each is represented by photographs of several works, a curator’s introduction, and selected exhibition history and bibliography. The preponderance of sculptural, installation, and video artists make for some rather unsatisfactory representations, a problem further compounded when captions and other text are superimposed on images. Ultimately, the fine original concept for the book as well as the curators’ thoughtful work and, most regrettably, the art itself get lost in all the hubbub of layout and design.

Text: Basualdo Carlos, Obrist Hans Ulrich et al. cm 38×19; pp. 448; 700 COL e 40 BW ills.; paperback. Publisher: Phaidon Press, London, 1998.

ISBN: 9780714838014 | 0714838012

Product Description

Purporting to be a “portable exhibition in a book” with the aim of bringing contemporary art to wider audiences, this strangely shaped work (8″ high by 15″ long) was compiled by asking ten prominent curators from Europe and North America to each choose ten “emerging” artists. The book opens with an intriguing but disjointed E-mail symposium by the curators; next come ten short texts mostly on contemporary social issues, which seem rather out of place. The final 400 pages are given to the 100 artists, organized alphabetically. Each is represented by photographs of several works, a curator’s introduction, and selected exhibition history and bibliography. The preponderance of sculptural, installation, and video artists make for some rather unsatisfactory representations, a problem further compounded when captions and other text are superimposed on images. Ultimately, the fine original concept for the book as well as the curators’ thoughtful work and, most regrettably, the art itself get lost in all the hubbub of layout and design.