I've been a volunteer book reviewer for some 35 years, contributing to VOYA, Midwest Book Review, and others. I review in all genres from nonfiction (science, history) to thrillers, young adult fiction, sci-fi and fantasy.
By DIANE DONOVAN
Published on 12/2/2014
Michelle Marder Kamhi is a scholar and art critic, and her expertise lies in her ability to get directly to the point. The point provided here is an assessment of what qualifies a piece to be deemed 'fine art'; and in this, Kamhi's scrutiny is unerring.
Her book Who Says That’s Art? A Commonsense View of the Visual Arts deals with the radical transformation of visual art since the early 20th century. The exact nature of these changes, and their overall negative effect, is documented in chapters that excel in specifics: references, analysis, and critical insights on what does or does not deserve to be called 'art'.
Readers will find these insights supported by subjective perspectives as well as by thorough scholarship. Kamhi's enthusiasm for visual art often meets with disappointment at museum and gallery offerings.
Kamhi does not argue that 'real art' is dead: only that a greater measure of critical discretion needs to be applied to identifying it. And here's where she shines, providing non-specialists with a scholarly yet accessible account that not only explains how to distinguish genuine art, but also promises to enhance its appreciation whenever such gems are to be found!
Kamhi’s scrutiny is unerring. . . . providing non-specialists with a scholarly yet accessible account that not only explains how to distinguish genuine art but also promises to enhance its appreciation.