Barebones; The Persistence of Memory

By Georgina Sussman

There’s nothing like the feeling of walking into an art gallery for the first time and getting solely lost in the environment, each painting more mesmerising then the next. Then it hits you,  the one painting that wholeheartedly takes your breath away, the way the brushstrokes blend together, the way the colours melt into each other, creating a certain distinction that is ever so enticing.

Everyone has a work of art they feel that way about, whether you love art or have little interest, there is always some piece that makes time stop, whether it has a lot of meaning to you or you just visually mesmerises you, there will always be something. Every artwork has meaning to someone and that’s the beauty of it, one may see nothing where someone else sees everything. But where did this love and appreciation start?


Let’s go back to the very beginning ( a very good place to start), A Chronology of Art Edited by Iain Zaczek delves into a timeline of Western Culture and art, starting from Prehistory to the Present. This book is more of an analysis then an opinion book, where each artwork (in chronological order of course) is put into context. Unlike going to a gallery where one often is taken away from the context of the painting and takes it into the present, Zaczek uses he social, economic, political and scientific context to define, analyse and explore the ideas, concepts and aesthetic of some of the most famous and controversial paintings.

What Zaczek somehow manages to do in this wonderful book is highlight the brilliance of each painting without making it feel like academic material, which is considerably hard for an in depth study of each art work.

A Chronology of Art is definitely worth the read if you feel the need to be taken back to the barebones of art, stripped down to a combination of aesthetics and social constructs, enhancing the beauty of each painting.

A Chronology of Art Available Here.

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