Looking at art, you felt, was something Lubbock figured out how to do on his own. The viewpoint he had was always original. He had no obvious predecessors. He leaves no obvious followers. Lubbock, who died earlier this year, came, looked and left.( Sunday Times)
It is the waywardness of Tom's writing that fascinates, his readiness to set aside the subject in hand and expand a capricious response.( Evening Standard)
This collection shows us what a talent we lost with Lubbock's death.( Country Life)
A fitting tribute to an insightful arts writer.( Artists & Illustrators)
Art was real for Tom Lubbock; there was, for him, no separation between passion and reason. That alone makes this book great.( Independent on Sunday)
For incisive critique bristling with wit but no obfuscating jargon, you wont do better than this.( Metro)
The astonishingly idea-rich Great Works (Frances Lincoln, £18.99), a collection of the late, lamented Tom Lubbock's Independent columns about individual paintings: in every one of which a brilliant new contraption of language is assembled before your eyes to make you see a work of art in a way you'd never expected. It does this 50 times over, seemingly without effort, and confirms Lubbock as one of the greatest and wittiest educators of our vision. Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad, praised to the skies and rightly so for its bravura embodiment of time doing its impersonal work on a skein of people in and out of the New York music business. A lot of attention has been paid to its inventive structure, but the best thing about it is the demonstration that inventiveness can serve a rich human intelligence.(Francis Spufford Evening Standard)
Tom Lubbock did his profession proud. His plain-spoken, wide-ranging and affectionate response to pictures makes him an ideal companion for student,tourist, connoisseur and artist a,ike, as his long-running column already demonstrated.( Tablet)
A collection of the late, lamented Tom Lubbock's Independent columns about individual paintings: in every one of which a brilliant new contraption of language is assembled before your eyes to make you se a work of art in a way you'd never expected. It does this 50 times over, seemingly without effort and confirms Lubbock as one of the greatest and wittiest educators of our vision.( Evening Standard)
You'll be richly rewarded with words that make you see anew.( Architect's Journal)
Tom Lubbock, sometime chief art critic of i, wrote a column which, week by week, dissected with keeness, wit and erudition a single painting at a time. Some of the very best bravura performances can be re-read in the indispensible Great Works: 50 Paintings Explored.( i)
The tangential directions in which these essays spin are a delight to layman and aesthete alike, and the incredible learning they contain is so lightly worn as to pass almost unnoticed.( Sunday Telegraph)
Full of fearless intelligence, elegant writing and new ways of seeing beautiful pictures.(Ruth Scurr Times Literary Supplement)
It is not often that one can read a book and form the opinion that it is unique, unforgettable, authoritative and beautifully written, but the recently published collection of art criticism by Tom Lubbock is such a volume.( Oldie)
An outstanding book.( Good Book Guide)
An endlessly lively and surprising book.( The Guardian)
If you want to know why plenty of us thought that Tom was far and away the best art critic of our generation, you should buy and relish Great Works which reprints with handsome reproductions of each image, fifty of his short essays for The Independent… Utterly free of cant, posturing and received ideas, they teem with the kind of insight that only comes from protracted looking and profound lucid thinking. Buy copies for everyone you know who likes art and wants to know how it can be talked about with beautiful sanity and zero guff.( Literary Review)
One of Tom Lubbock's nicest habits as an art critic was to observe some quirk in a piece of art and, while distracting you with this magician's cloth and illuminate the whole work. It was a regular trick of the short essays he wrote in his 'Great Works' series: a preparatory manoeuvre priming you for the big picture. Published posthumously as a collection, Great Works deepens a neat journalistic technique into a profound way of seeing.( Observer) Vom Verlag:
The best of Tom Lubbock, one of Britain's most intelligent, outspoken and revelatory art critics, is collected here for the first time.
There are electrifying insights - using Hitchcock's Suspicion to explore the lighting effects in a Zurbarán still life, imagining three short films to tease out the meanings of El Greco's Boy Lighting a Candle - and cool judgements - how Vuillard's genius is confined to a single decade, when he worked at home, why Ingres is really 'an exciting wierdo'.
Ranging with passionate perspicacity over eight hundred years of Western art, whether it's Giotto's raging vices, Guston's 'slobbish, squidgy' pinks, Gericault's pile of truncated limbs or Gwen John's Girl in a Blue Dress, Tom Lubbock writes with immediacy and authority about the fifty works which most gripped his imagination.
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