Cover of Sarah Thornton, 33 Artists in 3 Acts (New York, Norton: 2014)
Who do artists think they are? How do they command belief in their work? What myths do they enliven and reject? In the summer of 2009, Sarah Thornton began investigating these questions, which eventually became the driving force of her new book, 33 Artists in 3 Acts (WW Norton, 2014). At once ambitious and entertaining, its nonfiction narratives go behind the scenes with a superb cast of living artists—from global superstars to unheralded teachers—to humanize and demystify contemporary art. Massimiliano Gioni, Artistic Director of the New Museum, is one of three curators featured in its pages because he has presented himself as Maurizio Cattelan—one of the book’s nine recurring artists. During this session, Thornton and Gioni, along with artists Andrea Fraser and Laurie Simmons will discuss the characters, plot, and themes of 33 Artists in 3 Acts.
Sarah Thornton is a nonfiction writer and sociologist of art. She is the author of Seven Days in the Art World (2009), an international hit, currently available in seventeen languages. She was the chief writer on contemporary art for The Economist and has contributed to broadcasts on the BBC, NPR, and ZDF. Thornton has a BA in Art History and a PhD in Sociology.
Additional funding support for this event has been provided by WW Norton.