Book Reviews by Megan O'Beirne

: Howard Hodgkin :

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  Megan's choice  $ £
HOWARD HODGKIN (revised and expanded ed.) by Andrew Graham-Dixon, Thames & Hudson, ('94) 2001. USA UK Deutschland France
  The very dust-jacket with its dynamic detail from Hodgkin's Old Sky strikes the right note in this intelligently presented and visually seductive review of the painter's career. The excellent quality of the illustrations, their logical placing directly opposite the pertinent text, marginal page references, the choice of type-face and the luxury-feel paper all make the mere handling of the book a real pleasure. 
Far from being of mere coffee-table appeal, however, the author's cool authoritative voice makes one feel that here is a critic in whose hands one is safe. Such a gem of wisdom as 'whatever residue of inexplicability lodges in a work of art is also its only hope of an afterlife' establishes his impeccable credentials as a discerning critic. Graham-Dixon deals with Hodgkin's seminal influences, his eclecticism, his evolving theatrical style, his preoccupation with the vagaries of memory and its transmutation into art. 'Hodgkin does not set out to paint what the world looks like, but what it feels like.' His work has the quality of intimacy which makes its own demands on the viewer who would engage with it, Graham-Dixon observes in a book which is lucid and comprehensive without ever wearying the reader.
The Earth from the Air by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Lester Brown, Thames and Hudson 2002

A glorious treat for the eyes and the heart.

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Sign-Up for Culture; The Arts Marketer's Guide to Building an Effective E-mail list Eugene Carr,, $15. If you're wondering why you can't divert more people to email, to save on ever-increasing postage charges, or reach a wider audience, read it. USA
  Aimed at arts centre administrators and promoters, this book draws from experience with performing arts venues with large audiences. But the lessons are applicable to any size of arts venue that wants to save publication and postage costs and increase its ticket sales. It's a slim volume at 85 pages, with no padding or hype, just usable tips.
Chapter 2 reports on a survey on 50,000 venue-goers in the USA. It sets the tone for the book - a focus on practical facts and no hype. It reassures arts organisers that they have a very receptive audience, compared to any other commercial organisation.
Chapter 3 on the CAN-SPAM law in the USA is equally applicable to European readers and contains much good sense.
Chapter 4 is a good introduction to the management and internal marketing needed to start the email campaign.
Chapter 5 is the core - 20 ideas you can use. Really. If you set up a suggestion box and offered people $1 for each good idea, you'd be delighted if you ended up with this list - except that buying the book gets you $5 change! It stresses the fun aspect and personal touch, which is the only way to gain the trust essential to get people to disclose their addresses. He provides stimulating ideas for working with the community and other businesses, even those thought of as "competitive".


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Last updated August 24, 2004

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