“The art world doesn’t know whether it is a subculture pretending to be a culture or a culture pretending to be a subculture,” observes Barry Schwabsky in the Nation, reviewing Sarah Thornton’s new book, Seven Days in the Art World. He likes the book, but recommends Howard Becker’s Art Worlds as the more definitive study, since it doesn’t simply accept the art world on its own terms, as he believes Thornton does. On the culture/subculture dialectic I’d throw in Simon Frith and Howard Horne’s Art into Pop, (which I see sadly Routledge has let lapse out of print). Frith and Horne focus on the key issue of “attitude” that lies at the nexus of popular music, subcultural style, and contemporary aesthetics.

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