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"Contemporary Europe Art Guide"  by Mark Gordon (Editor)

Anyone who has ever tried to get a feel for the art scene of a town knows how difficult it is to form a clear idea of what is on offer. Mark Gordon's „Contemporary Europe Art Guide“ aims to provide lovers of contemporary art with just such an overview.

This 368-page reference work covers the contemporary art scene in around 1000 European towns, showing just what they have to offer. It encompasses museums, collections, institutions, projects, and more or less anything else that helps complete the picture.

As far as completeness and topicality goes, the impression is good: the Berlin address of the Hoffmann collection is listed, as well as the Punta della Dogana – Francois Pinault's second exhibition site in Venice, which opened in June. Upcoming projects are also listed, as well as important Internet links. Some weaknesses appear in the otherwise very useful appendix – for example, many of the dates for art fairs have already passed.

Commercial galleries are not listed in the guide. Mark Gordon justifies this with their ephemeral nature – opening, changing location or closing again, depending on the market situation. Here he is a little inconsistent. Art fairs, for which the same could be said, are still listed. Instead of galleries, the guide includes relevant art areas and links to web sites for further information. Given the large number of galleries, this may well be the best solution.

Will this guide establish itself in practice? I think so. It will certainly be useful for those who are not insiders to plan the cultural side of a visit to a town. For seasoned art professionals the guide does not have much new content to offer: its main use would be as a convenient, accessible reference work; and even an expert may well discover an interesting web portal or an unfamiliar museum.

ArtVista/WM/10-08-2009
Contemporary Europe Art Guide
Format: 14,2 x 21 cm
Pages: 368
Binding: softcover
Illustrations: 160 illustrations in b/w
Year: 2009
Edition: English
ISBN: 978-3-7757-2336-7