The Shock of the New: Art and the Century of Change
A tour de force of writing on art
This legendary book has been universally hailed as the best, the most readable and the most provocative account of modern art ever written.
Through each of the thematic chapters Hughes keeps his story grounded in the history of the 20th century, demonstrating how modernism sought to describe the experience of that era and showing how for many key art movements this was a task of vital importance.
The way in which Hughes brings that vitality and immediacy back through the well-chosen example and well-turned phrase is the heart of this book's success.
‘The definitive book on 20th-century art and design’ – Creative Review
'Robert Hughes is the best of guides, enthusiastic, astringent … neither smug nor condescending– The Observer
'Teeming with ideas … an enormously enjoyable account of the state of play between art and society' – The Times
Takes the stuffing out of the subject where and when it can' – The Spectator