What is Contemporary Art

What is Contemporary Art?

A Children's Guide

  1. Jacky Klein
  2. Suzy Klein
  • ISBN 9780500515891
  • 30.50 x 24.00 cm
  • PLC (no jacket)
  • 64pp
  • 74 Illustrations, 74 in colour
  • First published 2012

• Why do some artists use elephant dung, eggshells and crushed cars to make their art?
• Who created sculptures from fluorescent lightbulbs?
• Are two giant hamburgers better than one?
• Does Rachel Whiteread’s bed look comfortable to you?

• Why is there a suit hanging on the wall of an art gallery?

‘Lucid and rather jaunty without being flippant … enough accurate and insightful information for young people to become intrigued … replete with good-quality illustrations that are well chosen and well informed by the text … a beautifully presented and accessible book that parents, teachers and older children will find valuable’ – The Art Newspaper

What Is Contemporary Art? reveals all this and more.
The perfect introduction to the world of contemporary art, it celebrates the work of around seventy artists from across the globe. A captivating book for children and parents to read at home, as well as the ideal support for teachers and schools, What is Contemporary Art? invites young readers to understand, enjoy and question some of the most dynamic and exciting art of our time.


Exploring subjects such as outer space, unusual materials and bizarre beasts, the book is packed with special features including pull-out information and ideas boxes, quotations by the artists and ‘How did they do it?’ prompts.

Short biographies include fascinating facts on each of the artists, a glossary explains key art terms and a list of useful websites and art museums shows where to go next.

Jacky Klein is an art historian and writer specializing in 20th-century and contemporary art. She is the author of Grayson Perry, also published by Thames & Hudson. Suzy Klein writes and broadcasts on the arts and culture. She hosts the drivetime programme on BBC Radio 3, and is a contributor to the Guardian newspaper and New Statesman magazine.