Compare and contrast two of the three key texts. Harrison, Charles English art and Modernism 1900 - 1939. Read, Herbert Contemporary British Art.

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Compare and contrast two of the three key texts.

Discussed in this essay are two books; English Art and Modernism 1900 - 1939 written by Charles Harrison, published in 1981 and Contemporary British Art, written by Herbert Read published in 1951. Although it may seem unusual to include the published dates of the books in this portion of the essay it is important to understand the different prospective each of the writers had. The dates show that Harrison had much more time to reflect on past events and this retrospective view point may have clouded his judgment or contain miss informed information in a Chinese whisper effect. Where as Read's book is most likely to have been written as the art was happening; he includes discussion about art work with dates from 1950 (only a year before publishing.) There are advantages to this method, the writer can write about the art as and when it happens, vibes and feelings about each movement can be captured on paper, such feelings or opinions which may be lost with time or hindsight.

However, one must question how his relationship with the artists would have influenced the book enormously, quite possibly in a biased way. The way in which Read chooses to discuss the end of a time line could also be a disadvantage because he has not allowed himself any reflective over lap unlike Harrison.

Contemporary British Art attempts at fact rather than opinion, this is stated in the opening paragraph of the book "thought the reader will not expect the impersonal objectivity appropriate to an official report, I use formal phraseology to describe my aim because this is not a record of my personal opinions." Does Read state this to try and avoid criticism about biased possibilities? It is a fairly systematically...