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See What You're Missing

New Ways of Looking at the World Through Art

Published by Pegasus Books
Distributed by Simon & Schuster



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About The Book

Taking us into the minds of artists—from contemporary stars to old masters—See What You’re Missing shows us how to look and experience the world with their heightened awareness.

Artists are expert lookers: they have learned to pay attention. The rest of us spend most of our time on auto-pilot, rushing from place to place, our overfamiliarity blinding us to the marvellous, life-affirming phenomena of our world. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

In his inimitable engaging style, Will Gompertz takes us into the minds of artists—from contemporary stars to old masters, the well-known to the lesser-so, and from around the world—to show us how to look and experience the world with their heightened awareness.

In See What You’re Missing we learn, for example, how Guo Xi can help us to see beauty, how David Hockney helps us to see colour, and how Frida Kahlo can help us see pain. In doing so we come to know the exhilarating feeling of being truly alive. See What You’re Missing is at once entertaining and enlightening art history while delivering empowering new insights to its reader.

About The Author

Will Gompertz is a world-leading expert in the arts. Having spent seven years as a Director of the Tate Galleries followed by eleven years as the BBC's Arts Editor, he is now Artistic Director at the Barbican Theatre. Will has interviewed and observed many of the world's leading artists, actors, writers, musicians, and directors. Creativity magazine in New York ranked him as one of the fifty most original thinkers in the world. He is the author of the internationally bestselling What Are You Looking At? and Think Like an Artist. Will lives in London.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Pegasus Books (April 4, 2023)
  • Length: 368 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781639361731

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Raves and Reviews

"Thorough and diverse...Gompertz’s illuminations of artists' lives and minds are accessible and full of valuable information. This is an exhilarating resource for personal growth, a consciousness-raising exploration for artists and art lovers, and an asset for anyone interested in the who, what, and why of great artworks."


"A well-organized labor of love...Gompertz insightfully explores the processes and personalities of a remarkable roster of artists by focusing on a single work in each one’s portfolios in his illuminating title. Effortless prose and laser focus on the communicative potential of art make this a worthwhile read."

– Library Journal

Praise for Will Gompertz:

“Richly detailed and highly entertaining.”

– The Daily Telegraph

"Will Gompertz is the best teacher you never had."

– The Guardian

"Gompertz doesn't have it in him to be boring."

– The Times (London)

“Gompertz has an uncanny knack for making difficult art (and ideas) easy."

– Associated Press

"Lively, fresh, energetic. He explains movements and ‘isms’ with clarity and humor.”

– The Scotsman

"Hugely accessible. He writes about difficult things without letting on that they are difficult.”

– Independent on Sunday (London)

"He is a natural communicator whose passion for art is expressed with wit and verve.”

– Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England

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