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Review: ‘Tate Modern Art Terms’ A Guide for iOS

Title: Tate Modern Art Terms
Author: Simon Wilson with Jessica Lack and the Tate staff
Published by: Tate Publishing, 2008
Developed by: Aimer Media
Version: 1.1
Price: $2.99

Gr 7 Up-Three hundred plus entries describe the media and movements of the past century and a half. An information page acts as an introduction, and on it is the author’s stated goal: to “define the meaning of some of the best known but also some of the more obscure of the myriad labels” assigned to the “varied phenomena…we call modern art.” While the scope is international, European and American works are the focus.

An A-to-Z list, a gallery of images, and a search bar, lead users to the app’s content. Within entries, influences (artistic and other) are noted, and plentiful quotes from critics, artists, theorists add insight. The sharp color images of artwork from the Tate’s collection that accompany some of the articles can be enlarged to full screen and the app’s zoom capabilities allow for close-up views. With a tap to the screen, detailed captions appear.

Highlighted links in entries act as cross-references, and fluid functionality permits readers to effortlessly follow a succession of influences, or a movement through its development. For example, from “postmodernism” readers can jump to articles on “pop art,” “conceptual art,” “neo-expressionism,” “feminist art,” and “Young British Artists.” In each of these entries, several more links appear. A few entries link to related web articles.

Additional features include an index of (selective) categories and the ability to enlarge the font size, to create a favorites list, or to tweet or email information. From the beaux-arts and arts-and-crafts movements to “net art” and “stuckism,” this app offers students and museum goers solid information and hours of browsing. It’s a must for modern-art enthusiasts.—Daryl Grabarek, School Library Journal