This is the first book to take seriously (though not too seriously) the surprisingly neglected role of humour in art. "Art and Laughter" looks back to comic masters such as Hogarth and Daumier and to Dada, Surrealism and Pop Art, asking what makes us laugh and why. It explores the use of comedy in art from satire and irony to pun, parody and black and bawdy humour. Encouraging laughter in the hallowed space of the gallery, Sheri Klein praises the contemporary artist as 'clown' - often overlooked in favour of the role of artist as 'serious' commentator - and takes us on a tour of the comic work of Red Grooms, Cary Leibowitz, 'The Hairy Who', Richard Prince, Bruce Nauman, Jeff Koons, William Wegman, Vik Muniz and many more. She seeks out those rare smiles in art - from the Mona Lisa onwards - and highlights too the pleasures of the cute, the camp and the downright kitsch.