Here Are 7 Great Books About Painting for Artists and Art Lovers – ARTnews.com

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At the height of conceptual art in the early 1970s, critics proclaimed that painting was dead. It wasn’t the first time the obituary on a painting was written ahead of time, and it may not even be the last time, but right now, such feelings are extremely rare as more artists than ever are taking a brush.

Painting resilience stems from a rich history that, regardless of its era or genre, is best experienced in a museum or gallery. Unfortunately, the pandemic has made a visit more difficult either. Fortunately, there’s one next best thing: immerse yourself in a book about painting.

On the subject of matching items

There are, of course, myriad books on the subject, available in a variety of flavors, including exhibition catalogs, artist monographs, and critical writings. But they all offer a window into a medium that just won’t quit. Here are seven volumes that will make a great addition to any mall lover’s bookshelf. Some are hard to find, so grab them while you can.

1. Philip Guston: Now from Harry Cooper et al.

Philip Guston began as a social realist during the Depression Period before moving to Abstract Expressionism, and surpassed his peers as an influence on subsequent generations of painters by committing an apostasy in his late career: After moving to Woodstock, New York, in 1967, Having drawn, he began to mix gesture abstraction with caricature figuration, inspired by underground comics. The poorly received results at the time were considered groundbreaking. A planned 2020 retrospective of Guston’s work has been postponed amid concerns that his hooded Klansmen paintings and drawings from the late 1960s – conceived as an indictment of racism – could be misinterpreted in the age of Black Lives Matter. While the exhibition is delayed, the catalog will be available, which contains 288 pages of color plates and commentary, including Encomium’s leading contemporary painters to the artist.

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Amazon

To buy:
Philip Guston now

$ 48.99

2. Notes from Jack Whitten’s Woodshed, edited by Katy Siegel

Until recently, African American artists were best known as tokens and, at worst, completely ignored by the white art world. Despite their adversity, they remained steadfast in their art. One such figure was the abstract painter Jack Whitten, who created structured compositions using unconventional methods, e.g. B. by chiseling off the painted surface and building it up with stones made of hardened acrylic paint. He refused to be pigeon-holed and was also a sculptor and writer, whose observations and essays are collected in this volume. As a die-hard journalist, Whitten recorded his thought process in a studio transcript with lists (some of which are reproduced by fax) that set out the principles of his practice. They reveal an uncompromising figure who is only now getting his guilt.

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Amazon

To buy:
Notes from the woodshed

$ 23.96

3. The painting of modern life by TJ Clark

TJ Clark’s seminal book on the French painter Edouard Manet and his followers places their work in the social and historical context of the redevelopment of Paris in the mid-19th century under the direction of Emperor Napoleon III by his public works director, Baron Georges- Eugène Haussmann, was carried out. Over the course of 17 years, the old French capital became a modern city populated by a new consumer class – and the main subject of the works of a new cohort of artists. Focusing on three paintings by Manet and one by Georges Seurat, Clark poses a chicken-and-egg conundrum: Did the Impressionists invent modernism or did modernism invent the Impressionists?

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Amazon

To buy:
The painting of modern life

$ 32.85

4. Kerry James Marshall: Mastry by Ian Alteveer et al

This monograph on Kerry James Marshall from 2016 accompanied a travel retrospective of his work and, like this comprehensive show, shapes Marshall’s multifaceted oeuvre. With reproductions of 100 pieces and essays by notable critics and curators, as well as the artist himself, the book explains how Marshall dismantles the conventions of modern and old master paintings to create new ways of depicting black life.

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Amazon

To buy:
Kerry James Marshall: Mastry

$ 45.78

5. The Forever Now by Laura Hoptman

This catalog for the MoMA exhibition 2014 measures contemporary painting in the second decade of the 21st century, a time when the medium has arguably become a dominant mode of expression. While the development of painting in the last century followed a narrative development of successive styles (cubism into surrealism, surrealism into abstract expressionism, abstract expressionism into pop art and minimalism, etc.), there is currently no such framework as exhibition coexistence curator Laura Hoptman readily admits. She turns to science fiction writer William Gibson for the context and borrows his term “timelessness”, which describes “a new and strange state of the world in which, thanks to the Internet, all eras seem to exist at once”. Atemporal painting, according to Hoptman, “Reanimat[es]… historical styles [by] Sampling motifs from the art of the 20th century. “Whether or not you agree with her thought-provoking thesis, your arguments are enlivened by the work of the show’s 17 artists, making the book a must-have for completeists.

To buy:
That forever now

$ 32.12

6. Ninth Street Women by Mary Gabriel

If you think of Abstract Expressionism as an all-white boys’ club, steeped in macho boasting, heavy drinking, and fistfighting at the Cedar Tavern, this book should get you right. In it, author Mary Gabriel delves into the careers of five female painters – Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell and Helen Frankenthaler – who were an integral part of the scene with a feminist lens. Two of them, Krasner and de Kooning, were married to male artists whose work overshadowed their own. Still, its importance, and indeed the importance of all women here to the New York School, has become all the more apparent over time. Gabriel’s story offers a much-needed counterbalance to the usual myth of American post-war art.

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To buy:
Ninth Street Women

$ 17.99

7. We flew over the bridge with Faith Ringgold

In addition to the politically charged paintings and story quilts she is best known for, Faith Ringgold, one of the country’s preeminent African American artists, is also an award-winning author of children’s books. This inspirational reminder is her first written for an adult readership. Beginning with her birth in Harlem in the 1930s, Ringgold chronicles her life as a woman of color battling sexism and racism and how she relied on the emotional ties of family, friends, and the community to overcome these obstacles and ultimately through them to triumph.

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Amazon

To buy:
We flew over the bridge

$ 34.39

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