Holiday Plans: Noteworthy Art Books Published in 2023
Looking for gift ideas for art lovers in your life? Or perhaps you want to treat yourself by buying a book that will not only inspire and educate you about a particular artist, but also look great on your coffee table.
Here’s a list of 10 must-see art books that were published in 2023 that shed new light on various artists and art movements. The books are not listed in any order of preference. They are all available at various bookstores and online booksellers.
Looking at Picasso
by Pepe Karmel
As one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century, Pablo Picasso’s (1881–1973) artistic achievements are unparalleled. This book presents the beauty and power of Picasso’s work through his paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints, while offering a fresh analysis of his work. Arranged chronologically by themes and movements, this volume is illustrated with his most famous paintings, such as Les Demoiselles d’Avignon and Guernica, and also displays his lesser-known works. While many books have focused on Picasso’s personal relationships, specifically of his wives and mistresses, this volume instead focuses on Picasso’s works, showing how the artist’s style evolved over the course of seven decades.
by Stephan Wolohojian (Author), Ashley Dunn (Author), Stéphane Guégan (Contributor), Denise Murrell (Contributor), Haley S. Pierce (Contributor), Isolde Pludermacher (Contributor) and Samuel Rodary (Contributor)
Although Édouard Manet and Edgar Degas were friends, rivals, and at times antagonists, they maintained a pictorial dialogue throughout their lives as they both worked to define their vision of modern urban life through their art. There are essays by American and French scholars who take a close look at both of these artists in terms of their family relationships, literary friendships, and their interconnected social and intellectual circles in Paris. This book is lavishly illustrated and includes an in-depth study that provides an opportunity to reevaluate some of the most canonical French artworks of the nineteenth century. This is the first publication that focuses on the personal and professional relationship between Manet and Degas—two giants of 19th-century French art.
Basquiat: The Modena Paintings
by Jean-Michel Basquiat (Artist), Iris Hasler (Editor), Sam Keller (Editor), Dieter Buchhart (Contributor), Fiona Hesse (Contributor), Michiko Kono (Contributor), Regula Moser (Contributor), Demetrio Paparoni (Contributor) and Jordana Saggese (Contributor)
In the summer of 1982, Jean-Michel Basquiat traveled to Modena, Italy, for one of his first solo exhibitions in Europe at the gallery of Emilio Mazzoli. Within the span of just a few days, Basquiat worked in a feverish manner and painted a group of large-format paintings that surpassed his previous work in both scale and method. Each measuring around 6.5 by 13 feet, these paintings mark Basquiat’s transition from creating graffiti in the streets of Manhattan to painting on canvas. This catalog focuses on those eight paintings that many critics consider to be among the outstanding of his oeuvre. Today, Basquiat’s work continues to rise in value and has set several auction records
Lee Friedlander Framed
by Lee Friedlander (Photographer), Joel Coen (Photographer) and Frances McDormand (Afterword)
In selecting 70 photographs by photographer Lee Friedlander, filmmaker Joel Coen focuses on Friedlander’s beautiful but unusual sense of composition, in which images are visually dense and off kilter. Joel Coen stated that he found it a daunting task in choosing just a few images from Friedlander's vast career. This book features work that spans more than 60 years, including selections from some of Friedlander’s most celebrated series. In the afterword, actor Frances McDormand gives a great summary when describing the bond between Friedlander and Coen when she states, "They both capture and fill frames with sometimes simple and other times chaotically elaborate images that cause us all to wonder."
The Culture: Hip Hop & Contemporary Art in the 21st Century
by Asma Naeem (Editor), Gamynne Guillotte (Introduction), Hannah Klemm (Introduction) and Andréa Purnell (Introduction)
Accompanying the groundbreaking exhibition that originated at the Baltimore Museum of Art, this book captures the extraordinary influence of hip-hop, which has driven innovations in music, visual and performing arts, fashion, and technology. This book displays approximately 70 objects by both established and emerging artists, design houses, streetwear icons and musicians working in a wide range of mediums to demonstrate hip-hop’s proliferation from the street to the runway, the studio to the museum gallery, and countless sites in between. This book also explores how hip-hop continues to not only influence art but also challenge political and social systems of oppression.
Only the Young: Experimental Art in Korea, 1960s–1970s
by Kyung An (Editor), Kang Soojung (Editor), Yoon Jin-sup (Contributor), Joan Kee (Contributor), Youngin Arial Kim (Contributor), Yeilim Lee (Contributor) and Cho Soojin (Contributor)
The 1960s and 1970s was a period of exceptional change in Korea, propelled according to many sociologists by urbanization and modernization. During this era, young artists responded with a groundbreaking and genre-defying body of experimental art. Working individually and in collectives, many of the artists during this time broke from their predecessors, redefining the boundaries of traditional painting and sculpture while embracing innovative and often provocative approaches to expression through installation, photography, video, and performance. This book examines how this generation of young Korean artists harnessed the power of art to confront their past and reimagine an ever-changing present.
Lost in America: Photographing the Last Days of Our Architectural Treasures
by Richard Cahan and Michael Williams
Chicago historians Richard Cahan and Michael Williams focus on architectural jewels from America’s past through photographs taken between 1933 and the present by the government-run Historic American Buildings Survey. This book focuses on 100 buildings that have been torn down over the past 90 years. Using haunting but beautiful black-and-white images by the nation’s top architectural photographers, the photos present a timely look at what has been lost over time. This book is based on a remarkable archive created by the Historic American Building Survey, a Works Progress Administration project that still documents the nation’s most important buildings.
Deborah Roberts: Twenty Years of Art/Work
by Deborah Roberts (Artist), Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, Dawoud Bey (Foreword), Ekow Eshun (Contributor) and Carolyn Jean Martin (Contributor)
This publication provides an overview of two decades of work by Deborah Roberts (born 1962), a mixed media artist based in Austin, Texas. By using images from American history, Black culture, pop culture and Black history, Roberts critiques perceptions of how society embraces concepts of ideal beauty while also challenging the various stereotypes that exist within contemporary culture. Roberts combines found and manipulated images with hand-drawn and painted details to create hybrid figures. This book includes an extensive plate collection that displays her compelling work and a free-ranging conversation between Roberts and cultural historian Sarah Elizabeth Lewis.
Tiny Treasures: The Magic of Miniatures
by Courtney Leigh Harris (Contributor)
Throughout history, miniature works of art have exerted surprising power despite their size. Over the course of thousands of years and across various cultures throughout the world, artists and artisans have created small objects for many purposes. Here are just a few examples—tiny gold amulets of ancient Egyptian gods were believed to protect the wearer from danger; portable European medieval shrines made of precious materials held the relics of saints; and miniature painted portraits were created to keep loved ones close. This book studies more than 75 miniature objects, exploring their meaning and purpose along with their remarkable workmanship.
Ed Ruscha / Now Then: A Retrospective
by Ed Ruscha (Artist), Kiko Aebi (Editor), Christophe Cherix (Editor), Ana Torok (Editor), Benjamin H.D. Buchloh (Contributor), Donna De Salvo (Contributor), Michael Govan (Contributor), Ellen Lupton (Contributor), Linda Norden (Contributor), Andrew Perchuk (Contributor), Jennifer Tobias (Contributor) and Jeffrey Weiss (Contributor)
Spanning 65 years of Ed Ruscha’s remarkable career, this book features over 250 objects, produced from 1958 to the present, including paintings, drawings, prints, films, photographs, artist’s books, and installations. Also included are essays by an interdisciplinary group of contributors who examine Ruscha’s work under a new light, beyond the categories of Pop and Conceptual art. Also explored are Ruscha’s innovative contributions such as his experiments with unconventional materials—such as gunpowder, chocolate and chewing tobacco. There is also a look into his groundbreaking self-published books. One cannot help but gain insight on one of the most influential artists in postwar American art.
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