Let’s face it: art doesn’t always speak for itself. Luckily, this season’s art books, which include memoirs, unpublished notebooks, and personal narratives, give readers access to artists’ creative processes.
Renowned photographer Sally Mann provides intimate access to her creative process in her aptly titled memoir Hold Still. In it, she relies heavily on both photography and prose to tell her life’s story.
Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks, which accompanies a traveling exhibition of the same name, gives readers a different type of access to the creative process, with the first survey of the late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat’s notebooks, which include handwritten notes, poems, and early iterations of images—crowns, skeletons, teepees—that recur throughout his work.
Both Playing to the Gallery, by the English cross-dressing ceramicist Grayson Perry, and Judge This, by publishing industry artist in residence Chip Kidd, offer humorous accounts of what it’s like to be an artist in 2015. Perry takes on the age-old question, “What is art?” in his personal tour through the art world, while Kidd focuses on the importance of first impressions in the everyday—both in terms of design and life.
In Listening to Stone, Hayden Herrera, who has written books on Arshile Gorky, Frida Kahlo, and Matisse, takes on Isamu Noguchi as the subject of her fourth artist biography, relying on Noguchi’s writings and letters to illuminate the Japanese-American sculptor’s evolving creative process, as well as his contributions to the realm of public art.
Two titles explore the role of place and public in the cultural milieu. Coney Island: Visions of An American Dreamland, 1861–2008 offers a historical survey of “America’s playground” through artists’ renderings over the years. Street Craft places a forward-facing lens on art history by examining a new generation of artists whose use of diverse materials and techniques are redefining street art.
Readers interested in art criticism should turn to Go Figure! New Perspectives on Guston, edited by Peter Benson Miller, an illustrated
volume of essays on “Abstract Expressionism’s odd man out.” Those interested in literature will welcome Two, by photographer Melissa Ann Pinney, which explores relationships, between, e.g., lovers, a teacher and a student,
a pet owner and pet. Pinney’s photos are accompanied by essays by several writers including, Ann Patchett, who served as editor for the project.
Lastly, true crime sneaks into the category toward the end of the season with The Art of the Con: The Most Notorious Fakes, Frauds, and Forgeries in the Art World, by Anthony M. Amore, coauthor of Stealing Rembrandts.
PW’S Top 10: Art, Architecture & Photography
The Art of the Con: The Most Notorious Fakes, Frauds, and Forgeries in the Art World. Anthony M. Amore. Palgrave Macmillan, July 14
Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. Edited by Dieter Buchhart and Tricia Laughlin Bloom. Skira Rizzoli, Mar. 31
Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861–2008. Edited by Robin Jaffee Frank. Yale Univ., Feb. 17
Go Figure! New Perspectives on Guston. Edited by Peter Benson Miller. New York Review Books, Mar. 10
Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs. Sally Mann. Little, Brown, May 12
Judge This. Chip Kidd. S&S/TED, June 2
Listening to Stone: The Art and Life of Isamu Noguchi. Hayden Herrera. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Apr. 21
Playing to the Gallery: Helping Contemporary Art in Its Struggle to Be Understood. Grayson Perry. Penguin Books, May 5
Street Craft: Yarnbombing, Guerrilla Gardening, Light Tagging, Lace Graffiti and More. Riikka Kuittinen. Thames & Hudson, Feb. 10
Two. Melissa Ann Pinney, edited by Ann Patchett. HarperDesign, Apr. 14
Art, Architecture & Photography Listings
(dist. by CDS)
Art and Science by Eliane Strosberg (May 5, paper, $34.95, ISBN 978-0-7892-1219-1). An abundantly illustrated history of the dynamic interaction between the arts and sciences shows how it has shaped our world, from prehistory to the present.
Piet Mondrian: Life and Work by Cees W. de Jong and Marty Bax (May 5, hardcover, $65, ISBN 978-1-4197-1408-5). This volume brings together more than 230 of Mondrian’s paintings, along with documentary images from the artist’s life.
Wayne White: Maybe Now I’ll Get The Respect I So Richly Deserve by Wayne White, edited by Todd Oldham (Mar. 15, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-1-62326-041-5). Designer and art collector Oldham shines the spotlight on the clever and warped world of artist Wayne White. Ranging from White’s early days as a production designer and puppet maker for the TV show Pee-Wee’s Playhouse to his unmistakable and exquisitely rendered text paintings, this monograph is a comprehensive view of the artist’s oeuvre.
Art Institute of Chicago
Chatter: Architecture Talks Back by Karen Kice (June 28, paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-0-300-21063-7). A theoretical look at an emerging generation, this volume is devoted to five contemporary architects—Bureau Spectacular, Erin Besler, Fake Industries Architectural Agonism, Formlessfinder, and John Szot Studio—and the diverse methods and approaches that drive their work.
The Trip: Andy Warhol’s Plastic Fantastic Cross-Country Adventure by Deborah Davis (July 28, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-4767-0351-0). The author of Strapless and Guest of Honor writes about a little-known road trip Andy Warhol took from New York to L.A. in 1963, and how that journey—and the numerous artists and celebrities he encountered—profoundly influenced his life and art.
Destruction Was My Beatrice: Dada and the Unmaking of the Twentieth Century by Jed Rasula (June 2, hardcover, $29.99, ISBN 978-0-465-08996-3). Modernist scholar Rasula presents a narrative history of the emergence, decline, and legacy of Dada, showing how this strange artistic phenomenon spread across Europe and then the world in the wake of WWI, fundamentally reshaping modern culture in ways we’re still struggling to understand today.
The Contemporaries: Travels in the 21st-Century Art World by Roger White (Mar. 3, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-62040-094-4) combines close observation with commentary—both exuberant and skeptical—as the author takes readers through the halls of the Rhode Island School of Design, where art drives discourse and vice versa; to New York, to pull back the curtain on the strange economy of art assistantship; and on to Milwaukee, to see a group of young artists trying to envision the possibilities of a local scene.
The Rape of Europa: The Intriguing History of Titian’s Masterpiece by Charles FitzRoy (June 23, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-1-4081-9209-2) tells the story of one of Titian’s most celebrated masterpieces, from its origin to the present day; it’s part art history and part detective story.
See for Yourself: A Visual Guide to Everyday Beauty by Rob Forbes (May 12, paper, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-4521-1714-0). This handbook from designer Rob Forbes, founder of the retail chain Design Within Reach, uncovers the beauty in the commonplace and reveals how visual thinking can enrich our lives.
Conran on Color by Terence Conran (May 5, hardcover, $34.99, ISBN 978-1-84091-685-0) shares the author’s lifetime of experience as one of the world’s leading designers and retailers to explain how to make the most of this vibrant and dynamic ingredient in your home.
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Brooklyn + Klein by William Klein (Apr. 14, hardcover, $45, ISBN 978-88-6965-534-0). Sixty years after Life Is Good and Good for You in New York, William Klein takes on a new challenge: shoot Brooklyn in digital. This technique becomes a way for the master of the aesthetic of chaos to refresh his approach to the New York borough.
Detroit Institute of Arts
Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit by Mark Rosenthal (Mar. 10, hardcover, $60, ISBN 978-0-300-21160-3). From April 1932 through March 1933, Diego Rivera (1886–1957) and Frida Kahlo (1907–1954) spent a dramatic and pivotal sojourn in Detroit. This catalogue focuses on both artists during that critical year in each of their careers.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Listening to Stone: The Art and Life of Isamu Noguchi by Hayden Herrera (Apr. 21, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0-374-28116-8). From the author of Arshile Gorky comes a major biography of the great American sculptor that redefines his legacy as an artist compulsively driven to change himself as he searched for his own “essence of sculpture.”
(dist. by Rizzoli)
Private Gardens of Paris by Alexandra D’Arnoux and Bruno de Laubadere, photos by Gilles De Chabaneix (Apr. 7, hardcover, $34.95, ISBN 978-2-08-020204-8). Whether grandiose or modest, manicured or untended, these secret gardens, rarely seen by casual passersby, are timeless enclaves that provide verdant refuge from the bustling streets of Paris.
(dist. by ACC)
Andrew Geller: Deconstructed by Jake Gorst (Mar. 15, hardcover, $40, ISBN 978-0-9903808-9-4). Over the course of a career that lasted more than 50 years, Geller—architect, artist, and designer—quietly produced a large and culturally significant body of work, and in the process he touched a multitude of lives through the environments that he dreamed up and the works that he created.
Two by Melissa Ann Pinney, edited by Ann Patchett (Apr. 14, hardcover, $29.99, ISBN 978-0-06-233442-8). A nuanced exploration of the relationship between two beings—relatives, friends, teammates, lovers, owners and pets—is captured in 75 full-color images from an award-winning fine art photographer and accompanied by essays from 10 contemporary writers.
Photography and the Art of Chance by Robin Kelsey (May 12, hardcover, $32.95, ISBN 978-0-674-74400-4). Photography has a unique relationship to chance. Anyone who has wielded a camera has taken a picture ruined by an ill-timed blink or enhanced by an unexpected gesture or expression. Kelsey points out that, historically, this proneness to chance has been a mixed blessing for those seeking to make photographic art.
Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs by Sally Mann (May 12, hardcover, $32, ISBN 978-0-316-24776-4). In her memoir, a unique interplay of narrative and image, acclaimed photographer Mann crafts a new form of personal history that offers her family’s history and its influence on her life as an artist. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
Barnett Newman: The Late Work, 1965–1970 by Bradford A. Epley and Michelle White (Apr. 28, hardcover, $55, ISBN 978-0-300-21176-4). An enlightening study of painter Barnett Newman’s last works is based on a decade of exhaustive research
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Sultans of Deccan India, 1500–1700: Opulence and Fantasy by Navina Najat Haidar and Marika Sardar (May 5, hardcover, $65, ISBN 978-0-300-21110-8) surveys the visual and decorative arts created by India’s Deccan kingdoms in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Design, When Everybody Designs: An Introduction to Design for Social Innovation by Ezio Manzini, trans. by Rachel Coad (Feb. 13, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-262-02860-8) draws a comprehensive picture of design for social innovation: a dynamic field of action for both expert and nonexpert designers in the coming decades.
The Eternal Letter: Two Millennia of the Classical Roman Capital, edited by Paul Shaw (Feb. 6, hardcover, $55, ISBN 978-0-262-02901-8). An illustrated examination of the enduring influence of, and many variations on, the classical Roman capital letter, including a series of essays by some of the most highly regarded practitioners in the fields of typography, lettering, and stone carving.
National Gallery London
Inventing Impressionism: Paul Durand-Ruel and the Modern Art Market, edited by Sylvie Patry (May 12, hardcover, $65, ISBN 978-1-85709-584-5) examines the career of art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, revealing the crucial role he played in the development of French Impressionism.
(dist. by Perseus)
Bordered Lives: Transgender Portraits from Mexico by Kike Arnal (Feb. 17, paper, $21.95, ISBN 978-1-62097-024-9). Arnal’s photographs explore what it is to be transgender in Mexico, seeking to push back against the transphobic caricatures that have perpetuated discrimination against the transgender community. 10,000-copy announced first printing.
New York Review Books
Go Figure! New Perspectives on Guston, edited by Peter Benson Miller (Mar. 10, hardcover, $60, ISBN 978-1-59017-878-2). This illustrated volume of essays about Philip Guston (1913–1980) considers the late work of the man who was a friend and contemporary of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning.
(dist. by Consortium)
Eventually Everything Connects by Loris Lora (Mar. 17, hardcover, $40, ISBN 978-1-907704-88-8). Author and illustrator Lora makes all the creative connections between the movers and shapers of the arts in the Californian modernist movement in a full-color concertina book that unfolds to four meters in size.
(dist. by Yale Univ.)
Walking Sculpture 1967–2015 by Lexi Lee Sullivan (May 26, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0-300-21243-3). Titled after Michelangelo Pistoletto’s performance Walking Sculpture, this catalogue features 50 color illustrations ranging from photographs of Yvonne Rainer’s street actions to Francis Alÿs’s fantastical processions, tracing the history of walking as an aesthetic action from the Dadaists to contemporary ramblers.
Out of Sight: The Los Angeles Art Scene of the Sixties by William Hackman (Apr. 14, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-1-59051-411-5) chronicles the unlikely story of how Los Angeles became an international center of artistic culture and pays tribute to the city that gave birth to an often overlooked moment in modern art. 10,000-copy announced first printing.
Local Glories: Opera Houses on Main Street, Where Art and Community Meet by Ann Satterthwaite (July 1, hardcover, $34.95, ISBN 978-0-19-939254-4) explores the creative, social, and communal roles of thousands of “opera houses” that flourished across America.
The Art of the Con: The Most Notorious Fakes, Frauds, and Forgeries in the Art World by Anthony M. Amore (July 14, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-137-27987-3). Head of security and chief investigator at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Amore reveals the untold stories of some of history’s most notorious art cons.
Playing to the Gallery: Helping Contemporary Art in Its Struggle to Be Understood by Grayson Perry (May 5, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0-14-312735-2). English artist Perry offers a funny, personal journey through the art world and answers the basic questions that might occur to us in an art gallery, but seem too embarrassing to ask. 35,000-copy announced first printing.
In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse, and the Birth of Modernist Art by Sue Roe (Apr. 21, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-1-59420-495-1) presents a group biography of the figures who transformed the world of art in bohemian Paris in the first decade of the 20th century.
Brick by William Hall (Apr. 15, hardcover, $49.95, ISBN 978-0-7148-6881-3). Illustrated with more than 180 images, this is a global survey of the world’s most familiar and popular building material and its uses throughout architectural history up to the present day.
Zhang Xiaogang: Disquieting Memories by Jonathan Fineberg (Mar. 23, paper, $125, ISBN 978-0-7148-6892-9). The first major monograph on Zhang Xiaogang (b. 1958), a leading Chinese contemporary artist who is world-renowned for his haunting, surrealist works.
Edward Gorey: His Book Cover Art and Design by Steven Heller (Mar. 1, hardcover, $40, ISBN 978-0-7649-7147-1) collects Gorey’s book cover art created from 1953 to 2000 for major New York publishing houses, featuring a broad selection of the artist’s work, with more than 90 full-color reproductions.
Such Mean Estate by Ryan Spencer, text by Leslie Jamison (Apr. 7, hardcover, $40, ISBN 978-1-57687-736-4). The photographs that make up this book are images appropriated from films about apocalypse. Rather than surveying disaster movies, they create a narrative from specific frames whose contents range from high drama to the banal.
Princeton Architectural Press
Munari’s Books by Giorgio Maffei (Mar. 17, paper, $40, ISBN 978-1-61689-386-6). A monograph of book designs by the late Italian artist and designer Bruno Munari, who is said to have considered the book the best medium to communicate his visual ideas, showcase his art, and convey his creative spirit.
Creating Symmetry: The Artful Mathematics of Wallpaper Patterns by Frank A. Farris (June 8, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0-691-16173-0). This illustrated book provides a hands-on, step-by-step introduction to the intriguing mathematics of symmetry, featuring numerous examples and exercises for designers throughout, as well as discussing the history behind the mathematics presented in the book.
(dist. by Consortium)
Art Is Trash by Francisco de Pájaro (May 12, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-84-15967-34-7) is the first book to showcase the work, philosophy, and international trajectory of the Spanish urban artist.
Ian Schrager: Design by Ian Schrager (Apr. 14, hardcover, $75, ISBN 978-0-8478-4488-3). This volume spans almost 40 years of contemporary high design as masterminded by Schrager, known for being the originator of the mythical Studio 54, as well as a innovator of the boutique hotel.
Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends by Richard Ormond (Mar. 24, hardcover, $60, ISBN 978-0-8478-4527-9). This unprecedented book showcases painter John Singer Sargent’s cosmopolitan career in a new light—through his bold portraits of artists, writers, actors, and musicians, many of them his close friends—giving us a picture of the artist as an intellectual and connoisseur of the music, art, and literature of his day.
(dist. by ACC)
Government by Ivan Harbour (June 2, hardcover, $70, ISBN 978-1-909399-45-7). Featuring government buildings from around the world, the latest addition to the Roads Reflections series by architect Harbour is a visual exploration of the spaces and buildings that mirror the cultures in which they play such a crucial part.
Writers’ Houses: Where Great Books Begin by Nick Channer (July 1, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-7198-0664-3). Part armchair travel, part reference, this is a journey into Britain’s impressive literary and architectural heritage and an exploration of how famous authors drew inspiration from their homes.
Rowman & Littlefield/Down East
McCloskey: Art and Illustrations of Robert McCloskey by Jane McCloskey (July 1, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-1-60893-493-5). The daughter of the artist and popular children’s book author looks at the range of McCloskey’s work from both chronological and geographic perspectives, discussing the styles of his work and his own attitudes about art.
The Blue Cupboard by Tess Jaray (Apr. 7, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-1-910350-09-6) is a humorous and life-affirming memoir by the contemporary painter and printmaker.
The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings by Marc Kushner (Mar. 10, hardcover, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-4767-8492-2). The founder of Architizer.com and practicing architect draws on his unique position at the crossroads of architecture and social media to highlight 100 important buildings that embody the future of architecture.
Judge This by Chip Kidd (June 2, hardcover, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-4767-8478-6). The acclaimed book designer offers a playful look at the importance of first impressions—in design and in life.
New Old School: Exploring the Modern Renaissance of Old School & Neo-Traditional Tattooing by Jakob Schultz, with photos by Peter Booker Nielsen (Apr. 28, hardcover, $34.99, ISBN 978-0-7643-4936-2). This book focuses on the traditional style of tattooing and its ongoing impact on today’s tattoo art. More than 300 stunning color photos combine with tattoo artists’ personal explanations of why they love to work in the traditional style and the artistic challenges that it poses.
Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks, edited by Dieter Buchhart and Tricia Laughlin Bloom (Mar. 31, hardcover, $50, ISBN 978-0-8478-4582-8). Accompanying a major traveling exhibition, this first survey of the rarely seen notebooks of Basquiat features the artist’s handwritten notes, poems, and drawings, along with related works on paper and large-scale paintings.
Feelings: Soft Art by Wayne Koestenbaum, Andrea K. Scott, Tracey Emin, and Asher Penn (May 5, paper, $34.95, ISBN 978-0-8478-4579-8). The first in an exciting new series, this is an intimate exploration of contemporary art today. Focused on material qualities and the feelings evoked by a work, this thematic approach returns to the basic pleasure of experiencing art.
Shirin Neshat: Facing History (May 26, hardcover, $60, ISBN 978-1-58834-509-7). The companion volume to the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum, this beautiful volume presents an array of Neshat’s most compelling works and illuminates the points at which cultural and political events have inflected her artistic practice.
Malevich, edited by Achim Borchardt-Hume (Mar. 3, paper, $49.95, ISBN 978-1-84976-146-8) explores the career of Kazimir Malevich, a radical artist and one of the founders of abstract art, published to accompany a major retrospective.
Richard Tuttle: I Don’t Know; The Weave of Textile Language by Achim Borchardt-Hume, Magnus af Petersens, and Richard Tuttle, with photos by Nick Danziger (Mar. 3, paper, $45, ISBN 978-1-84976-319-6). Drawing on Tuttle’s knowledge as a longstanding collector of textiles from around the world, this book investigates the importance of textiles throughout history, across Tuttle’s remarkable body of work, and into the latest developments in his practice.
Turner’s Sketchbooks by Ian Warrell (Mar. 3, hardcover, $45, ISBN 978-1-84976-295-3). J.M.W. Turner (1775–1851) created a remarkable collection of sketchbooks over the course of his career. This book surveys the full range of his sketchbooks, beginning with his teenage efforts and culminating in the atmospheric color studies of his last years.
Thames & Hudson
Agnes Martin: Her Life and Art by Nancy Princenthal (June 16, hardcover, $39.95, ISBN 978-0-500-09390-0). The first biography of the visionary artist whose austere and serene work helped define minimalism, by a former senior editor of Art in America.
Painting Now by Suzanne Hudson (Mar. 10, hardcover, $55, ISBN 978-0-500-23926-1). The art critic and art historian surveys the state of contemporary painting, bringing together more than 200 artists from around the world.
Street Craft: Yarnbombing, Guerrilla Gardening, Light Tagging, Lace Graffiti and More by Riikka Kuittinen (Feb. 10, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-500-51784-0) introduces readers to a new generation of street artists whose spontaneous craft installations are leaving their mark on cities around the world.
Sustainable Luxury: The New Singapore House, Solutions for a Livable Future by Paul McGillick, photos by Masano Kawana (Mar. 31, hardcover, $39.95, ISBN 978-0-8048-4475-8) presents 27 recent residential projects created by Singapore’s most talented architects to address the many complex and interconnected aspects of sustainability, offering insight into Singapore’s contemporary domestic high-end architecture and how it represents that vibrant city and its ethnically diverse inhabitants.
Univ. of Texas
Dan Rizzie, edited by Mark Smith and Terrie Sultan (Mar. 15, hardcover, $65, ISBN 978-0-292-76220-6). Showcasing an artistic career that has been both broad-ranging and consistent over four decades, this is the first monograph on Rizzie, an internationally acclaimed artist who has created a unique iconography of the natural world in paintings, collages, and prints.
Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861–2008, edited by Robin Jaffee Frank (Feb. 17, hardcover, $50, ISBN 978-0-300-18990-2). This book looks at Coney Island’s enduring status as inspiration for artists over many years, from its inception as an elite seaside resort in the mid-19th century, to its evolution into an entertainment mecca for the masses, with the eventual closing of Astroland, in 2008, after decades of urban decline.