Taxidermy rat actors, Dirty Plotte, Michael Jackson, and Richard Serra all make appearances in this season’s art books.

Top 10

Almost Nothing: The 20th Century Art and Life of Józef Czapski

Eric Karpeles. New York Review Books, Nov. 6

The author of Paintings in Proust turns his focus to the relatively obscure yet remarkable life of Polish painter and writer Józef Czapski, exploring the impact of sexuality and war on his art.

An American Odyssey: The Life and Work of Romare Bearden

Mary Schmidt Campbell. Oxford Univ., Sept.

Spelman College’s president, who served as former president Obama’s vice chair of the U.S. President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, traces the evolving style of muralist Romare Bearden, whom the author met when she was a graduate student at Syracuse University.

Art in Chicago: A History from the Fire to Now

Edited by Maggie Taft and Robert Cozzolino. Univ. of Chicago, Sept. 14

While there are endless books devoted to the New York and Los Angeles art scenes, the city of Chicago finally gets it due with this sweeping illustrated survey.

Conversations About Sculpture

Richard Serra and Hal Foster. Yale Univ., Nov. 27

Two prominent figures in the art world talk shop in this collection of more than a decade’s worth of conversations.

The Last Days of Mankind: A Visual Guide to Karl Kraus’ Great War Epic

Deborah Sengl. Doppel House, Nov.

Sengl uses over 100 taxidermy rats to stage the scenes from an obscure play about WWI. It’s certainly eye-catching.

Michael Jackson: On the Wall

Edited by Nicholas Cullinan. National Portrait Gallery, Sept.

Coinciding with what would have been Michael Jackson’s 60th birthday, this exhibition catalogue collects visual works of art inspired by the King of Pop, including new portraits commissioned for the exhibition.

Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement

Mary Gabriel. Little, Brown, Sept.

Our starred review calls Gabriel’s group biography “an affectionate tribute to the unsung women of America’s avant-garde.”

Of Love & War

Lynsey Addario. Penguin Press, Oct. 23

Three years after the publication of her memoir, It’s What I Do, which we described as an “homage to photojournalism’s role in documenting suffering and injustice,” Addario returns—this time letting her photos speak for themselves.

Painting the Dream

Daniel Bergez. Abbeville, Oct. 2

This expansive volume devoted to representations of dreams in Western art history is already a hit in France, where it was first published.

Sweet Little C*nt: The Graphic Work of Julie Doucet

Anne Elizabeth Moore. Uncivilized, Oct. 13

Underground cartoonist Julie Doucet has found her perfect biographer in cultural critic Moore, whose darkly funny yet biting analysis will no doubt bring new light to the life of the Dirty Plotte creator.

Art, Architecture & Photography Listings

5 Continents

Bill Traylor by Valerie Rousseau and Debra Purden (Oct. 30, hardcover, $47, ISBN 978-88-7439-821-8). Art historians Rousseau and Purden examine the work of the 19th-century American self-taught artist, who was born into slavery before becoming a sharecropper and later a world-renowned artist.


Painting the Dream by Daniel Bergez (Oct. 2, hardcover, $50, ISBN 978-0-7892-1313-6) explores depictions of dreams in Western art starting from the Middle Ages to the present, showing how conceptions of dreams have transformed through time. It features the works of 130 artists including Raphael, Albrecht Dürer, Gustave Moreau, Odilon Redon, Giorgio de Chirico, René Magritte, and Salvador Dalí.


Advanced Love by Ari Seth Cohen (Dec. 24, hardcover, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-4197-3339-0). The author of Advanced Style explores the romantic relationships of senior citizens, profiling 40 couples from around the world in words and photographs.

Flowers for Lisa: A Delirium of Photographic Invention by Abelardo Morell (Oct. 16, hardcover, $60, ISBN 978-1-4197-3233-1) collects photographs of flowers by surrealist photographer Morell, who explains: “Precisely because flowers are such a conventional subject, I felt a strong desire to describe them in new, inventive ways.”

Art Institute of Chicago

Hairy Who? 1966–1969, edited by Ann Goldstein and Mark Pascale (Oct. 30, hardcover, $50, ISBN 978-0-300-23690-3). This illustrated catalogue explores the history and legacy of Hairy Who, a group of six artists based in Chicago in the 1960s, using documentary materials—including exhibition checklists, installation views, and artist-made ephemera—to reconstruct the group’s six exhibitions.


The Art of Looking: How to Read Modern and Contemporary Art by Lance Esplund (Oct. 23, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-465-09466-0) shows how avant-garde art, such as works by Marcel Duchamp, Jackson Pollock, and Marina Abramovic, is not as indecipherable as it may seem and teaches readers how to critically assess other works of modern art.

Black Dog & Leventhal

The Portraits of Beowulf Sheehan by Beowulf Sheehan (Oct. 2, hardcover, $40, ISBN 978-0-316-51515-3) collects 100 photographic portraits of writers, playwrights, poets, journalists, including Roxane Gay, Jennifer Egan, Jonathan Franzen, Ian McEwan, J.K. Rowling, Toni Morrison, and Elie Wiesel.


#1960Now by Sheila Pree Bright (Oct. 2, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-1-4521-7072-5) combines decades of black and white portraits of social justice activists with documentary footage from more recent protests to depict the continuum between the 1960s civil rights movement and the Black Lives Matter movement.


The Last Days of Mankind: A Visual Guide to Karl Kraus’ Great War Epic by Deborah Sengl (Nov. 13, $38.95, hardcover, ISBN 978-0-9997544-1-2). Artist Sengl stages 146 taxidermy rats to recreate scenes from Austrian satirist Karl Kraus’s WWI drama.

Globe Pequot

The Illustrated History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein (Sept. 1, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-1-4930-3666-0). The New Yorker cartoonist examines the snowman’s history from its origins in the dark ages to the present, featuring a slew of illustrated snowman from painting, prints, early movies, and advertising.

Hardie Grant

Encounters with Peggy Guggenheim by Stefan Moses (Oct. 2, hardcover, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-78488-187-0) contains a series of photographs of renowned art collector Peggy Guggenheim taken by Moses between 1969 and 1974 in Venice, Italy.

Harper Design

Vivian Maier: The Color Work by Colin Westerbeck (Nov. 6, hardcover, $80, ISBN 978-0-06-279557-1) studies the color photographs of Vivian Maier (1926–2009), the reclusive Chicago nanny now widely known for her black and white street photographs, which were discovered at a storage facility auction.

J. Paul Getty Museum

A Knight for the Ages: Jacques de Lalaing and the Art of Chivalry, edited by Elizabeth Morrison (Oct. 16, hardcover, $55, ISBN 978-1-60606-575-4), surveys The Livre des faits de Jacques de Lalaing (Book of the Deeds of Jacques de Lalaing), a 15th-century Flemish illuminated manuscript considered by some to be the first graphic novel.

Laurence King

Alright Darling? The Contemporary Drag Scene by Greg Bailey (Oct. 16, trade paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-78627-287-4). The founder and editor of the zine Alright Darling showcases his photography “of the uninhibited, unapologetic, and unafraid wonderland world of contemporary drag.”

The Art of the Fold: How to Make Innovative Books and Paper Structures by Hedi Kyle and Ulla Warhol (Oct. 2, hardcover, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-78627-293-5). German-American artist Kyle has turned bookbinding into an art form. Her book showcases her remarkable designs with instructions on folding techniques that allow readers to experiment with their own paper constructions.


Nothing Is Lost: Selected Essays by Ingrid Sischy (Nov. 13, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-1-5247-3203-5) is a collection of 35 essays from the South African–born American writer and art critic, who died in 2015, including profiles of Jeff Koons, Alice Neel, and Francesco Clemente. 30,000-copy announced first printing.


The Standing Rock Portraits: Sioux Photographed by Frank Bennett Fiske 1900–1915 by Murray Lemley (Aug. 31, hardcover, $49.95, ISBN 978-90-8989-771-8). More than 100 years ago Frank Bennett Fiske (1883–1952) began photographing members of the Native American Standing Rock people from his studio in Fort Yates, N.Dak., which are made widely available for the first time with this book.

Little, Brown

Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement by Mary Gabriel (Sept. 25, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0-316-22618-9). National Book Award finalist Gabriel looks at the interconnected lives of five female artists who gained fame in the male-dominated world of mid-20th-century abstract painting.

Melville House

Chalk: The Art and Erasure of Cy Twombly by Joshua Rivkin (Oct. 9, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-1-61219-718-0). This biography of artist Cy Twombly focuses on the abstract painter’s obsession with myths and history and his struggles to find recognition.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Art of Native America: The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection by Gaylord Torrence (Oct. 30, hardcover, $50, ISBN 978-1-58839-662-4) explores the culture of North American tribes, through their artwork, including painting, sculpture, and drawing.

Everything Is Connected: Art and Conspiracy, edited by Douglas Eklund and Ian Alteveer (Oct. 16, hardcover, $50, ISBN 978-1-58839-659-4), examines how artists from the 1960s to the present explore “covert operations of power and the mutual suspicion between governments and their citizens,” specifically in works of art shaped by the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Vietnam War, Watergate, and 9/11, and the conspiracy theories that surround these events.


Ai Weiwei: Beijing Photographs, 1993–2003, edited by Ai Weiwei, Stephanie H. Tung, and John Tancock (Sept., hardcover, $75, ISBN 978-0-262-03915-4), focuses on Ai’s early work with more than 600 images, including a series depicting the illness and death of Ai’s father.

Contact Warhol: Photography Without End, edited by Peggy Phelan and Richard Meyer (Oct., hardcover, $34.95, ISBN 978-0-262-03899-7). Stanford’s Cantor Center for the Arts acquired 3,600 contact sheets from the Warhol Foundation in 2014. Here, a selection of the never-before-seen contact sheets are reproduced and are analyzed by Phelan and Meyer.


I Wonder by Marian Bantjes (Sept. 25, trade paper, $29.95, ISBN 978-1-58093-519-7) features treatises on art, design, beauty, and popular culture by an up-and-coming graphic designer alongside her own work, done both by hand and with computer software.

Le Corbusier: The Built Work by Richard Pare and Jean-Louis Cohen (Oct. 9, hardcover, $125, ISBN 978-1-58093-471-8). Pare traveled the world photographing the buildings of master architect Le Corbusier. This book collects photos of Le Corbusier’s villas in Switzerland, his visual art center at Harvard University, and his multiplex structures in Chandigarh, India, and more.

National Portrait Gallery

Michael Jackson: On the Wall, edited by Nicholas Cullinan (Sept., hardcover, $49.95, ISBN 978-1-85514-711-9), concentrates on Jackson’s influence on contemporary artwork, bringing together the works of over 40 artists who have used him as a subject; includes essays by Margot Jefferson and Zadie Smith.

New York Review Books

Almost Nothing: The 20th Century Art and Life of Józef Czapski by Eric Karpeles (Nov. 6, trade paper, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-68137-284-6). Published in conjunction with Józef Czapski’s Lost Time and Inhuman Land, this work by Karpeles, a painter and author of Paintings in Proust, considers the life of the Polish painter and writer (1896–1993).

Oxford Univ.

American Odyssey: The Life and Work of Romare Bearden by Mary Schmidt Campbell (Sept. 4, hardcover, $34.95, ISBN 978-0-19-505909-0) shows how the relationship between art and race was central to the life and work of Bearden, a cartoonist turned muralist and large-scale collagist.


Marvelocity: The Marvel Comics Art of Alex Ross by Alex Ross and Charles Kidd (Oct. 2, hardcover, $50, ISBN 978-1-101-87197-3) features more than 50 previously unpublished sketches, working models, and other preparatory art, and a 14-panel portfolio gallery of Marvel’s superheroes; with an introduction by J.J. Abrams. 75,000-copy announced first printing.

Penguin Press

Of Love & War by Lynsey Addario (Oct. 23, hardcover, $40, ISBN 978-0-525-56002-9). Following her memoir, It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War, Pulitzer Prize–winner Addario selects 200 photographs from her travels through the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa, which appear alongside essays from writers Dexter Filkins, Suzy Hansen, and Lydia Polgreen.


Lucian Freud by Martin Gayford, edited by David Dawson and Mark Holborn (Sept. 9, hardcover, $500, ISBN 978-0-7148-7526-2). This two-volume slip-cased collection traces the British painter’s development as an artist through 480 illustrations that span the course of his career. It’s published in collaboration with Lucian Freud Archive, which is run by Dawson, Freud’s longtime assistant and frequent model.

Pomegranate Communications

Eric Wert: Still Life by Richard Speer and Shawn Vandor (Sept. 15, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0-7649-8190-6) is a monograph on the work of contemporary painter Eric Wert, whose background as a scientific illustrator informs his hyperrealistic oil paintings of fruits, vegetables, and other objects.


Elegy in Stone: Syria Before War by Kevin Bubriski (Oct. 2, hardcover, $50, ISBN 978-1-57687-889-7). In 2003, photojournalist Bubriski traveled to Syria on assignment. This series of 100 black and white photographs from that trip depicts, among other things, ancient sites that have since been destroyed during the ongoing war.

Moscow by Boogie (Dec. 4, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-1-57687-906-1) features Serbian photographer Boogie’s portraits of Russian gang members, hooligans, and other rough types who roam the streets of Moscow.


Lucky Cat by Mio Yamada (Aug. 7, hardcover, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-78713-174-3) examines how the cat has come to represent an emblem of good fortune across Japan, China, and other places, with examples dating back to the 17th century.


Architectural Digest: Autobiography of a Magazine 1920–2010 by Paige Rense (Oct. 2, hardcover, $65, ISBN 978-0-8478-6275-7). Rense, who served as editor-in-chief of Architectural Digest for 35 years, assembles this visual history of the magazine with archival covers, interior spreads, and examples of the work of the world’s top architects and interior designers.

Jenny Saville by Richard Calvocoressi and Mark Stevens (Oct. 2, hardcover, $150, ISBN 978-0-8478-6290-0) surveys the career of contemporary British artist Jenny Saville, whose figurative painted portraits of nude women explore feminist themes. The monograph includes a conversation with American photographer Sally Mann, and essays by art critic Mark Stevens and the Gagosian London Gallery director, Richard Calvocoressi.

Rizzoli Electa

I Too Sing America: The Harlem Renaissance at 100 by Wil Haygood (Oct. 16, hardcover, $55, ISBN 978-0-8478-6312-9). Journalist Haygood, author of four biographies on figures in the Harlem Renaissance, selected the works featured in this book and accompanying exhibition at the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio.


Do You Read Me? Vintage Communication Toys by Leslie Singer (Aug. 28, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-0-7643-5578-3) showcases art deco and futuristic designs of 150 vintage toys from midcentury America, many of which mimicked the design and functions of emerging communication technologies of the era.


Wallpaper by Zoe Hendon (Sept. 18, trade paper, $14, ISBN 978-1-78442-313-1) analyzes the significance of wallpaper’s place in the home while presenting the history of wallpaper in Britain and the works of popular wallpaper designers.


Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940–1950, edited by Peter W. Kunhardt Jr. and Philip Brookman (Nov., hardcover, $48, ISBN 978-3-9582949-4-3), looks at the self-taught photographer’s work with the Farm Security Administration and Life magazine in the 1940s through the ’70s.

Thames & Hudson

Josef Albers: Life and Work by Charles Darwent (Sept. 11, hardcover, $39.95, ISBN 978-0-500-51910-3) draws on unpublished archival documents, including letters from John Cage, Eva Hesse, Robert Rauschenberg, and Richard Serra, to present a wide-angle view of the life and influences of the renowned German American artist.

Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color by Valerie Steele (Sept. 4, hardcover, $50, ISBN 978-0-500-02226-9). Curator and fashion historian Steele explores, in collaboration with an exhibition at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, the changing significance of the color pink in fashion, art, and culture.

Three Hills

Brooklyn Before: Photographs, 1971–1983 by Sheila Pree Bright (Sept. 2, hardcover, $34.95, ISBN 978-1-5017-2587-6) tours the streets of South Brooklyn in the 1970s and ’80s in photos, taking readers back to the days when Biggie and Jay-Z were in diapers and Italians still ran the bakeries.


Sweet Little C*nt: The Graphic Work of Julie Doucet by Anne Elizabeth Moore (Oct. 16, trade paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-1-941250-28-0). Cultural critic Moore, author of Body Horror, which our review calls “sharp, shocking, and darkly funny,” turns her focus to the career of cartoonist Julie Doucet, examining her role as a feminist figure, artist, and object of masculine desire.

Univ. of California

Carleton Watkins: Making the West American by Tyler Green (Oct. 26, hardcover, $34.95, ISBN 978-0-520-28798-3) collects photographs of 19th-century California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington from a pioneer American photographer whose work helped promote support for the legislation that created the first national park.

John Waters: Indecent Exposure by Kristen Hileman (Oct. 19, hardcover, $50, ISBN 978-0-520-30047-7). This retrospective catalogue, published in conjunction with an exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art, examines the work of filmmaker John Waters through more than 160 photographs, sculptures, soundworks, and videos he has made since the early 1990s.

Univ. of Chicago

Art in Chicago: A History from the Fire to Now, edited by Maggie Taft and Robert Cozzolino (Sept. 14, hardcover, $65, ISBN 978-0-226-16831-9), is a sprawling survey of the arts scene in Chicago, from the Great Fire through the founding of the Art Institute and the famous Wall of Respect mural to today, featuring work by Henry Darger, Vivian Maier, Gordon Parks, Nancy Spero, Charles White, and more.

Whatcom Museum

Endangered Species: Artists on the Frontline of Biodiversity by Barbara C. Matilsky (Sept. 4, trade paper, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-692-08331-4) spotlights 60 artists from the 19th through the 21st centuries whose work focuses on endangered species.

Yale Univ.

Conversations About Sculpture by Richard Serra and Hal Foster (Nov. 27, trade paper, $30, ISBN 978-0-300-23596-8) is a collection of conversations between sculptor Serra and art critic Foster that address the key influences, ideas, and practices that have guided Serra in his career, accompanied by duotone images of his work and the works that inspired him.

To Describe a Life: Notes from the Intersection of Art and Race Terror by Darby English (Jan. 22, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0-300-23038-3) looks at art created in response to the wave police shootings of innocent black women and men in America, including Zoe Leonard’s Tipping Point, Kerry James Marshall’s untitled 2015 portrait of a black male police officer, and Pope.L’s Skin Set Drawings.

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This article has been updated.