10 Best Art Coffee Table Books 2019
Art is, and will always will be, subjective. An individual’s reactions to the same piece of work can span from one end of the spectrum to another. But, however a person feels about art, it is never without impact. It’s the perfect accessory for your home and an expression of yourself. With Masterpiece opening on Wednesday, we’ve put together a list of fabulous art books to kick of your collections. From the classics to the contemporary, there’s sure to be a book for everyone’s taste.
10 Best Art Books 2019:
1) In Shadows I Boogie by Harland Miller
Harland Miller’s satirical narratives in his paintings have made his work an iconic example of the interplay between art and text. This monograph covers almost 20 years of his paintings alongside three pivotal new essays exploring different narratives in his artworks as well as photographs and ephemera from the artist’s personal collection. Whilst the book covers a wide range of his artworks, it is the upfront humour of Miller’s pseudo-Penguin paperback paintings that will make you come back to this book time and time again.
2) Vincent Van Gogh – The Lost Arles Sketchbook by Welsh-Ovcharov, B.
The Lost Arles Sketchbook reveals a series of rough works done by Van Gogh during his time in Provence near the end of his life. Having remained hidden for over 120 years, this artefact offers a fresh perspective on one of the world’s most renowned artists. Offering insight into his later life, this book interweaves classic tropes from the artists iconic works whilst presenting an unfiltered and natural rendering of his work. Illustrated with text, photos and paintings from Van Gogh’s life, Welsh-Ovcharov’s book could be a central and fascinating addition to any book collection.
3) The Art of Feminism – Images That Shaped the Fight for Equality by Reckitt, H.
The fight for gender equality and the growing presence of women in the art world has sparked interesting debates around how female artists should be considered and discussed throughout history. The Art of Feminism examines the radical influence of feminist artists from mid-19th century right up until 2017 and their impact upon art history. This book is the perfect aesthetic feminist addition to your coffee table stacks.
4) The Illustrated Dust Jacket 1920-1970 by Salisbury, M
Martin Salisbury brings light to the fascinating evolution of the pictorial dust jacket through the 20th century. Taking us through influences from art deco and modernism to post-war neo-romanticism, this book examines an often-forgotten area of the decorative arts. Spanning over 50 artists from the century, this art book is perfect for an unusual addition to your book collection.
5) On The Deadly Sins by Baker, K.
Touching on historic events characterised by the seven sins ranging from Hitler’s invasion of Russia to issues of domestic violence and child abuse, Kenneth Baker analyses the visual history of sin and its relationship with mankind. This book grapples with the fundamental aspects of human behaviour, making it an essential and interesting read to understand how humanity has visualised sin from antiquity up to the present day.
6) Hidden Frida Kahlo – Lost, Destroyed or Little-Known Works by Prignitz-Poda, H.
As one of the world’s leading authorities on Kahlo, Prignitz-Poda offers a unique insight into one of the most renowned artists of the 20th century. Focusing primarily on Kahlo’s lesser known works, the book offers a chronological narrative spanning from her youth to her time spent travelling America and later to her time teaching in Mexico City. Hidden Frida Kahlo offers an expansive and essential look into the ground-breaking feminist artist and discusses works that you won’t see exhibited anywhere else.
7) Art & Queer Culture by Lord, C. & Meyer, R
The newly revised edition features contributions from the queer community joining the primary authors in discussing the development and growth of queer culture and arts from over 130 years of history. Covering styles from photography and collage to pop-art and pictorial painting this beautifully illustrated publication explores the expression of identity through art. As a marginalised group that has often been pushed to the side lines, this book demonstrates the resilience and power of the queer community. Featuring artists such as Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon and Catherine Opie this is an essential read for anyone searching for an expansive knowledge of art history or queer culture.
8) Designed in the USSR 1950-1989 by Phaidon
This beautifully designed book exhibits life in the USSR in the late 20th century through graphic design, children’s toys, posters and fashion. In order to understand the world behind the iron curtain we must explore the everyday life of the people who lived there. Designed as an exhibition of material culture, there is no better publication than this to advance our understanding of the USSR citizen, state and world.
9) The Shock of the New by Hughes, R.
Robert Hughes offers an expansive and comprehensive analysis of modern art over a 100-year period focusing on why the shock of the new has been so successful. Grappling with the illusive concept of modern art, Hughes examines why it has been so lucrative yet faced such heavy criticism from the general public. If you’ve ever looked at a piece of modern art and wondered why this seemingly simple creation is so special or worth so much then this book is a must-have for you!
10) Soul of a Nation – Art in the Age of Black Power by Godfrey, M. & Whitty, Z. Mark Godfrey offers a retrospective look at the Civil Rights movement and the production of art and culture during this time. This exhibition book expands on the Tate’s seminal exhibition and aims to reflect the experience of African-American artists and individuals during the era of Malcom X and the Black Panthers. Featuring essays by Mark Godfrey and Zoe Whitley, the book delves into art historical analysis of figuration and abstraction whilst touching on the social issues surrounding black feminism and other artist-run groups. This book is exemplary as one of the Tate’s most discussed exhibitions in recent history and fundamental to the discussion of inclusion and equality in the art world.