Whether we like it or not, at some time or another each one of us has had a fascination with a piece of art or artist, and it is true that opinions on art can be wildly disparate and sometimes even incendiary. From a marketing take on the idea of the artist, through to artist biopics and more; a few of of the following books perpetuate commonly held notions about artists and art, whilst others document artists lives and work and discuss major shifts in this sprawling universe of a topic.
The art of the con : the most notorious fakes, frauds, and forgeries in the art world / Anthony M. Amore.
“Anthony M. Amore’s The Art of the Con tells the stories of some of history’s most notorious yet untold cons, incredible not only for their boldness but more so because they actually worked. Using interviews and newly released court documents, The Art of the Con will also take the reader into the investigations that led to the capture of the con men, who oftentimes return back to the world of crime. For some, it’s an irresistible urge because their innocent dupes all share something in common: they want to believe.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)
The art of forgery : the minds, motives and methods of master forgers / Noah Charney.
“The Art of Forgery: Case Studies in Deception explores the stories, dramas and human intrigues surrounding the world’s most famous forgeries – investigating the motivations of the artists and criminals who have faked great works of art, and in doing so conned the public and the art establishment alike.” (Syndetics summary)
An Artist Once Said : An Inspiration Book
“An Artist Once Said includes over fifty thought-provoking lines from artists such as Picasso, Andy Warhol, Matisse, Van Gogh, Paul Klee, Dali, O’Keeffe, and many more. This is the perfect book for art lovers or anyone looking for inspiration.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)
Bernard Buffet: the invention of the modern mega-artist
“Bernard Buffet was the first artist of the television and the jet age. As the first of the so-called Fabulous Five (Francoise Sagan, Roger Vadim, Brigitte Bardot and Yves Saint Laurent) he was a leader of the cultural revolution that seemed to forge a new France from the shattered remains of a discredited and demoralized country. While still in his twenties he had a Rolls Royce, a chateau, an island, high society at his feet and a glittering future ahead. Yet his extraordinary fall from grace was engineered by the very establishment that created him.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)
Think like an artist: how to live a happier, smarter, more creative life
“Will Gompertz, the BBC’s Arts Editor and a former director at the Tate, has spent years getting up close and personal with some of the world’s greatest creative thinkers. And he’s discovered a handful of traits that are common to all successful people, from novelists and film directors to scientists and philosophers. These basic practices allow their talent to flourish.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)
Goya: his life & works in 500 images: an illustrated account of the artist, his life and context, with a gallery of 300 paintings and drawings
“This beautifully illustrated book is essential reading for anyone who would like to learn about the life, work and influence of one of Spain’s great masters. Francisco de Goya was the last Old Master of Spanish art and the first of the great moderns. From royal portraits to bizarre, grotesque illustrations, his legacy demonstrates a tortured genius, generating some of the most compelling art ever produced.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)
Studios for Artists : Concepts and Concrete
“The form, function and future of the artist’s studio is the central focus of the collaboration and of this publication. Studios for Artists presents how the partners formalized their work, resulting in amongst other initiatives, the design and construction of an award-winning studio building and the establishment of a sustainable graduate studio program. It reveals not just the ongoing challenges faced by art education, but also the threat to affordable studio provision where spiraling property prices threaten this vital, but generally unacknowledged, part of the contemporary visual arts ecology.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)
Electronics for artists : adding light, motion, and sound to your artwork / Simon Quellen Field.
“Simon Quellen Field has developed a primer for creative individuals looking for new ways to express themselves though electronically enhanced art. Following step-by-step examples of basic circuitry and programming, readers can develop the skills necessary to enhance their works of art. The book also features art projects to try.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)
Women Artists : The Linda Nochlin Reader
“Linda Nochlin is one of the most accessible, provocative, and innovative art historians of our time. In 1971 she published her essay “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?”–a dramatic feminist call-to-arms that called traditional art historical practices into question and led to a major revision of the discipline. This Reader brings together twenty-nine essential essays from throughout Nochlin’s career, making this the definitive anthology of her writing about women in art.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)
Artists Living With Art
“For those who are curious Artists Living with Art invites readers into the homes and personal art collections of some of the world’s most renowned contemporary artists, including Cindy Sherman, Helen and Brice Marden, Chuck Close, Rachel Feinstein and John Currin, Glenn Ligon, and Pat Steir.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)
Colour in the making : from old wisdom to new brilliance / [Philip Ball, Mark Clarke and Carinna Parraman]
“Colour in the Making is a visual history of art and design told through the materials of color-from the discovery and use of early earth pigments through lakes to organic chemistry and into contemporary dyes, inks, printing techniques and manufacture. Throughout this sumptuously colorful book artists’ and designers’ projects illustrate the often behind the scenes inventions and processes of color-making.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)
Barbara Hepworth: Writings and Conversations [hardback]
“This first collection reveals the remarkably eloquent writings and conversations of sculptor Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975) spanning almost the whole of Hepworth’s artistic life. Her gift for language and desire to communicate to a public are evident throughout. The collection sheds new light on Hepworth’s life, her artistic practices, the sources of her inspiration, the breadth of her intellectual interests, and her deep engagement with contemporary politics and society.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)
Barbara Hepworth [hardback]
“This groundbreaking new publication focuses on the spaces and contexts, physical and conceptual, in which the Hepworth is positioned. It examines her interest in staging and presenting work–indoors and out–in studio, film, garden, stage, architecture, photography, and print. As well as placing her work alongside her British and international contemporaries, a broad range of distinguished contributors also consider wider technical and intellectual concerns. The book features previously unseen documentary material, including photographs and film stills that cast new light on one of the 20th century’s greatest artists.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)
The idea of art : building a contemporary international art collection / Anthony Bond.
“Curator Anthony Bond began building a contemporary international art collection at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney in 1984. Bond discusses the guiding philosophies that steered his formation of the gallery’s collection. Incorporating conversations with many high-profile contemporary artists, the book offers important insights into how recent innovations connect with the art of the past, and with human experience.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)
Dustin Yellin : heavy water.
“For the past decade, Dustin Yellin has been dazzling the art world with his large-scale glass sculptures, which transport collage to another dimension. With a precise and painstaking process, multi-dimensional images grow from successive planes of multiple stacked panels of glass to create intricate 3D collages that bring to mind giant psychedelic paperweights taking on an abstract cinematic quality.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)