Talented brushstrokes: New painting books

Spanning from early Renaissance in the Netherlands to American Modernism, ‘The Final Painting’ examines the world’s most adored paintings to uncover the mark they left, as their artist’s final contribution to the world. Jump from the end of famous artists’ careers back to the beginning, with the colourful memoir of rouge Parisian art dealer Berthe Weill (‘Pow! Right in the eye!’), who represented the likes of Picasso, Matisse and Modigliani when they were still unknowns. There’s also a first-hand account of the British Surrealists and a new survey on the iconic oeuvre of Frida Kahlo.

Closer to home, we celebrate two of Aotearoa’s contemporary greats, in Robin White’s career survey, and Val Raymond’s paintings from her famed exhibition ‘Taupōnui-a-Tia – A Celebration of Feather and Fibre’. Enjoy these enticing new painting books that combine art history and personal narrative to critically deconstruct the famed masterpieces that have shaped the art world.

The final painting : the last works of the great masters / Rynck, Patrick de
The Final Painting collects fresh insights into 30 of the world’s greatest painters and their last works in a highly readable book, beginning with Jan van Eyck and ending with Pablo Picasso. Including Bellini, Titian, Caravaggio, El Greco, Rubens, Artemisia Gentileschi, Cézanne, Klimt, Renoir, Modigliani, Munch, Mondrian, Kahlo and Hopper.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Pow! Right in the eye! : thirty years behind the scenes of modern French painting / Weill, Berthe
“This is the colourful memoir of the brilliant, eccentric Parisian art dealer Berthe Weill, who championed many of the emerging masters of modern art with her uncanny eye for talent. In this, she was radical and pioneering; making the first sales in Paris for Picasso and Matisse, and giving Modigliani the only solo show in his lifetime. Weill also promoted the work of women artists, and her memoir details her struggles against sexism and anti-Semitism in the Parisian art world. (Adapted from  Catalogue)

Robin White : something is happening here / Farrar, Sarah
“An assessment of Robin White’s remarkable 50 years as an artist, including fresh perspectives by 24 writers and interviewees from Australia, the Pacific and Aotearoa New Zealand. Celebrating her status as one of our most important artists, this book includes more than 150 artworks, from early watercolour and drawings through to the exquisite recent collaborations with Pasifika artists, as well as photographs from throughout Robin White’s career.”(Adapted from Catalogue)

Modern : genius, madness, and one tumultuous decade that changed art forever / Hook, Philip
“An exploration of the revolutionary birth of Modern art in the tumultuous decade brought to a shattering close by WWI. Modern covers colour and Fauvism, Expressionism and angst, Primitivism, sex and sublimation, Anarchism, self alienation, suicides, death, Abstraction, the Blaue Reiter, Futurism, academicism and conservative taste, until the finale of August 1914- when art and regular life, suspended.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The British surrealists / Morris, Desmond
“Feted for their idiosyncratic and imaginative works, the British surrealists marked a pivotal moment in the history of modern art. Artist Desmond Morris draws on memories and experiences to present the intriguing life stories and complex love lives of this wild and curious set of artists. Morris brings foibles and frailties to the fore in this vivid, witty account, taking us back in time, to a generation that allowed its creative unconscious to drive their passions in both art and life.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Frida Kahlo : the masterworks / Tajonar, Héctor
“A rich overview of the fascinating life and career of internationally renowned Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, featuring the artist’s complex and diverse paintings, a series of thoughtful essays about her oeuvre, and a detailed illustrated chronology. As a woman artist who confronted many taboo subjects–and herself–head-on, Kahlo produced groundbreaking work that shifted the terrain of the art world.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Heritage paintings : Taupōnui-a-Tia, New Zealand / Raymond, Val
“Val Raymond was best known for her portraiture and Central North Island landscapes. Inventing new watercolour techniques led to her artistic transformation during the 1990s – painting exquisite abstract expressions that combine unusually different aspects of New Zealand heritage: landscape and legend: birdlife, history and environment ; natural history, Maori art and culture.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

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