The Art Book: New Edition

One of things I love most about art is the fluidity of my perception of it: how it affects me can change depending on my mood, where and how I see it, and even with whom I see it. This is what I love about paging through The Art Book: New Edition (Phaidon, $59.95)—it puts art into new perspectives. Rather than listing the artists by period or genre, the book places them alphabetically. This makes for some interesting juxtapositions—a classic medieval work appears right next to a thoroughly modern sculpture, for instance. (For perhaps the ultimate juxtaposition, turn to pages 164-165.) Even familiar iconic pieces look new and different in this context; I can’t remember when an art book was this much fun. I suggest reading it with someone else, so that together you can be surprised by the serendipity of who turns up next to whom. It reminds you that art constantly amazes and can be seen in new and exciting ways.

The Art Book: New Edition By Phaidon Phaidon Editors (Editor) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780714864679
Availability: Backordered
Published: Phaidon Press - September 10th, 2012

The Art Book: Mini Format By Tom Melick (Contributions by), Phaidon Phaidon Editors Cover Image
By Tom Melick (Contributions by), Phaidon Phaidon Editors
ISBN: 9780714867960
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Phaidon Press - September 25th, 2014

Masterworks: The Barnes Foundation - Judith F. Dolkart, Martha Lucy, Derek Gillman

After a contentious legal battle over moving its collection, the Barnes Foundation opened its new building in downtown Philadelphia this May. Most importantly, the configurations of rooms and of the art remained intact. Alfred Barnes assembled one of the most dazzling collections of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and early Modern works in the world (and a few Old Masters as well). He viewed the Foundation as a teaching venue, and he hung the paintings in symmetrical groupings he called “ensembles.” These were juxtaposed with folk art furniture, African masks, and many beautiful examples of metalwork—hinges, keys, escutcheons, and utensils that were interspersed with the paintings to “activate” the space. Masterworks: The Barnes Foundation (Skira/ Rizzoli, $40) takes you on a virtual tour of twenty-one of the ensembles with unobstructed fold-out views and detailed close-ups. You will see Matisses (he painted The Dance especially for the main room), Cézannes, Gaugins, Picassos, a lot of Renoirs, but also a Pennsylvania German cupboard and a Zuni Pueblo jar. There is commentary by Chief Curator Judith F. Dolkart, Associate Curator Martha Lucy, and Director Derek Gillman. This beautifully produced volume will inspire a trip to see the collection.
The Barnes Foundation: Masterworks By Judith F. Dolkart, Martha Lucy, Derek Gillman, The Barnes Foundation (Contributions by) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780847838066
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Skira Rizzoli - May 22nd, 2012

A Curator’s Quest - William Rubin, Richard Oldenburg

As you turn the pages of A Curator’s Quest: Building the Collection of Painting and Sculpture of the Museum of Modern Art, 1967-1988 (Overlook, $100) and see one iconic work after another that William Rubin acquired for the museum, you realize that MoMA was definitely the house that Alfred H. Barr and Rubin built. William Rubin was an art history professor at Sarah Lawrence—and a collector with a loft full of works by Rothko, Pollock, de Kooning, and Kline—when he became the Chief Curator, then the Director, of the Department of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA. Besides the hundreds of works he helped acquire, he mounted great exhibitions like Picasso: A Retrospective and “Primitivism” in 20th-Century Art. Each of the book’s three sections could be a volume in itself: Rubin’s 150-page essay on his career (which takes you inside the world of trustees and collectors); over 300 pages of color reproductions of key acquisitions; and eight lectures on “The Pioneers of Modernism” (also with plenty of illustrations). Yes, it’s heavy, but perfect for this heavyweight personality—and for any art lover.