Book Club

The Art Newspaper’s Book Club shines a light on art books in their myriad forms and brings you exclusive extracts, interviews and recommendations from leading art world figures. Sign up to our monthly newsletter above

A daring Sargent portrait and the millions that changed everything for Isabella Stewart Gardner

An extract from a biography of the US collector and museum founder looks at how her modest taste was transformed by her inheritance and why her husband was not pleased by a revealing painting

Ultimate reading lists

Features

Lucian Freud’s revealing letters—replete with illustrations and doodles— show a different side to his character

A new book brings together letters and postcards that the artist sent his lovers, friends and fellow artists

Four things you probably didn’t know about Tutankhamun’s mask

To mark 100 years since its discovery, Garry Shaw, the author of a new biography of the Egyptian Boy King, reveals some little-known facts about the world’s most famous death mask

Tate collection's dalliance with the occult is explored in new book

A new publication picks out art, artefacts and ephemera from the institution's collection that deal with occult themes, many of which have never been seen publicly. Here, the book’s author selects some of the highlights

What is the art world reading?

Interviews with writers

In Pictures

Book extracts

An expert’s guide to Johannes Vermeer: five must-read books (and a website) on the Dutch Old Master

All you ever wanted to know about Vermeer, from a “legendary” show catalogue to an illustrated book for kids—selected by the curators Pieter Roelofs and J.M. Gregor Weber

Art books coming soon in 2023: the pick of the crop

The Art Newspaper’s books editor Jacqueline Riding selects spring and summer publications to look out for, from the Surrealism of Leonora Carrington to 100 years of Black figuration

Yayoi Kusamainterview

‘I never run out of ideas’: an interview with Yayoi Kusama and highlights from her new catalogue

The artist, who is now in her 90s and voluntarily living in a psychiatric hospital, has a major retrospective under way in Hong Kong

The top art books of 2022—chosen by The Art Newspaper's books team

Struggling for Christmas gifts? Take a look at the publications we enjoyed over the past year—from an exploration of art and motherhood to an interrogation of the culture wars

Book Clubinterview

David Shrigley tells us about his new book and why he chose the ‘shit’ title

The British artist gives us an insight into the work behind his latest publication, which brings together more than 200 recent drawings

Booksfeature

Fertile inspiration: how the humble egg has played an enduring role in women’s art

This except from Taschen's new book The Gourmand’s Egg: A Collection of Stories and Recipes shows how artists including Judy Chicago and Sarah Lucas have used egg imagery

An expert's guide to Henri Matisse: four must-read books on the Modern master

All you ever wanted to know about Matisse, from a definitive two-volume biography to the writings of the artist himself—selected by the curator Dorthe Aagesen

Book Clubinterview

Q&A: Osei Bonsu on his book about artists shaping the contemporary African art scene

The curator has brought together the work of 50 artists from across the continent for his new book African Art Now

An expert's guide to Tutankhamun: five must-read books on the Egyptian pharaoh

All you ever wanted to know about King Tut, from CT scans and DNA studies to the perfect book for “any little pharaohs that you might know”—selected by the biographer and journalist Garry Shaw

Book Clubinterview

Q&A | Hettie Judah on how galleries, museums and art schools treat artist mothers

A new publication unpicks how becoming a parent can detrimentally affect an artist’s career and suggests ways the art world can do better

Book Clubfeature

Susan Sontag's influential 1977 book On Photography is reissued

New version published by The Folio Society includes new insights from curator Mia Fineman who has selected key accompanying images

Who is Octavia Butler and why is the art world obsessed with her writing?

The late author’s sci-fi stories have inspired artists such as Alberta Whittle, Candice Breitz, Toyin Ojih Odutola and Precious Okoyomon

The best art books for summer 2022—as recommended by artists, curators, museum directors and dealers

From artist biographies and essay collections to a dystopian novel, surf culture and a rock’n’roll autobiography

Compiled by José da Silva and Gareth Harris
Book Clubfeature

The sensory language of paint, from Matisse banishing blue to Rococo’s love affair with pink

In her new book, Chloë Ashby explores the power of colour in art. Here, she takes us on a whirlwind tour and recommends four other fascinating new books on colour

An expert's guide to Raphael: five must-read books on the Italian Old Master

All you ever wanted to know about Raphael, from a page-turner monograph to a tome of his “irresistible” drawings—selected by the art historian David Ekserdjian

Book Clubreview

Brazilian kinetic and optical art pioneer Abraham Palatnik surveyed in visually remarkable book

The monographic publication Enchantment/Experimentation coincided with an extensive exhibition organised by Galeria Nara Roesler in New York this year

Book Clubinterview

Old Master meets YBAs: James Cahill tells us all about his debut novel

The author explains why his new coming-of-age novel is set against the backdrop of the 1990s art world and what drew him to the paintings of the titular Tiepolo

An expert's guide to Piet Mondrian: four must-read books on the Dutch artist

All you ever wanted to know about Mondrian, from a comprehensive biography to a book about his various studios—selected by the curator Ulf Küster

Book Clubfeature

What is the life of a muse like? Not as amusing as you may think

The subjects of great works of art have not always led the romanticised life we imagine, as examples from a new book show

An expert's guide to Louise Bourgeois: five must-read books on the French-American artist

All you ever wanted to know about Bourgeois, from the artist in her own words to an illustrated book for children—selected by the Hayward Gallery’s Ralph Rugoff and Katie Guggenheim

Book Clubfeature

In Pictures | Ukraine before the 2022 Russian invasion, from holidaymakers in Odesa to the frontlines of Mariupol

Mark Neville’s new photobook—of images taken over the past six years—is a call to action that has been sent to hundreds of politicians and other influential people around the world