Book Club

An expert’s guide to Titian: five must-read books on the Venetian Old Master

All you ever wanted to know about Titian, from a biography fit for a king to an overlooked lecture essay from 1990—selected by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum curator Nathaniel Silver

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Extract | How Mayor Rudy Giuliani went from ‘patting on the back’ to trying to pull the plug on Sensation show

Two decades after one of the most controversial exhibitions of recent times, Arnold Lehman, the former director of the Brooklyn Museum, reveals all in a new book

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

As we enter the final weeks of the season, check out these riveting reads, from “the best novel about painting” to a book with no words at all

Compiled by José da Silva and Gareth Harris
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Extract | A rare pamphlet from a historic Black art exhibition by the Spiral collective

The text accompanied the group's only show and is now one of several texts about Black art brought together in a new book The Soul of Nation Reader

An expert’s guide to Sophie Taeuber-Arp: five must-read books on the Swiss artist

All you ever wanted to know about Taeuber-Arp, from a children’s book full of inspiring projects to a publication exploring the dynamics of artist couples—selected by the Tate curator Natalia Sidlina

The best art books to dive into this summer—as recommended by artists

Whether you are lying on a beach or next to a paddling pool, sit back and let your mind soak up these inspiring reads

Compiled by Gareth Harris and José da Silva
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Extract | William Blake’s famous flop of an exhibition and the critic who described him as ‘an unfortunate lunatic’

A new book by John Higgs paints a picture of the mixed reviews that the 18th-century artist received and touches upon the “Holy Grail of his lost works”

An expert’s guide to Nam June Paik: five must-read books on the Korean-American artist

All you ever wanted to know about Paik, from a “deep dive” into a single work to the best biography—selected by the curators Rudolf Frieling and Andrea Nitsche-Krupp

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In Pictures | Barkley L. Hendricks unseen photographs gathered in new publication

The US artist’s images are joined by an extract from the book looking at how aspects of his painting and photography overlapped

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Q&A | What artists wear and why it matters

A new book by the fashion critic Charlie Porter explores how what artists choose to wear can tell us about the multiple roles of clothing in society

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In Pictures | Kara Walker's private archive of works on paper published in new book

The publication is released ahead of an exhibition of the US artist's works at the Kunstmuseum Basel this summer

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In Pictures | Gio Ponti’s greatest designs, from chairs to churches

A new book looks at the life and work of the Italian architect and designer, famed for his Pirelli Tower and Superleggera chairs

An expert’s guide to Barbara Hepworth: five must-read books on the British sculptor

All you ever wanted to know about Hepworth, from a pictorial autobiography to a collection of her poems, notes and transcripts—selected by the curator and biographer Eleanor Clayton

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Q&A | How a new John Craxton biography began its life in a Soho bar following a funeral

The writer Ian Collins says that after his chance meeting with the British artist his “life changed forever”

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The American who brought Modern masterpieces to Iran

A new memoir by curator Donna Stein reveals the story behind the creation of a Western art collection for the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art in the 1970s

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Will the real Isabel Rawsthorne please stand up?

A new biography by Carol Jacobi explores the artist’s role in bringing the Paris scene to London and considers how frequent name changes and reinventions muddied her legacy

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Q&A | Guy Kennaway on how his comic novel was inspired by the art world taking itself too seriously

The Accidental Collector features a wealthy heiress, jet-setting dealers and a Swiss-owned mega gallery in Somerset… sound familiar?

An expert’s guide to David Hockney: five must-read books on the British artist

All you ever wanted to know about Hockney, from the best biography to the artist's “radical” investigations into art history—selected by the critic (and longtime friend) Martin Gayford

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Extract | The day Anthony van Dyck received ‘wise advice from the words of a blind woman’—the 17th-century artist Sofonisba Anguissola

New book by Jennifer Higgie gives astute insights into brilliant women artists shut out of art history

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Extract | How Sandro Botticelli brought Dante’s Divine Comedy to life

New book by Martin Kemp considers the impact of poet’s vision of divine light on artists such as Michelangelo and Titian

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Q&A | Why Alice Neel’s work has ‘extraordinary currency’ today

As a biography on the US painter is republished, its author Phoebe Hoban tells us why Neel’s work is more relevant than ever

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Lyrical Helen Frankenthaler biography and Joan Mitchell catalogue make a splash

New publications cast a light on two formidable women artists and place them at the heart of Abstract Expressionism