Book Club

What was the best art book you read in 2020? The Art Newspaper team reveals its favourite publications

From the catalogue for a controversial Guston show to a four-volume tome on Leonardo Da Vinci—and some lighter reads too

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In Pictures | Artists' astrological images through the ages

A new book explores the long and changing history of how horoscopes were depicted, from 15th-century Bohemian scorpions to the abstract paintings of Hilma af Klint

What was the best art book you read in 2020? The art world’s biggest names give us their top tips

The directors of the Met, Tate Modern, British Museum, Centre Pompidou and more, as well as artists such as Tracey Emin, tell us all about their favourite book—just in time for Christmas shopping

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Extract | Why I made Love is the Message—Arthur Jafa describes the inspiration for his seminal film

In a recently published Cahiers d’Art monograph, the US artist speaks about responding to “a tsunami of footage of Black people getting killed”

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In Pictures | Andy Warhol's explicit drawings from the 1950s that he never got to publish

New book brings together hundreds of images of nude young men, which “are imbued with an emotional vulnerability that few of his later works exhibit”

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Benedikt Taschen: from selling comics in Cologne to hanging out with Hockney

As the Taschen publishing house turns 40, its founder talks about starting out in his parents’ kitchen and the importance of “planting seeds”

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Extract | How artist couple Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore resisted the Nazis with their ‘paper bullets’

New book outlines the campaign led by the gender-fluid artists on the island of Jersey during the Second World War

An expert’s guide to J.M.W. Turner: four must-read books on the British painter

All you ever wanted to know about Turner, from a “rollicking read” of a biography to a “picture book with a point”—selected by the Romantic period painting specialist David Blayney Brown

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In Pictures | The eve of a US presidential election through the eyes of William Eggleston

A newly republished book by the renowned Memphis photographer documents the Deep South in the run-up to the 1976 election

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Judge a book by its cover: Centre Pompidou looks at Henri Matisse through a literary lens for new show

One of the most expansive museum surveys on the French artist in 50 years will present his book and magazine designs—and even some of his own writing

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Q&A | ‘The looting was a chaotic free-for-all’: Dan Hicks on the pillaging of the Benin Bronzes and colonialism in museums

The curator and University of Oxford professor tells us about his new book, The Brutish Museums, which details how museums themselves were “used as a unique type of weapon”

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Extract | The Guerrilla Girls say ‘get mad and keep up the fight’

An exclusive excerpt and images from a new book chronicling 35 years of “creative complaining” by the US-based feminist art collective

What has the Goldsmiths CCA director Sarah McCrory been reading this year?

The curator's interests have ranged from artist interviews and books on race, to crime fiction and a biography revealing what Walter Gropius really thought of the English

An expert’s guide to Artemisia Gentileschi: five must-read books on the Italian artist

All you ever wanted to know about Artemisia, from the best biographies to a book about her place in early modern feminism—selected by Italian painting specialist Letizia Treves

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Ka-boom! How art history is embracing the comic book genre

Publishers looking for ways to draw in wider audiences to the lives and careers of famous artists are increasingly turning to graphic novels

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New biography highlights how Philip Guston risked his art-world standing and livelihood

The book by Robert Storr delves into the American painter's dealings with Klansmen and how he wanted “to make paintings you couldn’t count money in front of”

An expert’s guide to Vincent van Gogh: five must-read books on the Dutch artist

All you ever needed to know about the artist, from the story of the ear incident to the definitive biography and best picture book—selected by Van Gogh specialist Martin Bailey

Can’t make it to the Met? Dive into a new book for an unconventional look at the museum's collection

Publication aims to open up 6,000 years of art history using objects as a springboard—but is it worth the effort?

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In Pictures | John Cage’s lifelong obsession with mushrooms

A new book looks at the artist and composer's love of all things mycological, including his fungi photograph collection and collaboration with illustrator Lois Long

What has the National Portrait Gallery’s Nicholas Cullinan been reading this summer?

The museum director has been delving into artist biographies, swotting up on black British history and is hoping to finally begin a well-known novel trilogy

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Misogyny and making art in the shadow of Jackson Pollock—how Lee Krasner was shut out of art history

New digital publication argues that the late US artist is the “unacknowledged equal” of her superstar husband

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In Pictures | Yayoi Kusama’s colourful life gets the graphic novel treatment

From naked performances in New York and her relationship with Joseph Cornell to hijacking the Venice Biennale, the Japanese artist is the subject of a new comic book by Elisa Macellari

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Why Jeff Koons is so difficult to please, the strange Venice Biennale selection process and which collector is a game changer

A new book by Matthew Israel gives an insider’s view of the art world over the course of a year

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Q&A | Vintage photo trove hidden in attic for decades revealed in new book

Alberto di Lenardo’s secret 8,000-strong archive has been distilled into a new publication by his granddaughter Carlotta, who tells us all about it

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Art, enlightenment and plenty of sex: life according to John Giorno

Some takeaways from the late US artist and poet’s new memoir Great Demon Kings

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Extract | Philip Guston’s fascination with the ‘funnies’ was key to developing his distinctive later style

An exclusive excerpt from a forthcoming biography by art historian Robert Storr looks at the influence of comics as well as caricatures that the American-Canadian artist made of his contemporaries

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New Getty publication brings together life-affirming DIY masterpieces made during lockdown

Participants worldwide re-created famous works by Vermeer, Munch and Klimt—using everyday household items

Summer Reads: which books do Oxford librarians want to dip into by the pool?

Bodleian scholars give their top tips for The Art Newspaper Book Club

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Q&A | Lisa Tickner on the inspiration behind her book on London’s 1960s art scene

From student sit-ins to the importance of air travel in shaping the art world as we know it

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Q&A | Drawings of ‘eruptions of violence’ against statues fill Sam Durant’s new book

The US artist speaks about his research into historic cases of iconoclastic annihilation