Books

Book Reviews

New book on Martine de Béhague shines light on a great collector who turned to art as solace for personal loss

The first scholarly study of a true dilettante of Old Masters, antiquities and new works, reveals an indomitable, questing soul

Book Club

The Art Newspaper’s Book Club shines a light on art books in their myriad forms and brings you exclusive extracts, interviews, picture galleries and recommendations from leading art world figures. Sign up to our newsletter and follow us on social media using #TANbookclub

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

Ultimate reading lists

Creative legacy of Nancy Holt, leading light of Land art, explored in new book

In her work, the artist strived to “find our place on the surface of our planet”

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

Booksreview

A sumptuous history book of Venice, reveals the ‘mythical creature’ in all her glory

From a fifth-century influx of refugees to the arrival of “grazing dinosaur” cruise ships

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

Censorshipfeature

Losing the battle: Cuba’s dissident artists find ways around censorship despite government crackdown

Since the passage of the country’s repressive Decree 349, the state has gone to great lengths to silence critical voices—but artists refuse to be silenced

Revealed: the first photograph of the Louvre's Leonardo book that was spiked over Salvator Mundi fiasco

The story of the "Léonard de Vinci. Le Salvator Mundi" publication that was withdrawn from sale

Hurvin Anderson's first major monograph reveals a bold colourist caught between Caribbean and British identities

The books spans his entire oeuvre, from swimming pool paintings made soon after leaving university to his recent Jamaican hotel series

Booksreview

Van Gogh’s greatest marketing machine: new book uncovers how the artist’s sister-in-law managed his legacy

"Jo van Gogh-Bonger: The Woman Who Made Vincent Famous" is an altogether apt biography for the dutiful and determined woman

Western arrogance on parade in new book about culture and conflict

Different methods of protecting heritage during times of war are explored with mixed success in this challenging read

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

Book Clubfeature

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

Jo Bonger: the woman who made Van Gogh famous as one of the greatest artists of all time

The definitive biography is now published in English—with a fresh explanation as to why the Sunflowers came to London

a blog by Martin Bailey
Booksreview

From a solitary male retreat to a hive of collective talent: new book surveys how the artist's studio has evolved across the ages

This ambitious and approachable study charts the cultural significance of these spaces, from Ancient Greece to today

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

Booksreview

Listed works and unlawful removals: what owners can and cannot do with their art and heritage

A brisk but dense guide to the complex rules surrounding the removal of art from public and private spaces

Booksreview

A new way of understanding India’s Modern and contemporary art laid out in new book

An idiosyncratic Desert Island Discs of works, selected by 54 contributors, considers the role of “memory sites” in making sense of Indian output since 1900

Book Clubfeature

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

Booksreview

England’s late-Georgian churches—long dismissed as 'mere preaching boxes'—are reappraised in new book

Built for a booming population, their architecture has been unfairly maligned, argues this survey

Booksreview

How England's Civil War laid waste to the country's grandest private house

Book tells tale of how Oliver Cromwell wiped Basing House—which provided shelter to the famous classical architect Inigo Jones—off the map

Booksreview

Animal, vegetable, mineral: Swedish ironmaster dynasty's collection captures the natural world

Objects and documentation collected by the Timm family offer a unique insight into a past world

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

Trigger Warning: a new column on censorship in art today, from must-read books to which algorithms are policing creative content

Our chief contributing editor Gareth Harris will examine attacks on freedom of artistic expression and issues like ‘cancel culture’, providing valuable insights and context

Scholar finds sketch of Michelangelo in margin of book

Fifteenth-century edition of The Divine Comedy includes witty drawing of Renaissance master at work on a sculpture, claims James Hall

Booksreview

New publication brings Norwegian medieval wooden church—an art history Sleeping Beauty—to ravishing life

It may lie in a remote fjord but the Viking-built stave structure sits within a far wider context