Books

Book Reviews

The fine art of satire: an indispensable guide to the life and imagination of James Gillray

A monumental biography of the political caricaturist who is one of the greatest draughtsmen in the history of British art

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

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

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

Booksreview

For richer, for poorer: domestic life in 18th-century Ireland examined in new book

Scholarly essays examine how people lived, from poor tenant farmers to their whist-playing landlords

Unknown history of 600-year-old, coded Voynich Manuscript revealed by researcher

Stefan Guzy has scoured archives from the Holy Roman Empire and believes he has traced back the ownership of the mysterious cipher book

Booksreview

An Englishman in New York: Richard Smith biography highlights the influence of the US city on his work

The artist returned from his trip to America in the 1960s “the personification of self-aware modernity”

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

Was Vermeer a painter of pleasure or a staunch Jesuit supporter? New book challenges our knowledge of the artist

Gregor Weber's biography "Johannes Vermeer: Faith, Light and Reflection" also supports the controversial view that Vermeer used a camera obscura

Booksreview

Biography peers into Surrealist Meret Oppenheim’s early years

New book is first English translation of artist’s album From Childhood to 1943 and a previously unpublished autobiographical text

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

Booksreview

How art inspired director Stanley Kubrick’s famous horror film The Shining

Two recently published, richly illustrated books contain a wealth of movie ephemera including photographs, concept designs, postcards and scripts

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”

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

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