Do you want to take something from Frieze home with you, but do not have room in your kitchen for Robert Therrien’s table and chair’s (No Title, 2008)? A book might do the trick. We walked around Frieze’s Artbook and Koenig Bookshop collaboration with Skùta Helgason, the senior vice president and director of Artbook, who chose eight of the best new art books you can probably fit in that ubiquitous tote bag you also picked up.
Live in the Light of Hope, by Yoko Ono, published by Bakhall (2018) $24.80
“Sort of a sequel” to Grapefruit (1964), the similarly pocket-sized book by the contains immensely palatable, thought-provoking and poetic quotes, this time pulled off her Twitter feed over the past couple of years. The 240-page, petite tome also contains images of her work.
Interviews on Art, by Robert Storr, published by HENI (2017) $45
The hefty 900-page hardcover features 60 illustrated interviews between the critic with artists like Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Louise Bourgeois, Jeff Koons, Sophie Calle and more. Some of them, including the one with Bourgeois, were never previously published. Admittedly, this baby blue book is a bit of a mammoth and would probably be best bought on your way out of the fair.
The Artist as Curator: an Anthology, co-published by Mousse and Koenig Books, London (2017) $24.80
This book of essays considers occasions when the artist becomes the curator of an exhibition. Or as Helgason says, that feeling of “not wanting to wait for things to happen, but making them happen.” Originally published in Mousse magazine, the essays themselves are written by some of the most well-known contemporary curators, including a newly commissioned afterward by Hans Ulrich Obrist, and include reproductions of archival documents and illustrations.
Survey, by Zoe Leonard, published by Prestel (2018) $60
In conjunction with her mid-career retrospective at The Whitney (until 10 June) which then heads to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles (11 November-25 March 2019) this big, beautiful hardback catalogue showcases the past three decades of the artist’s often political photographic and sculptural works. The images are framed by an essay by MOCA’s curator Bennet Simpson, who edited the book and organized the traveling exhibition.
Trevor Paglen by Julia Bryan-Wilson, Lauren Cornell, Omar Kholeif, published by Phaidon Press (2018) $49.95
This is the first monograph on Trevor Paglen’s work, which “deals with what’s not supposed to be seen”, Helgason says. Over three decades of the digital artist’s explorations of the unseeable, the off-the-grid and the clandestine comes together in one paperback with essays and interviews. Good for those who delve deeper into some Paglen’s explorations of state secrets and surveillance projects in this digital age.
Andy Warhol’s The Chelsea Girls, edited by Geralyn Huxley and Greg Pierce, with contributions from Rajendra Roy, Gus Van Sant, Patrick Moore and Signe Warner Watson, published by D.A.P./The Andy Warhol Museum (2018) $65
Coinciding with the release of the artist’s newly digitized, eponymous 1966 film, this book is admittedly a bit on the bigger side and certainly image-heavy. Full of stills from the film, archival materials and unpublished transcripts from previously unheard of reels. Good for all those Warhol geeks and film freaks.
Duty Free Art: Art in the Age of Planetary Civil War, by Hito Steyerl, published by Verso Books (2017) $17
“One of those books I think everybody should read”, Helgason says, with excellent essays by the video artist and theorist Hito Steyerl. Her dexterous prose incites a rethinking about the past and the present of art institutions in these violent, digital times and introduce unforgettable images and ideas.
Life Doesn’t Frighten Me, poems by Maya Angelou paintings by Jean-Chel Basquiat, edited by Sara Jane Boyers (1993) $19.95
An oldie but a goody for those who know a slightly more petite art enthusiast. This classic is intended for children and, as Helgason says: “It just works.”