As an add-on to Week 6 of our of 12-week Christmas Gift-Giving Guide, we’ve selected a small but carefully curated collection of Art Books which may prompt your interest as you consider what gifts will be delightfully received.
When looking for books about art in its various forms for inspiration, the choice is wonderful and wide!
Compiling a list of only 12 titles is no easy task when you look at the plethora of great art books available. However, the books below are all potential starting points on a life-long journey of art appreciation across a number of areas in the visual art world.
1. Iconic Photography
Annie Leibovitz is the recipient of many honours, including both first and second place in the American Society of Magazine Editors’ recent compilation of the forty top magazine covers of the past forty years. She is renowned for her work in Vanity Fair, Vogue and Rolling Stone. Leibovitz was designated a Living Legend by the Library of Congress in 2000 and an Officier in the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2002. Smithsonian Magazine named her one of the thirty-five Innovators of Our Time in November 2005.
2. A Modern Master
Mark Rothko, was an American abstract painter of Latvian Jewish descent. He is best known for his colour field paintings which depicted irregular and painterly rectangular regions of colour, which he produced from 1949-1970. As an Abstract Expressionist, he wanted to paint human emotions.
Jacob Baal-Teshuva, born 1929, is author, critic and independent curator of museum shows. He studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and New York University. His numerous publications include works on Marc Chagall, Alexander Calder, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, and Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Jacob Baal-Teshuva lives and works in New York and Paris.
3. A cultural king and wordsmith
A collection of essential quotations and other writings from artist and icon Jean-Michel Basquiat One of the most important artists of the late twentieth century, Jean-Michel Basquiat explored the interplay of words and images throughout his career as a celebrated painter with an instantly recognizable style. In his paintings, notebooks, and interviews, he showed himself to be a powerful and creative writer and speaker as well as image-maker.
4. Female Artists
Women In Art
Women in Art is an empowering and inspirational celebration of some of the most iconic and fearless women who paved the way for the next generation of artists.
From well-known figures such as Frida Kahlo and Dame Vivienne Westwood to lesser-known artists including Harriet Powers (the nineteenth-century African American quilter) and Yoyoi Kusama (a Japenese sculptor), this charmingly illustrated and inspiring book highlights the achievements of 50 notable women in the arts.
5. Graphics and Typefaces
For The Love of Letters
For The Love of Letters is a history of fonts and graphic styles from 1628 to 1938. This comprehensive book offers a thorough overview of typeface design from 1628 to the mid-20th century. Derived from a distinguished Dutch collection, a series of exquisitely designed catalogues trace the evolution of the printed letter via specimens in roman, italic, bold, semibold, narrow, and broad fonts.
6. Makers of Fashion Art
Bill Cunnigham Five Decades of Iconic Photography
This official book of photographs houses the 50-year collection of the most iconic and beloved photographs taken by prolific fashion photographer Bill Cunningham, the king of street style.
The iconic Bill Cunningham was known for wearing a blue work jacket and for riding a bicycle around New York City as he captured cutting-edge street style (before street style was even a thing).
Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue showcases some of the most memorable photographs published in British and American Vogue from 1972 to 2002, stories created by the iconic fashion editor Grace Coddington. Both monograph and memoir, the book shows how Coddington transformed static studio portraiture into modern vivid tableaux and turned location shoots into cinematic narratives.
Serge Ramelli – An ode to New York and Paris
In Serge Ramelli’s photos, people are a secondary subject. What matters is the setting, the mood, the light, the environment. Typical elements and landmarks are shown as no one has quite seen before, except, perhaps, in a dream, or in a movie. In his unique and masterful way, Ramelli imbues a cinematic quality in the everyday. The viewer is spellbound by the suspense and suggestion of his images: what will happen next?
When you turn through these pages of Paris, you will see a lifetime of love for Serge Ramelli’s hometown. A city where he has both seen the small details and captured them at an epic scale. Only Paris offers the inimitable stage that can turn every photo into a film still. In its architectural splendour, its wealth of churches, palaces, parks, and grand boulevards, the city is peerless in its beauty and allure.
Painting by Jenny Saville
The most comprehensive monograph to be published on figurative painter Jenny Saville, one of feminism’s most celebrated living artists whose monumental portraits continue to question our accepted ideals of beauty and disrupt the boundaries of race, gender, and identity.
9. Art books for children and teenagers
Art: A Children’s Encylopedia
Art: A Children’s Encyclopedia traces the development of painting, from prehistoric cave drawings to the Mona Lisa to contemporary street art. Get to grips with world-famous sculptures, including the Terracotta Army and Michelangelo’s David. Find out about photography, from pinhole cameras to digital imagery and iconic photography such as Neil Leifer’s Ali versus Liston. With amazing facts, clear explanations, and stunning photography, Art: A Children’s Encyclopedia is an essential introduction to the art world for children.
The Art Book for Children
This is the Children’s edition of Phaidon’s best-selling The Art Book, presenting 30 of the most significant artists from all periods. Each spread is illustrated by one or often more works by the artist and accompanied by a fun and involving text that introduces the reader to the artist and invites children to look more closely at each of the variety of paintings, sculptures and photographs included in the book.
How to Draw Cool Stuff
How to Draw Cool Stuff shows simple step-by-step illustrations that make it easy for anyone to draw cool stuff with precision and confidence. These pages will guide you through the basic principles of illustration by concentrating on easy-to-learn shapes that build into complex drawings. With the step-by-step guidelines provided, anything can become easy to draw.
Our week of exploring gifting art now closes and next week look out for our list of Christmas decorations for your home. Either as a gift for yourself and of your own making or for another; our Christmas decorations list looks towards cosying a home for the festive season with subtle, easy and sustainably-made decorations.
12 Weeks Of Christmas Gift-Giving Inspiration
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