As well as some practical guides, we have books on art history, photography, individual artists and art movements, and there are always some quirky art books that make the perfect gift for someone who's got everything!
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The Landscapes of Reg Mombassa
Here is a stunning retrospective of one of Australia’s most beloved and celebrated artists. Reg Mombassa has been a part of the fabric of Australia’s pop culture for nearly 40 years with his irreverent take on life down under. From the early days of his childhood in rural New Zealand, and around his adopted Australian home Reg has been documenting the landscape, oftentimes from cars and buses on the road with his bands Mental as Anything and Dog Trumpet; always with sketchbook in hand. Now over 200 of his iconic landscapes have been brought together for the first time to provide an evocative portrait of our very antipodean landscape, tracing its forever changing geographic and social outlook.
Buns in the Oven: John Olsen's Bakery Art School
John Olsen's Bohemian art school, The Bakery Art School, was a uniquely exciting arts institution that deserves to be better known. Established in an old bakery building in Sydney's Paddington in 1967, the school ran until 1970. In this book about Olsen and the school, Juliet Schlunke, a former student, eloquently captures the mood of the late hippy era in Sydney and the influence of John Olsen on a generation of young artists. Olsen's teaching methods are discussed, as well as his life-drawing classes and his preparation of lunches for students and visitors including William Drysdale, Bill Rose, Fred Williams, Janet Dawson, Rudy Komon, Peter Upward, Clif Pugh, Robert Walker and Ann Thomson.
The Extraordinary Life and Times of J M W Turner
Set against this spectacular and ultimately controversial career, Moyle excavates the private Turner. Psychologically wounded as a child, by a family torn apart by death and mental illness, she suggests a man who could not embrace relationships fully until the very end of his life. Only then did he succumb to his love for the widowed Sophia Booth, concealing this all too human aspect of his life behind an assumed identity. Moyle mines the poignancy of his final years, when, with his health ailing, Turner sought solace in a secret private life that had eluded him before and that he knew would scandalise the new generation of Victorians.
Lucian Freud's Sketchbooks
Lucian Freud was one of the world's greatest realist artists. This publication features a selection of beautifully reproduced images from his sketchbooks, and most are published here for the first time. These fascinating images demonstrate the scrutiny he brought to his subjects. The sketchbooks, now in the archive of the National Portrait Gallery, London, include portraits of Freud's family members, friends and lovers. Designs for book covers, images of his beloved dogs and horses, landscapes and interiors appear among nudes, still life, and several sketches that relate to major works. Around and between the drawings are Freud's annotations and jottings - appointments, racing tips, notes, musings - which, with startling immediacy, provide a glimpse into the working life of one of the twentieth century's most important artists.
A Bigger Message: Conversations with David Hockney
David Hockney is possibly the world's most popular living painter, but he is also something else: an incisive and original thinker on art. Here are the fruits of his lifelong meditations on the problems and paradoxes of representing a three-dimensional world on a flat surface. How does drawing make one 'see things clearer, and clearer, and clearer still', as Hockney suggests? What significance do different media - from a Lascaux cave wall to an iPad - have for the way we see? What is the relationship between the images we make and the reality around us? How have changes in technology affected the way artists depict the world? The conversations are punctuated by wise and witty observations from both parties on numerous other artists and enlivened by shrewd insights into the contrasting social and physical landscapes of California, where Hockney lives, and Yorkshire, his birthplace.
Art in the Making
Today's artists have an unprecedented level of choice with regard to materials and methods available to them, yet the processes involved in making artworks are rarely addressed in books or exhibitions on art. Here, Glenn Adamson and Julia Bryan-Wilson argue that the materials and methods used to make artworks hold the key to artists' motivations, their attitudes to authorship, uniqueness and the value of objects, the economic and social contexts from which they emerge, and their approach to the perceived opposition between materiality and conceptualism in art. The book's introduction sets out a history of trends in artistic production and the possible catalysts for the proliferation of production strategies since the mid-twentieth century, followed by nine chapters that explore different methods and media. Detailed examples are interwoven with the discussion, including visuals that reveal the intricacies of each technique or material and its overall effect when presented as an artwork.
Bearing 'the conspicuous mark of talent' from an early age, the fiercely independent and opinionated Margaret Preston is one of Australia's most innovative early modernists. Even in her earliest works, her restless experimentation, ambitions and independence of thought governed a desire to interpret rather than emulate what she saw, to exact essential principles. From the 1920s Preston moved rapidly to the forefront of Australian progressive art, producing a body of work that has remained crucially important to the traditions of Australian art.In this revised edition of the Preston monograph, featuring a new introduction, curator Deborah Edwards looks in detail at the life and art of this extraordinary artist from the mid-1890s in Adelaide to her life in Sydney in 1963. Also featuring a CD-ROM catalogue raisonne of paintings, monotypes and ceramics, this richly-illustrated monograph is unrivalled in its scope.
The Essential Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly created art that was remarkable for its versatility, sensitivity and originality. Throughout his career, he followed his own artistic pathway, independent from contemporary trends, and for a long time his work went unnoticed by a wider audience. By the time of his death in Rome, at the age of eighty-three, he was internationally recognized as one of the greatest and most idiosyncratic artists of the 20th and early 21st century. At an early stage, he began to develop his own symbolic language of letters and words, which suggested a pictorial form of poetry. References from art, history and mythology soon expanded this poetic vocabulary, often combined with a sensual engagement with the painted surface. This book provides an authoritative overview of Twombly's complex body of work, bringing together the most important of his paintings and painting cycles, as well as a selection of his drawings, sculptures and photographs.
Winslow Homer: An American Vision
Winslow Homer (1836-1910) was one of the most important American painters of the late nineteenth century. His prolific output, embracing a wide range of styles and themes is characterized by uncompromising realism and a strong sense of graphic design, a legacy of his early years as a magazine illustrator. He first came to prominence as a painter with his depictions of the Civil war, and his scenes of rural American youth, Adirondack hunters, and north-Atlantic fishermen have become iconic American images. Randall Griffin's thoroughly researched yet very readable study not only presents a full account of Homer's life and work, but also a fresh and provocative reassessment of his place in the history of American art. Homer's work is popular and accessible, and Griffin's text aims to be the same. His solid documentation, original research and fresh interpretation will satisfy the needs of scholars and general readers alike.
The Hollow in the Hand
Between 2011 and 2014 PJ Harvey and Seamus Murphy set out on a series of journeys together to Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Washington DC. Harvey collected words, Murphy collected pictures, and together they have created an extraordinary chronicle of our life and times. The Hollow of the Hand marks the first publication of Harvey's powerful poetry, in conversation with Murphy's indelible images. As PJ Harvey says: 'Gathering information from secondary sources felt too far removed for what I was trying to write about. I wanted to smell the air, feel the soil and meet the people of the countries I was fascinated with. Following our work on Let England Shake, my friend Seamus Murphy and I agreed to grow a project together lead by our instincts on where we should go.' Seamus Murphy adds: 'Polly is a writer who loves images and I am a photographer who loves words. Our relationship began a few years ago when she asked me if I would like to take some photographs and make some films for her last album Let England Shake. I was intrigued and the adventure began, now finding another form in this book. It is our look at home and the world.'
The Book of the Dog
Featuring all kinds of dogs big, small, graceful, cute, funny The Book of the Dog is a cool and quirky collection of dog art and illustration by artists around the world. Interspersed through the illustrations are short texts about the artists and different breeds, paying homage to man's best friend. Beautifully designed and packaged, the book will appeal to dog lovers of all ages.
Agnes Martin: Her Life and Art
Over the course of a career that spanned fifty years, Agnes Martin's austere, serene work anticipated and helped to define Minimalism even as she battled psychological crises and carved out a solitary existence in the American Southwest. "I paint with my back to the world", she claimed, when she died at ninety-two in Taos, New Mexico. It is said she had not read a newspaper in half a century. Nancy Princenthal tells her whole story chronologically from Martin's birth in Saskatchewan and her early years as an artist living in derelict Manhattan shipping lofts; to the seven years she stopped painting, just as her career was taking off. She reveals the months she spent roaming the country in a pick-up truck through to her last thirty years, in Taos, in an adobe house she built with her own hands. Nancy Princenthal has written the essential Agnes Martin biography; a must-read for anyone interested in abstract painting or the history of female artists in America.
Keeping an Eye Open: Essays on Art
Julian Barnes began writing about art with a chapter on Gericault's The Raft of the Medusa in his 1989 novel A History of the World in 101/2 Chapters. Since then he has written a series of remarkable essays , chiefly about French artists, which trace the story of how art made its way from Romanticism to Realism and into Modernism. Fully illustrated in colour throughout, Keeping an Eye Open contains Barnes' essays on Gericault, Delacroix, Courbet, Manet, Fantin-Latour, Cezanne, Degas, Redon, Bonnard, Vuillard, Vallotton, Braque, Magritte, Oldenburg, Howard Hodgkin and Lucian Freud.
Walk the Line: The Art of Drawing
Drawing has always been a fundamental skill and good drawing skills allowed artists to grasp the reality around them. At the turn of the millennium, however, the general impression was that with the wide availability of computers, scanners, digital cameras and image software, drawing would dwindle into a marginal activity. In fact, the opposite happened: the enthusiasm for digital imagery died down and the ability to draw has become a treasured skill. In the art world, attitudes to drawing have also changed. Drawing became a way of making a statement as an artist, of showing masterly skill something that up to then had been most commonly associated with painting. After centuries in the shadow of its more illustrious fine art relatives, drawing started to be appreciated for its own sake, as an art discipline, an end in itself, an art form. Walk the Line: The Art of Drawing includes interviews with the international selection of artists, as well as examples of their work. It will appeal to anyone interested in contemporary art and illustration.
ClothBound: Iconic Fabric Designs
For over 20 years, Julie Paterson, founder of ClothFabric, has been designing and printing contemporary textiles by hand. Her iconic patterns, inspired by and connected to the Australian landscape, have been applied to furnishings, rugs and wallpapers and sold the world over. ClothBound is the story of Julie's most significant and well loved designs, and offers a very intimate insight into the creative process of a much loved artist, designer and maker at work in her shed.
In Australian Notebooks, Betty Churcher revisits some of the artworks she most cherishes;a seminal Picasso, early works of the Heidelberg School, a striking portrait by Lucian Freud; and invites us to look afresh at the treasures that can be found in Australian galleries. Taking in the glorious work of Australian artists such as John Olsen, Arthur Boyd and Sidney Nolan, as well as masterpieces by Paul Czanne, Henri Matisse and Giambattista Tiepolo, through her own accomplished skteches Betty draws out the particular charm and context of each piece. Interwoven with extraordinary stories; one canvas flew off the back of a truck on the Pacific Highway; another was imported from Imperial Russia, paid for with a briefcase full of cash; Betty's engaging insights bring the artworks to life. With gorgeous full-colour reproductions, this is a book to turn to again and again for inspiration, solace and delight.
Vitamin D2: New Perspectives in Drawing
An up-to-the-minute survey of contemporary drawing featuring 115 artists from around the world, Vitamin D2 allows the reader to look at the medium in detail and study drawing's unique properties in relation to itself, to contemporary art and to the world at large. Phaidon's influential Vitamin series began in 2002, offering an overview of current practice in a single medium within the arts. Vitamin D2 presents the work of 115 artists who are currently emerging on the world stage, have become established since the first volume was published in 2005, or who have made a significant contribution to the medium of drawing in this time. With the participating artists from more than forty countries, each artist's entry is accompanied by a text written by one of forty-five prominent critics, journalists, academics and curators.
Traditional techniques are matched by new approaches, often pushing the boundaries of drawing into collage, towards painting, sculpture, architecture, illustration, animation, performance and beyond. A broad range of genres, styles and subjects is evident in diverse forms, from drawings that fit in the palm of the hand to works that cover an entire courtyard. Vitamin D2 reflects the vitality and energy of current drawing, demonstrating that artists continue to consider drawing an essential vehicle for addressing and interacting with the world today.
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