A Bigger Message: Conversations with David Hockney


Martin Gayford - 2011
    Based on a series of conversations between Hockney and the art critic Martin Gayford, this book distills the essence of the artist’s 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”? What significance do differing media, from a Lascaux cave wall to an iPad, have for the images we see? What is the relationship between the images we make and the reality around us? And how can we fully enjoy the pleasures of just looking—at trees, or faces, or sunrises?These conversations are punctuated by wise and witty observations by both artist and interviewer on many other artists—Vermeer, Tiepolo, Caravaggio, Van Gogh, and Monet among them—and enlivened by shrewd insights into the contrasting social and physical landscapes of California, where Hockney spent so many years, and East Yorkshire, his birthplace, to which he has now returned.

Frida Kahlo: Life and Work


Helga Prignitz-Poda - 2004
    It consists of 143 paintings of small size, rarely larger than 20 x 30 inches, many of them now considered icons of 20th century art, most of them seIf-portraits. The reasons for this ostensible narcissism were closely bound up with Kahlo's biography, with the country and epoch in which she grew up, and with her decidedly eccentric character. It was no coincidence that the major enigmatic minds of the 16th century, namely Hieronymous Bosch and Pieter Bruegel the Elder, were among her favorite painters. For Frida Kahlo never displayed her wounds directly--be it the physical wounds caused by accidents and illness, or the psychological inner wounds. Hers is a subtly enciphered symbolic language, rich in metaphors drawn from almost all the world's cultures. Aztec myths of creation. Far Eastern and Classical Greek mythology, and popular Catholic beliefs all mingle in Kahlo's pictures with Mexican folklore and the stuff of quotidian life, with Marx and Freud. Andre Breton, one of her many admirers among the European avant-garde, once described Kahlo's art as a "colored ribbon round a bomb." Exotic and explosive, sensuous and fascinatingly vital in terms of artistic statement. Kahlo's paintings shed a complex and often frightening light on her soul, her "inner reality." as she called it. If the incessant commercial marketing of Kahlo's paintings over the past decade had obscured a clear view of her extraordinary oeuvre, this present monograph attempts to make amends "Frida Kahlo: The Painter and Her Work returns to the heart, to 42 select masterpieces, reproduced in full and in detail. The painterly quality, the beauty, and theimmense wealth of details in Kahlo's paintings is laid out before the reader's eyes, as is the abyss in which the artist found herself.

This is Magritte


Patricia Allmer - 2016
    His life is infused with bizarre moments: a surreal journey oscillating between fact and fiction that he always conducted as the straight-faced bowler-hatted man. The events of Magritte's childhood played an important part in creating the surrealist, but it was his popular culture borrowings from crime fiction, advertising and postcards that has made his work instantly recognisable. The often unreliable nature of Magritte's accounts of his own life have transformed his public image into a kind of fictional character rather than a 'real person'. He would shape his own life story to be its own surreal work of art. This Is Frank Lloyd Wright brings his projects and persona into vivid focus. Wit and visual punch have been the hallmarks of the This Is series to date; the first architectural title in the series will give readers an up-close look at Wright's progress from difficult childhood, to struggling apprenticeship, to early success, through mid-life setbacks and on to late-life comeback. Beautiful specially commissioned illustrations documenting the important events in his life sit alongside photographs of Wright's most iconic buildings (including Fallingwater and New York's Guggenheim Museum).

Kenneth Clark: Life, Art and Civilisation


James Stourton - 2016
    As writer and presenter of the 13-part TV series Civilisation he was responsible for the greatest syntheses of art, music, literature and thought ever made – ‘a contribution to civilisation itself’.Drawing on previously unseen archives, James Stourton reveals the formidable intellect and the complicated private man who wielded enormous influence on all aspects of the arts and drew into his circle a diverse group, many of whom he and his wife Jane would entertain at Saltwood Castle. These included E.M. Forster, Vivien Leigh, Margot Fonteyn, the Queen Mother, Winston Churchill, John Betjeman, Graham Sutherland and Henry Moore. Hidden from view, however, was his wife’s alcoholism and his own womanising.From his time as Bernard Berenson’s protege at I Tatti in Florence to being the Keeper of Western Art at the Ashmolean aged 27 – by which time he had published The Gothic Revival, the first of his many books – to his appointment as the youngest-ever director of the National Gallery, Clark displayed precocious genius. During the war he arranged for the gallery’s entire collection to be hidden in slate mines in Wales, and organised packed concerts of German classical music at the empty gallery to keep up the spirits of Londoners. The war and the Cold War that followed convinced him of the fragility of culture and that, as a potent humanising force, art should be brought to the widest possible audience, a social and moral position that would inform the rest of his career.No voice has exercised so much power and influence over the arts in Britain as Clark’s. James Stourton has written a dazzling biography of a towering figure in the art world, a passionate art historian of the Italian Renaissance and a brilliant communicator who, through the many mediums of his work, conveyed the profound beauty and importance of art, architecture and civilisation for generations to come.

Alphonse Mucha: Masterworks


Rosalind Ormiston - 2007
    From his early family life in Ivancice right through to his final days in Prague, it delves into every aspect of his career as it developed. Next, beginning with his earliest Parisian posters for the actress Sarah Bernhardt, the second half of the book focuses on Mucha's most intense period of productivity in Paris, and documents his success as an avant-garde artist. Exploring his many decorative panels and commercial posters as well as his illustrations for books and magazines, it takes an in-depth look at his changing artistic styles of the period and reveals his sources of inspiration. The informative text goes hand-in-hand with stunning reproductions of Mucha's most stirring and iconic works, from his "Gismonda" poster of 1894 to his "The Moon and the Stars" series of decorative panels of 1902.Featuring over 150 of his most important graphic works, Alphonse Mucha: Masterworks is the perfect gateway to learning more about this versatile artist - one who was truly successful in producing both commercial pieces and 'high art'. It is an ideal read for those with little knowledge of Mucha as well as those looking to learn more.

Frida Kahlo


Elizabeth Carpenter - 2007
    During her lifetime, she was best known as the flamboyant wife of celebrated muralist Diego Rivera. Theirs was a tumultuous relationship: Rivera declared himself to be "unfit for fidelity." As if to assuage her pain, Kahlo recorded the vicissitudes of her marriage in paint. She also recorded the misery of her deteriorating health--the orthopedic corsets that she was forced to wear, the numerous spinal surgeries, the miscarriages and therapeutic abortions. The artist's sometimes harrowing imagery is mitigated by an intentional primitivism and small scale, as well as by her sardonic humor and extraordinary imagination. In celebration of the one-hundredth anniversary of Kahlo's birth, this major new monograph is published on the occasion of the 2007-08 traveling exhibition. It features the artist's most renowned work--the hauntingly seductive and often brutal self-portraits--as well as a selection of key portraits and still lifes; more than 100 color plates, from Kahlo's earliest works, made in 1926, to her last, in 1954; critical essays by Elizabeth Carpenter, Hayden Herrera and Victor Zamudio-Taylor; and a selection of photographs of Kahlo and Rivera by preeminent photographers of the period, including Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Lola Alvarez Bravo, Gisele Freund, Tina Modotti and Nickolas Muray. The catalogue also contains snapshots from the artist's own photo albums of Kahlo with family and friends such as Andre Breton and Leon Trotsky--some of which have never been published, and several of which Kahlo inscribed with dedications, effaced with self-deprecating marks or kissed with a lipstick trace--plus an extensive illustrated timeline, selected bibliography, exhibition history and index.

David Hockney: A Bigger Picture


Marco Livingstone - 2012
    These large, colorful works are the capstone of his engagement with nature, not only in England but also in the American Southwest, through the media of painting and photography. This book, the catalog of the first major Hockney museum exhibition in many years, offers a glorious view of the landscape as seen by the artist, and it includes not only his recent paintings but also his iPhone and iPad drawings. Essays by leading art historians—as well as a more literary piece by novelist Margaret Drabble and Hockney’s own reflections on his recent work—explore Hockney’s art from various perspectives.Praise for David Hockney:"Supplemented with numerous essays by art critics and Hockney himself, this is a mesmerizing volume of an established artist who continues to assert his dynamic relevancy." —Publishers Weekly (starred review) "This glorious volume showcases this unique and exhilarating body of work, which celebrates the pulse of life in trees, fields, flowers, and clouds over the great cycle of the seasons . . . The enlightening commentary is merely prelude to a swoon once the reader turns to the 300 resplendent color reproductions." —Booklist, starred review

Frida Kahlo


Luis-Martín Lozano - 2001
    She endured a catastrophic set of physical calamities as a child and young woman, was an active member of the Communist Party, and survived a tempestuous marriage to the artist Diego Rivera. This book includes many photographs of her life alongside her extraordinary paintings, and presents commentary by leading Mexican art historians, stunning reproductions of her most seminal works -- some never before reproduced, and nine gate-folds allowing the reader to examine in detail aspects of her larger works.

This is Monet


Sara Pappworth - 2015
    During the eighty-six years of his life, Monet never rested, and was always driven by the urge to paint. And more than two thousand paintings survive from six highly creative decades. Despite being a celebrity among France's political and cultural elite, Monet never became complacent. Even in his seventies and eighties he was still producing paintings that astounded the art world. Monet's work remains highly influential—his abstraction, gestural strokes and expressive color capturing the imagination of generation after generation of artists.This title is appropriate for ages 14 and up

Dalí: Vida y Obra


Frank Weyers - 2000
    PThe native Catalonian Dali was obsessed with both money and fame; painting and speaking were his main occupations, his favourite subject - how to discover one's genius. Not exactly loved by the Surrealists, who criticised him for extravagance and his addiction to money (it was Andre Breton who came up with the anagramm Avida Dollars), Dali's paranoiac-critical method nonetheless provided them with a first-rate instrument to liberate intelligence and imagination from the bonds of memory and dreams.PHad he been born during the Renaissance, his genius would have met with greater acceptance than was the case in our era, which saw him as a constant source of provocation; he, for his part, described the era as 'degenerate'. Dali commented: The only difference between me and a madman is the fact that I am not mad, remarking pithily that The difference between me and the Surrealists is that I am a Surrealist. PDali decodes the fantasies and symbols of his Surrealist visions, penetrating the depths of the irrational and subconscious, elevating hard and soft to the level of aesthetic principles. He and Gala, his wife and muse, are mythical couple, she his existential double, his perpetuation in immortal memory. At the age of three, Dali had wanted to become a cook, aged five Napoleon. Thereafter, he continually aspired to something higher - to be divine Dali forever...PThe Dali portfolio features high quality prints that beg to be framed. Tucked in the portfolio are 14 large-format reproductions, each with a briefdescription.

Leonardo Da Vinci, 1452-1519


Frank Zöllner - 2000
    Full-color reproductions and thorough text provide a quick yet solid introduction to this master.

Wagstaff: Before and After Mapplethorpe: A Biography


Philip Gefter - 2014
    Even today remembered primarily as the mentor and lover of Robert Mapplethorpe, the once infamous photographer, Wagstaff, in fact, had an incalculable—and largely overlooked—influence on the world of contemporary art and photography, and on the evolution of gay identity in the latter part of the twentieth century.  Born in New York City in 1921 into a notable family, Wagstaff followed an arc that was typical of a young man of his class. He attended both Hotchkiss and Yale, served in the navy, and would follow in step with his Ivy League classmates to the "gentleman's profession," as an ad executive on Madison Avenue. With his unmistakably good looks, he projected an aura of glamour and was cited by newspapers as one of the most eligible bachelors of the late 1940s. Such accounts proved deceiving, for Wagstaff was forced to live in the closet, his homosexuality only revealed to a small circle of friends. Increasingly uncomfortable with his career and this double life, he abandoned advertising, turned to the formal study of art history, and embarked on a radical personal transformation that was in perfect harmony with the tumultuous social, cultural, and sexual upheavals of the 1960s.Accordingly, Wagstaff became a curator, in 1961, at Hartford's Wadsworth Atheneum, where he mounted both "Black, White, and Gray"—the first museum show of minimal art—and the sculptor Tony Smith's first museum show, while lending his early support to artists Andy Warhol, Ray Johnson, and Richard Tuttle, among many others. Later, as a curator at the Detroit Institute of Arts, he brought the avant-garde to a regional museum, offending its more staid trustees in the process.After returning to New York City in 1972, the fifty-year-old Wagstaff met the twenty-five-year-old Queens-born Robert Mapplethorpe, then living with Patti Smith. What at first appeared to be a sexual dalliance became their now historic lifelong romance, in which Mapplethorpe would foster Wagstaff's own burgeoning interest in contemporary photography and Wagstaff would help secure Mapplethorpe's reputation in the art world. In spite of their profound class differences, the artistic union between the philanthropically inclined Wagstaff and the prodigiously talented Mapplethorpe would rival that of Stieglitz and O’Keefe, or Rivera and Kahlo, in their ability to help reshape contemporary art history.Positioning Wagstaff's personal life against the rise of photography as a major art form and the simultaneous formation of the gay rights movement, Philip Gefter's absorbing biography provides a searing portrait of New York just before and during the age of AIDS. The result is a definitive and memorable portrait of a man and an era.

Leonardo Drawings: 60 Illustrations


Leonardo da Vinci - 1980
    60 illustrations.

Maxfield Parrish


Coy Ludwig - 1973
    A compendium of the life and work of Maxfield Parrish, it is an essential part of a Parrish library. For the collector, the publisher has included a value guide to some of the products that bear Parrish images. Examples of Parrish's most famous book illustrations are shown, including selections from Mother Goose in Prose and the Arabian Nights. Also included are his famous magazine covers-from Life, Collier's, Harper's Weekly, etc., as well as all the landscapes that he painted for Brown and Bigelow, who reproduced them as calendars every year from 1936 to 1963. One of the highlights of the book is the chapter on Parrish's technique, examining in depth his materials, favorite methods, and unique way of painting. In addition, there is a lengthy excerpt from an unpublished manuscript by Maxfield Parrish, Jr., explaining step-by-step his father's glazing technique and use of photography in his work. This definitive study also contains numerous revealing excerpts from Parrish's unpublished correspondence with family, friends, and clients.

Degas


Bernd Growe - 1992
    Inspiration, spontaneity, temperament are unknown to me. One has to do the same subject ten times, even a hundred times over. In art, nothing should look like chance, not even movement." Edgar Degas In terms of both theme and technique, the key to understanding the early work of Edgar Degas (1834-1917) is classical painting. Although he was eventually associated with the Impressionists and even participated in their joint exhibitions, Degas never adopted a purely Impressionist approach. Degas's work, reflecting an extremely personal and psychological perspective, emphasizes the scenic or concentrates on the detail. Thus, Degas's painting is often discussed with reference to the rise of short-exposure photography. Thematically, nature proved less interesting to the artist than the life and inhabitants of the modern metropolis. Degas primarily sought his motifs in ballet salons, at the race track or circus, or in bedrooms - but dancers always remained his favorite theme. About the Series: Each book in TASCHEN's Basic Art Series features:a detailed chronological summary of the life and oeuvre of the artist, covering his or her cultural and historical importance a concise biography approximately 100 colour illustrations with explanatory captions