What are some really good books on modern art or artists?
April 29, 2004 8:50 PM   Subscribe

I really enjoy art, particularly modern painting. I just read Russell Martin's Picasso's War: The Destruction of Guernica and the Masterpiece That Changed the World, and was only vaguely satistifed. Can any of you recommend some really good books on modern art or artists?
posted by gesamtkunstwerk to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Arthur Danto's After the End of Art might be of interest. Ignore the parts of the editorial reviews that mention the end or death of art, because he doesn't actually mean that art ended or died.
posted by kenko at 9:11 PM on April 29, 2004

I got Risking the Abstract: Mexican Modernism and the Art of Gunther Gerzso for my birthday and it's excellent.
posted by nicwolff at 11:44 PM on April 29, 2004

Tom Wolfe's "The Painted Word". Though I'm guessing you'll disagree with the premise, it's still a great read regardless of where your loyalties and sensibilities sit.
posted by RavinDave at 12:44 AM on April 30, 2004

i too enjoy modern art much more than "old fashioned" stuff. however, "giotto to durer" (search amazon) is an interesting and beautiful (and reasonably priced, for the size and quality) book i'm in the middle of at the moment. just in case...
posted by andrew cooke at 4:32 AM on April 30, 2004

Another vote for The Painted Word.
posted by jfuller at 4:52 AM on April 30, 2004

If you happen to like Marcel Duchamp, I'd reccomend Pierre Cabanne's Dialogues with the man and Calvin Tompkins' biography.

Lots of people seem to like The Shock of the New, but I am not personally familiar with it.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:22 AM on April 30, 2004

Response by poster: These all sound great. I'm fine reading something that I don't necessarily agree with. I'm taking this list to the library!

Thanks for the suggestions.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 6:26 AM on April 30, 2004

if you're interested in weimar germany and dada's political context, you might want to check out barbara mccloskey's george grosz and the community party or cut with the kitchen knife by maud lavin. or, you could go straight to the source. also, it's not analysis but kathe kollwitz's collected diary/letters are available. and if you venture into more contemporary stuff, there's a plethora of good books on the guerrilla girls as well as jenny holzer, barbara kruger, francesca woodman, etc.
posted by ifjuly at 2:42 PM on April 30, 2004

do you have a recommendation for a book that would cover jenny holzer in particular - history and background - and that's also a good read?
posted by andrew cooke at 4:46 PM on April 30, 2004

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