9 of the best new art and photography books to inspire you creatively

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In this article, we’ve rounded up nine of the best new books on the arts and photography to add to your collection. If you are interested in purchasing them, please click on the accompanying links for Bookshop.org, which has a mission to financially support local independent bookstores.

Basically we wear clothes to keep us warm and hide our modesty. But in the right hands, they can become much more. Tools of expression, storytelling, resistance and creativity; canvases on which to show who we really are.

In this revealing book, style guru Charlie Porter takes us on an invigorating journey through the iconic outfits worn by artists, in the studio, on stage, at work, at home, and at play. It’s an intriguing idea and brilliantly executed, making it a fascinating read not only for fashionistas, but anyone interested in creativity in its broadest terms.

From crisp cuts by Yves Klein to the kaleidoscopic costumes of Yayoi Kusama and Cindy Sherman, from signature denim by Andy Warhol to casual wear by Charlotte Prodger, the author selects the magical and revealing details, weaving together a new way of understanding artists. and get dressed.

Want a deeper understanding of feminism? Then it’s time to dive into the past and get a sense of the context and perspective on how we got to where we are today.

This collection of works by American feminist critic Vivian Gornick, spanning nearly 50 years, is a great place to start. In these classic essays, she explores the life and literature of Alfred Kazin, Mary McCarthy, Diana Trilling, Philip Roth, Joan Didion and Herman Melville, the cultural impact of Silent Spring and Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Going back to her first Village Voice essays, defending the women’s liberation movement of the 1970s, her words still crackle with urgency and lucid with insight.

Here’s another feminist classic every designer should add to their reading list. This 1971 essay is widely regarded as the first true attempt at the history of feminist art.

Rather than directly tackling the question of the title (which seems crazy now but represented the standard perspective of the time), the author instead proceeds to dismantle it and expose the ignorance and prejudice that underpin it. With insight and gripping wit, Nochlin lays bare the acceptance of a white male point of view in historical art thought as not only a moral but an intellectual failure.

This new anniversary edition includes the original essay as well as a new reassessment, “Thirty Years After”, reflecting the emergence of a whole new canon. With reference to Joan Mitchell, Louise Bourgeois, Cindy Sherman and others, this complementary essay diagnoses the state of women and art with startling precision and verve.

We all say we want to spend less time on social media and offline in general. But few of us manage to do it. Here is a great guide to actually achieving that laudable goal in practice.

Part insider’s talk, part worker’s manual, this book is intended for any creative person looking for help in navigating the possibility of offline alternatives. It explains how to counter the “culture of overwork”, exploitation and dull ideas, and how to get back what you loved in your creative vocation.

By the end of reading this book, you will have a new perspective on the “dry digital” that defines creative work today and a set of strategies for going beyond it.

Do you lack self-confidence because you have never trained as an artist? Written by Patrick Brill, an artist and teacher known by his pseudonym Bob and Roberta Smith, his book will put you all right.

You Are An Artist is for all those who want to be an artist but were too afraid to take the plunge. And it combines a stimulating meditation on artistic practice with a series of practical exercises and creative provocations that encourage everyone to realize their potential.

Drawing on the author’s experience as an art school teacher, he blends standard methods of art education with the lateral approach to creativity popularized by the author’s activist campaigns. It is full of ideas, advice and practical examples, illustrated with documentary photographs of his work, specially produced.

Everyone agrees that the colonial history of art in museums and monuments in the public domain is an important issue. But reading a book on such an important topic can seem a bit tedious. Fortunately, it is not.

With wit, verve and a very readable writing style, Alice Procter – creator of Uncomfortable Art Tours – provides a manual to deconstruct everything you thought you knew about art history and tell the stories. that were left out.

They are fascinating, illuminating and often shocking tales, from the propaganda painting used by the East India Company to justify their rule in India to tattooed Maori skulls collected as “art objects” by Europeans. It is full of thought-provoking ideas, as the author encourages us to take a more critical look at the accepted narratives that still permeate the art world today.

Never have the time to work on the kind of creative projects you want to pursue? So maybe you should do something about it. And this book is a great place to start.

The first in a series of three guided journals dedicated to a creative life, Making Time for Creativity, provides a series of writing prompts on the themes of defining work-life balance, creating daily rituals , defining intentions, achieving goals and taking time. far from creativity.

Working artists from all walks of life, including musicians, authors, filmmakers, dancers, designers and visual artists, share their responses to these prompts. And it all adds up to an inspiring framework to think about how you can use your time meaningfully.

Over a 40-year career, Bernd and Hilla Becher rose to fame for photographing unglamorous buildings in a unique style. Filming of mine shafts, blast furnaces, cooling towers, water towers, silos and gas tanks, the passion of artists for their work permeates these images with beauty and solemnity.

While the subject matter is varied, the style is cohesive, and this is no accident. Each photograph was taken in the early morning, on an overcast day, to eliminate shadows and evenly distribute the light. Each image is centered and framed frontally, its parallel lines placed on an even plane. And there are no human figures, nor birds in the sky.

The result is a treasure trove of precisely functional architectural forms, a series of “perfect sculptures from a bygone industrial era”.

9. Fotoclubismo by Sarah Hermanson Meister

Accompanying a new exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, this book explores a major chapter in the history of photography that is largely unknown to European and North American audiences.

São Paulo’s Foto-Cine Clube Bandeirante (FCCB) is widely advertised in Brazil but almost invisible to photography enthusiasts elsewhere. This publication brings together a selection of images that present his groundbreaking photographic experiences to a wider audience.

Six thematic chapters highlight the individual accomplishments as well as the breadth of the club’s membership, transforming the history of photography as we know it and connecting with contemporary Brazilian painting and the then newly formed modern art museums of São Paulo.


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