The books you'll want this summer
Many books to read and very little summer. We have six recommendations to read in the shade
We love summer, and we know you do too! With August the holidays finally arrive and with them the time to devote to what we are passionate about. Lying on the beach, wandering around, discovering new places or just doing nothing. And what better way to disconnect than with a good book? We present a list of essential books for art lovers that you will not only enjoy but can become your best ally to talk at the next art fair.
Whether you are a beach or a mountain person, we recommend you 6 titles for you to enjoy reading this summer:
Playing to the Gallery
by Grayson Perry (Penguin, 2016)
This book is your perfect travel companion. Small and light as well as interesting and funny. It is definitely a must to anybody in need of a short guide to art that doesn't feel like a textbook when reading it. With a chatty style and a wry sense of humour, Perry answers the basic questions that might occur in an art gallery but seem too embarrassing to ask, showing that anybody can appreciate art. Recommended reading for anyone who feels a bit insecure about speaking at art openings or just looking at the exhibits.
A Poor Collector's Guide to Buying Great art
by Erling Kagge (Gestalten, 2015)
If you are interested in collecting art but don't have a clue on how to start, this is your book. You may already have preferences in terms of styles or techniques, or even specific pieces in mind but don't yet trust the rules of the art market if such rules actually exist. This book illuminates all aspects of becoming an expert at buying art such as how to get started, how to take one's tastes seriously, how to do a targeted search for pieces, how to learn to appraise prices, and how to find trustworthy partners. Kagges practical yet entertaining step-by-step guidance also includes ways to identify and avoid pitfalls and deceptive temptations.
A Big Important Art Book (Now with Women): Profiles of Unstoppable Female Artists
by Danielle Krysa (Running Press Adult, 2018)
A fresh alternative to this male-dominated art world, showcasing the work of dozens of contemporary women artists alongside creative prompts that will bring out the artist in anyone. This beautiful book energizes and empowers women, both artists and amateurs alike, by providing them with projects and galvanizing stories to ignite their creative fires. Each chapter leads with an assignment that taps into the inner artist, pushing the reader to make exciting new work and blaze her own artistic trail. Interviews, images, and stories from contemporary women artists at the top of their game provide added inspiration, and historical spotlights on art "herstory" tie in the work of pioneering women from the past.
Seeing Slowly: Looking at Modern Art
by Michael Findlay (Prestel, 2017)
This is an important book for anyone who has looked at a painting and wondered ‘Why is this painting special, important, valuable, and thought of as brilliant?' When it comes to viewing art, living in the information age is not necessarily a benefit. So argues Findlay in this book that encourages a new way of looking at art. Much of this thinking involves stripping away what we have been taught and instead trusting our own instincts, opinions, and reactions. Chapters such as "What Is a Work of Art?" "Can We Look and See at the Same Time?" and "Real Connoisseurs Are Not Snobs," not only give you the confidence to form your own opinions, but also encourages to make connections that spark curiosity, intellect, and imagination.
A Bone of Fact
by David Walsh (Picador, 2014)
David Walsh - the creator of the Mona Museum in Hobart - is both a giant and an enigma in the Australian art world. A multi-millionaire who made his money gambling, David has turned a wild vision into a unique reality; he is in turns controversial, mysterious and idolised. A Bone of Fact is his utterly unconventional and absorbing memoir. Having made his pile from big-time gambling, Walsh describes blowing most of his loot in establishing an avant-garde art museum. ‘It's fair to argue that I built Mona to absolve myself from feeling guilty about making money without making a mark.'
Breakfast at Sotheby's: An A-Z of the Art World
by Philip Hook (Penguin, 2014)
This is one of those books that is so good you don't want it to end. It is a very enjoyable introduction to the world of buying art. You will learn about a variety of art-related topics, ranging from matters such as what makes individual works of art more or less financially valuable to descriptions of individual artists and why their works sell or don't sell. Hook is a board member at Sotheby's in London and previously worked for Christies. Reading it is like participating in a hugely enjoyable personal tutorial given by a cultured, witty, clear-eyed, world teacher with a fully functioning sense of humour.