Five Gorgeous Art Books to Peruse This Thanksgiving

Get a sneak peek inside the covers of these lovely books.

Book Cover. Courtesy Phaidon/New Museum
Book Cover. Courtesy Phaidon/New Museum

The holidays are a time to curl up in comfort with your favorite people, food, and books—there are few things more pleasurable than a beloved art book to return to for escape and inspiration. When cooped up with family, too, art books can provide a much needed window into another world.

With this in mind, we have picked our favorite recent art books for your perusal this Thanksgiving, with themes ranging from Italian mastery to political protest.

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio Saint Sebastian being cured by Saint Irene (c.1625). Courtesy the National Gallery, London 'Nicolas Regnier

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio Saint Sebastian being cured by Saint Irene (c.1625). Courtesy the National Gallery, London

1. Beyond Caravaggio, Letizia Treves

With its stunning selection of works by the Italian master, “Beyond Caravaggio” has emerged as one of the “must-see” exhibitions in London this season. And yet, given their confrontational and controversial bent, Caravaggio’s emotionally charged and decadent works never fail to endure.

The catalog not only contains reproductions of the paintings in the exhibition; it also features extensive writings on the artist, as well as those he influenced, by Aidan Weston-Lewis and National Gallery curator Letizia Treves.

Ryan Gander HARK! (2015). Courtesy Lisson Gallery

Ryan Gander HARK! (2015). Courtesy Lisson Gallery

2. Fieldwork, The Complete Reader, Ryan Gander

Ryan Gander’s “Fieldwork” exhibition at Lisson Gallery took place last year in London, and it more recently showed in New York. This timely book features a foreword by Kieran Long alongside images of some of the 66 objects that make up Fieldwork 2015 (2015)—with a short description of each.

From a collection of cheap ‘burner’ mobile phones to two stuffed pigeons and more, Fieldwork is a fascinating collection of aesthetic and intriguing found and made objects. This book hits the sweet spot of any collector, hoarder, or lover of the everyday object.

Untitled fromThe Democratic Forest (c. 1983-1986). Courtesy David Zwirner

William Eggleston Untitled from The Democratic Forest (c. 1983-1986). Courtesy David Zwirner

3. William Eggleston: The Democratic Forest, Selected Works, Alexander Nemerov

William Eggleston has had a good year. The now legendary photographer switched galleries, from Gagosian to David Zwirner, and was subject to a large scale survey of his portraiture at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

William Eggleston: The Democratic Forest, Selected Works, which has been published by David Zwiner Books and written by Alexander Nemerov, contains all the images from his exhibition at the New York gallery earlier this year. Expect trademark mastery of dappled light and keen yet gentle observations from the master of modern photography.

“Eggleston’s photographs evince something similar to Faulkner’s abandon,” Nemerov writres. “He works casually. He walks on the street; he goes places, often places he knows well. He sees things and makes pictures of them. His own analogy for the effortless grace of these compositions—likening them to his ability since childhood to play pieces of music after hearing them just once—gives a sense of this ease.”

Pipilotti Rist Ever is Over All . Courtesy Phaidon/New Museum

Pipilotti Rist Ever is Over All. Courtesy Phaidon/New Museum

4. Pixel Forest, Pipilotti Rist, Massimiliano Gioni, et al.

This stunningly produced book will transport those lucky enough to see her exhibition at either the Kunsthalle, Zurich, or the New Museum in New York. The immersive show surveys Rist’s film works in unlikely places. Peer into a handbag and a young girl may swim towards you, or look into the maquette of a child’s bedroom and hear incidental laughter.

The book that accompanies the show contains essays on Rist from Joan Jonas, Bice Curgier, and an extensive interview with the New Museum’s Massimiliano Gioni. As joyful and surprising as one of Rist’s works, this book is infused with moments of calm, beauty, sexuality, and madness.

Doug Aitken <i>Free</i> (2016). Courtesy Victoria Miro

Doug Aitken Free (2016). Courtesy Victoria Miro

5. Protest

Victoria Miro’s “Protest” group show at their Islington gallery this year proved timely in a year when people have taken to the streets, all over the world, to voice their protest and be heard.

At a time of year when you are counting your blessings, why not also look how we can all progress? With a wide range of works by the likes of Doug Aitken, Yayoi Kusama, Richard Prince, and Jules de Balincourt, this book, designed by Kilimanjaro / OMO Creates provides inspiration for thought. It also features an interview between Clive Stafford Smith, founder of human rights organization Reprieve, and Jon Snow, veteran British journalist and host of Channel 4 News.


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