Art Books We Loved In 2014

Ring in the new year with De Kooning, Deitch, and Collier Schorr.

When searching for an appropriately arty gift that doesn’t cost quite as much as say Giacometti’s “Chariot,” art books are an excellent way to go. While some of our choices for the best of 2014 are tied to big exhibitions or personalities from the last year, others made a thud when they landed on our desks. All priced at $100 or less, these are sure to please everyone from PhDs to art selfie enthusiasts.

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Collier Schorr: 8 Women

$55

If you weren’t able to get your hands on one of the 50 copies of 8 1/2 Women—a signed bootleg photocopy of Collier Schorr’s book 8 Women put out by Karma—the original volume published by Mack can certainly suffice. The book contains many of the gender-critical portraits from Schorr’s impressive show at 303 Gallery back in February.

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A Way of Living: The Art of Willem de Kooning

$100

Weighing in at around five pounds, Phaidon’s tribute to the much-loved abstract expressionist will be a hefty addition to any painting lover’s book collection. Put together by the Hirshhorn Museum’s curator emerita and Willem de Kooning expert Judith Zilczer, the book is said to be the artist’s most comprehensive monograph to date.

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Yayoi Kusama: I Who Have Arrived In Heaven

$55

Earlier this year, David Zwirner published this tome to memorialize the blockbuster show that birthed a million selfies. The book, which covers Yayoi Kusama’s 60-year practice, opens with the trippy paintings she showed at Zwirner in late 2013 alongside her uber-popular Infinity rooms. The artist herself also contributed a new poem for the publication—“After the Battle, I Want to Die at the End of the Universe.” It doesn’t get more Kusamian than that.

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Dalí Pop-Ups

$29.95

Melting clocks become 3-D in this playful volume for which Thames and Hudson teamed up with the estate of Salvador Dalí to turn the mustachioed surrealist’s best-known paintings into moveable pop-ups.

 

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Liz Magic Laser: Public Relations

€19

The first book dedicated to performance artist Liz Magic Laser covers her recent work on the spectacle of TV news production and the theatrical roles politicians play therein. Along with images from her performances, video scripts are also included as well as essays from Kristina Scepanski, Jordan Troeller, and Tom Williams.

 

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The Notion of Family: LaToya Ruby Frazier

$48

Following photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier’s 2013 show at the Brooklyn Museum, Aperture has published her first book this year and it covers familiar territory for the artist—her family and hometown of Braddock, Pennsylvania. In book form, however, Frazier’s black-and-white photographs provoke a critical dialogue with the Walker Evans–style documentary books of the past.

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Think Like Clouds

$39.95

While Hans Ulrich Obrist’s popular “Do It” series has offered a look into the minds of hundreds of art luminaries over the years, this volume from Paul Chan’s experimental imprint Badlands Unlimited turns the lens onto Obrist himself by gathering 22 years worth of the curator’s notes and scribbles on hotel stationery, schedules, and other scraps of paper.

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The Essential Cy Twombly

$75

This new Cy Twombly monograph from D.A.P. was auspiciously released in the same month that his untitled 1970 blackboard painting, which is composed of white looping scribbles on a gray background, reached a record high ($69.6 million) at Christie’s. A comprehensive look at Twombly’s more-than-60-year practice, the volume includes paintings, drawings, sculpture, and even photography with essays by Kirk Varnedoe, Simon Schama, and others.

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Live the Art

$100

After the dust settled from Jeffrey Deitch’s LA MOCA departure, things have been fairly quiet concerning the longtime art impresario. While he may not be opening a new space in the immediate future, Deitch has released a lengthy chronicle of his endeavors from 1996 to 2010. Whether or not you agree that Miley Cyrus is the next Mike Kelley, as Deitch proclaimed in relation to an event he threw at Art Basel in Miami Beach which featured the controversial singer-turned-artist, this bulky volume from Rizzoli (it comes with a white plastic plate affixed to its cover) is certainly an interesting trip down Deitch memory lane.

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Discharge

$45

Photographer Petra Collins—known for boundary-pushing images of the female body, her ladies-only art collective the Ardorous, and being friends with fashion maven-turned-actor Tavi Gevinson—had her very first solo show this year at Capricious 88 Gallery. The images from that show, titled “Discharge,” have been gathered into Collins’s book of the same name.


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