My current go-to list for reference art books



As an avid reader I have a massive collection of books including both fiction and lots and lots... and
lots of art books. I have pretty varied taste when it comes to topic choice. I'm not only interested in subjects I already know but love finding a new book that excites my arty taste buds. Just the odd picture or two, a different fascinating subject or an exciting cover can make me buy the entire book. And yes, I am a fan of the physical weight and nature of holding a book. As much as I love my electronic devices I haven't yet evolved to using a Kindle.

I'm such a big fan of those cheap bookshops where they sell recently-new books in perfect packaging. I also love a good trawl around charity bookshops where I've had the luck to pick-up obscure books on Asian, Indian and Japanese art. It's amazing what you can find.

So here's a selection of books that's in my current reading pile... and I'd be chuffed to know what's in yours!


I adore her work and her paintings really sing to me in terms of colour, shape and pattern. This is just one of her books and focuses on her painterly abstraction. There's also an extensive interview inside.


A gorgeously photographed book focusing on the surface patterns on the earth. Amazing photos of untouched areas. Perfect for inspiration.

Getting into the John Moores prize is on my ultimate hit list and so there's no way I could go to the current exhibition without grabbing a copy of the show guide. Inside my copy are my notes and markings for the paintings I enjoyed and I like to refers back to it when looking to their contemporary art selections.

I picked this up at an Oxfam bookshop recently and thought it would come in handy for a new proposal I need to write.  All about the 'architecture' of materials including paper, fabric and a range of methods that can be used.

A brilliant read all about the first generation of British contemporary painters. There's no better book than this to ignite your passion for art for they are true heroes... Bacon, Freud, Auerbach, Hodgkin, Ayres to Rego.

A random purchase that focuses on German artists who have come about since the reunification of 1989. Therein lies a wealth of history, culture and range of technology being used for artistic purposes... being a lover of Expressionist art this is an excellent book for getting to know its contemporary peers.

10 curators... 100 contemporary artists... 10 source artists
Books don't much more glam than this one. A book published in 2003 it gives me a good idea who the significant artists of contemporary art are in an increasing global market. Plus it was a bargain for such a hefty book!





Warning: 
Please take note that your art may flourish from reading this blog :)






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