View Full Version : What Art Books Are You Reading ?
06-26-2007, 11:41 AM
Let's share you thoughts on what art books you are reading.
06-26-2007, 03:31 PM
I've been reading "The Life and Works of Augustus Saint-Gaudins". It's a bit of a slow read but it does have some wonderful insights into the life of an artist whom I greatly admire. I've also been boneing-up ;) on my anatomy by reading through Elliot Goldfingers "Human Anatomy for Artists" and George Bridgman's "The Human Machine". Most recently I was reading through SFX books and drooling over the amazing attention to detail in their sculpts. (Stan Winston, Rick Baker, Henry Alvarez and many sculptors who work for these guys)
06-26-2007, 04:37 PM
Good question, I am reading "Michelangelo's Mountain", hardcover for the second time and enjoying it. I am also reading Frank Lloyd Wright, "The Houses" also hardcover and packed full of very nice images and balanced out with a good bit of text. Although not really art-specific, the book lends itself to the culture and the level of detail and craftsmanship throughout bring it to a level that I consider high taste. My next goal is to quarry/dig my own rock and locate more resources here in the Rockies and I'll be looking at books to brush up on my rockhounding skills. I know where some decent gray marble with black veins can be found and also some alabaster, but I'd really like to find something spectacular and unique to help round out my stone cutting future. I know there's something out there with my name on it.
06-26-2007, 07:04 PM
I've just finished reading a book on 'Christo and Jeanne-Claude'. It is thin and well illustrated.
Unusual couple, and unusual work. Learnt something about their working attitude towards creating large temporary public art.
06-26-2007, 07:44 PM
Try not to read so much anymore - paid my dues - but I've been loving the hell outta the two inch thick paerback coffee table book that the Guggenheim put out for David Smiths retrospective. Theres some shots in there that you've never seen before. And I can't stop re-reading The Stranger.
06-26-2007, 09:31 PM
And I can't stop re-reading The Stranger.
You mean the book by Albert Camus?
06-26-2007, 10:08 PM
Yes Merlion, I gravitated to this book in High school because it was the shortest one on the reading list. Didn't know it would change my perception of myself. It addresses the largest issues imaginable in the most economic and understated fashion, is laugh out loud funny in many places and completely disrespectful of its own plot. If you are ever asked if you would want to be Mersault Mersault, your answer should be "I cannot imagine why not". The anti-hero is either defined or re-defined by this novel. And while it sheepishly offers nothing outright, gleanings arrive in an abundance far greater for me than all the other volumes I've labored through combined.
06-27-2007, 11:18 AM
It was a long time ago I read this book by Albert Camus. I did find it interesting. By now I cannot remember much about it.
Back to art books. Before I read this book about Christo, I tried to read a book about Marcel Duchamp. Unfortunately this book has too much details and I didn't finish reading it.
My style of art is very different from that of both artists. This does not matter as I was trying to read into their views and approaches to creating art.
06-27-2007, 12:13 PM
Here is a current great read about a sculptor and renaissance man that I would guess no one else has encountered...
The Man Who Tapped the Secrets of the Universe by Glenn Clark, regarding the life of Walter Russell.
06-27-2007, 05:30 PM
Thats one of the best book titles I've heard in a long time. Fill us in a bit Glenn.
06-27-2007, 06:43 PM
Glenn: It wasn't a link to the book that you put in. Here it is.
The Man Who Tapped the Secrets of the Universe (http://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Tapped-Secrets-Universe/dp/1428615172/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-4935276-1049646?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1182983810&sr=1-1)
The Incredible Story Of Walter Russell, Who Succeeded In Music, Literature, Architecture, Painting, Sculpture, Science, Philosophy, Human Relations And Yet Never Went Beyond Primary School Grades.
06-27-2007, 08:35 PM
Here is an even better link if you would like more information:
The book I mentioned I have had for about 12 years, read it twice, haven't read it for a while, and being a very small book with very large and positive ideas, it was perfect for bringing with on my brief travels.
06-27-2007, 10:34 PM
I just started reading a really fascinating book by Dario Gamboni called The Destruction of Art; Iconoclasm and Vandalism Since the French Revolution.
06-28-2007, 01:27 AM
You mean this book. Sounds interesting.
The Destruction of Art: Iconoclasm and Vandalism since the French Revolution (http://www.amazon.com/Destruction-Art-Iconoclasm-Vandalism-Revolution/dp/1861893167/ref=sr_1_1/002-4935276-1049646?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1183008171&sr=1-1)
Last winter, a man tried to break Marcel Duchampís Fountain sculpture. The sculpted foot of Michelangeloís David was damaged in 1991 by a purportedly mentally ill artist. With each incident, intellectuals must confront the unsettling dynamic between destruction and art. Renowned art historian Dario Gamboni is the first to tackle this weighty issue in depth, exploring specters of censorship, iconoclasm, and vandalism that surround such acts.
Gamboni uncovers here a disquieting phenomenon that still thrives today worldwide. As he demonstrates through analyses of incidents occurring in nineteenth- and twentieth-century America and Europe, a complex relationship exists among the evolution of modern art, destruction of artworks, and the long history of iconoclasm. From the controversial removal of Richard Serraís Tilted Arc from New York Cityís Federal Plaza to suffragette protests at Londonís National Gallery, Gamboni probes the concept of artistís rights, the power of political protest and how iconoclasm sheds light on societyís relationship to art and material culture.
Compelling and thought-provoking, The Destruction of Art forces us to rethink the ways that we interact with art and react to its power to shock or subdue.
06-28-2007, 10:05 AM
Right. I've been interested in the destruction of public statues ever since Maggie Thatcher got beheaded in 2002 or 2003. Putting it all in context is fascinating and makes me think about more than just the individual statues.
Does anyone here have favorite iconoclast stories?
2 of my favorites-
Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees: A Life of Contemporary Artist Robert Irwin, by Lawrence Weschler
An artist who really thinks hard about what he does, and comes to some uncommon places.
The Nature and Art of Workmanship, by David Pye
A short, dense book about the philosophy of making things.
And then, the other day, I splurged and bought this-
Panamarenko: For Clever Scholars, Astronomers And Doctors
A Belgian artist who has created his own world, life, and mythos. He lives, and works, completely oblivious to the world of contemporary art, and his sculptures fit no categories, and are amazing.
06-29-2007, 09:13 PM
Hi I am reading this book-
It is very interesting.
07-01-2007, 08:41 AM
I started Sculpture (http://www.amazon.ca/Sculpture-Georges-Duby/dp/3822850802/ref=sr_1_22/701-9657605-1559501?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1183293551&sr=1-22) about four years ago and am still working on it.
Themes In Contemporary Art (http://www.amazon.ca/Themes-Contemporary-Art-Gill-Perry/dp/0300102976/ref=sr_1_2/701-9657605-1559501?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1183293615&sr=1-2)
Dialogues With Marcel Duchamp (http://www.amazon.ca/Dialogues-Marcel-Duchamp-Pierre-Cabanne/dp/0306803038/ref=sr_1_1/701-9657605-1559501?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1183293644&sr=1-1)
Digital Copyright (http://www.amazon.ca/Digital-Copyright-Jessica-Litman/dp/159102420X/ref=sr_1_2/701-9657605-1559501?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1183293671&sr=1-2)
07-05-2007, 03:01 AM
I picked up a college art book titled understanding art:
its pretty basic, but it covers the debate of what art is and what purpose it serves and all the art styles and movements all through history and has tons of great pictures. I looked at all the pictures in one sitting. pretty good for anyone who wants a very complete intro to art history/theory and a lot of exposure to a lot of stuff.
07-09-2007, 08:10 AM
ive got to be hohnest i dont 'read' alot of art books i just look at the pictures, but i did get this good bit of wisdom by Escher (reaserch for ilusionary sculptures)
"Talent and all that for the most part is nothing but hogwash. Any schoolboy with a litle aptitude might very well draw better than i perhaps, but what he most often lacks is the tough yearning for realisation, the teeth grinding obstinacy and saying : even though i know im not capable of it; im still going to doit"
Books ive been looking at
Alberto Giacometti Sculpture painting and drawing (am i the only one who likes his painting better?)
Art in America 300 years of inovation
Marino Marini (2nd hand book shop find £7 woohoo!)
books ive actually read (no pictures)
Zen in the art of archery, eugene herigal
and just started rereading to day The life Game by Nigel Watts (highly recomended)
07-09-2007, 09:24 PM
"The Wine of Genius" about Maurice Utrillo is a wonderful read. Goes good with Orwell's "Down and out in Paris and London" and Jack London"s "Alcoholic Memoirs"and Ernesto Sabato"s "The Tunnel"
07-11-2007, 06:12 PM
God the list could be endless...I read different books in different locations, train, work, home, loo etc. But very influential for me just finished Metamorphosis, Ovid. just starting Chapmans Homer, Iliad and the Odyssey, have only read the intro so far this will be tough going, maybe take years. Just finished The meaning of beauty by Eric Newton...interesting...really and loo book History of indian and Indonesian Art by Coomaraswamy another long haul I suspect, he was a friend of Eric Gills a very sexy, confused sculptor and all round rennaisance type man if you know him. look at lots... Marini, Greek Mythology, Gaudier Brzeska etc etc. Yes I like art books and books in general, but they are just books, not worship...I will tear pages out and pin them on the wall if they are relevent to something I am working on at any given time...so not anal about them...:)
PS...I'm thinking about going to Cyprus College of Art to do Post Grad...it seems to fit in with my interest in Greek Mythology and how that fits in with our Mythologies...has anyone else been there?
07-17-2007, 10:17 AM
. Yes I like art books and books in general, but they are just books, not worship...I will tear pages out and pin them on the wall if they are relevent to something I am working on at any given time...so not anal about them...:)
It is not really necessary to tear up the art books. Photocopying machines are now quite common, even small machines for home use. They have gone down in price. I have a b/w laser printer for my computer that can also do flatbed photocopying. The speed is reasonable and it is most convenient.
07-20-2007, 05:20 AM
[I will tear pages out and pin them on the wall if they are relevent to something I am working on at any given time...so not anal about them...:)
geez jssculptor, remind me never to lend you any of my books. :eek:
I've just discovered
'Art and fear' Observations on the perils (and rewards) of art making
A great little read .
Also, just scored from the local junk shop ,1922 2 vol of
"Modelling" a guide for teachers and students, by E.Lanteri.
some of the most amazing portrait modelling I've ever seen.
I will scan and post pics (when my kids get home from school)
07-20-2007, 06:57 PM
Along with a couple of photography books im reading "Essential Dali" :)
08-02-2007, 11:06 AM
Hi, Just got "Richard Serra, Sculpture, 40 years" in the mail. It's a coffee table book, 400 pages and published in conjunction with his retrospective at MOMA in NY.
So far it's a good read, and the photos, although all b&w are excellent.
The books a bit pricey though, MOMA store- $75.00 (I think)
and I had a $25.00 gift certificate so it only cost me $22.25 and with free shipping, "what a bargain!"
Have a great day,
08-02-2007, 07:33 PM
I'm such a sucker I'm sure to pay the 75 when I see the show...I'll be so pumped up money will not be a concern. Maybe I'll just go ahead and amazon it now, save myself some beer money. Thanks Jeff.
I Have that book in my collection "Art and Fear" good book.
Well i am reading a few books. Right now I am going through a series of Adobe Photoshop text, and tips books. However one book I refer to a lot is a great sculpture book called "The Sculpture Reference; by: Arthur Williams". It is as complete a reference to sculpture terms and information all arranged alphabetically. (reads like a dictionary) I am a bit biased to this book because the person who taught me what I know about sculpture also is the writer of the book, that and I happen to be in it...BUT my personal feelings aside the book is something that I think any sculptor should check out.
here is the link to it if any of you are curious..... http://www.sculpturebooks.com/
08-03-2007, 10:33 AM
Yes Lab thats a great book because its so massively illustrated. But I'm always suspicious of professors and artists writing things down. Philosophy, criticism and history are their own brand of creative efforts, so there might be a conflict of interest - what they say might not have anything to do with what they DO. We read the stuff anyway because of our voracious appetite for art-related fodder. It not much different than making art all day long, and then talking about it with an artist friend for a couple more hours. Whats really important is the pictures.
But of course if you can bend four inch steel plates with your mind, by telekinesis, like Serra - then whatever you say is simply right.
Perhaps I am misreading what was written when you said, "But I'm always suspicious of professors and artists writing things down." However I think you might be missing the idea behind the book. There is no "philosophy" in the book, nor does the author interject his own opinion. All that is written in the book are facts relating to basic sculpture terms. I did mention that it reads like a dictionary, and dictionaries are nothing more than a source of reference; hence the name of the book "sculpture reference". The illustrations and information in the book are actually not just the writers, but the book could not have been written were it not for the collaboration of Many artist, much like this forum is a good source based on the calumniation of artist who submit USEFUL information. However, if you are "suspicious" of what artist write down, then perhaps you are on the wrong forum...
08-03-2007, 11:26 PM
Lab, pardon my ill clarifications. I refer to artists whose rant presides over their work when I use the word "suspicious". This reference book, then, is another thing altogether - a good thing I'm sure.
When an artist puts on the writing costume to intentionally embark on an academic or philosophical exploit he is usually deforming by that literary stretch any actual work that he done, or worse yet he his justifying or defending those things. Often this is self-important mumbo jumbo.
This forum is pertinent, usefeul, amusing and a damn good read BECAUSE of the unrehearsed and unpretentious nature of most of the responses that appear. The tone is conversational, the fact that we have to type is incidental and should not necessarily me mistaken for "writing". Let the damn poets pull out their hair over a synonym, we have serious work to accomplish.
Any good bands on 6th street tonight?
I think now I see what you are refering to about those who write about art but don't pratice it. Much like art historians who never pick up a brush, or chisel, and go on about the in-depth meanings of the work in question. Can't think of how many pointless debates my former classmates and I would get into about that. Funny you should mention 6th street; I just got in from there, but no, not may good bands tonight. Many band yes, but "good" is a relitive term, however I'd venture to say that the better entertainment is on the streets itself. So EvalDart, are you familiar with Austin?
08-05-2007, 07:40 PM
This book I would recomend, I have read half, stopped about a year ago but will pick it up later this year. I sometimes do that with books.
08-18-2007, 04:45 PM
New stuff relevant to Cyprus and staff...I am going to do MA there...Stass Paraskos by Norbert Lynton. To Hell with Culture by Herbert Read. Aphrodite, The Mythology of Cyprus by Stass Paraskos all available cheap on Amazon and Florentine Renaissance Sculpture by Charles Avery. Found that in charity shop, very, very good
08-18-2007, 05:30 PM
"Demons visions of evil in art" by laura ward & will steeds. its got some fantastic imaginative work in it. Artists always had a lot more scope when making devils and demons and gargoyles than when making the more pure characters.
08-18-2007, 05:42 PM
" Artists always had a lot more scope when making devils and demons and gargoyles than when making the more pure characters.
That's why there are more artists doing the devil's work than God's work on Earth. :D
09-03-2007, 10:05 AM
"Action in Perception" by Alva NoŽ, MIT Press 2004
Not directly about art, but full of insights that have bearing. I even wrote some commentary (http://exnihilostudio.com/Techne/looking.html)
I'm always reading 4 or 5 books at the same time but my long time companion is "Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art--a sourcebook of artist's writings" ed. by Stiles and Selz. Like Evaldart suggests, it would make a good broadhead back stop. Its 1000 pages long. It's one of my all time favorites.
09-04-2007, 06:45 AM
That art and physics book sounds interesting... A look of late at Andy Goldsworthy.
09-04-2007, 07:41 AM
Hi, On Ries say-so as one of his favorite books, I'm reading "Seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees". It's about the life of contemporary artist Robert Irwin. I've had the book on my bookshelf for years, it was given to me, but, being from NY, I hadn't heard much about him. so, it was never high on my reading list, after all, the world stops on the western shore of Manhattan on the Hudson River!
Well, I'm really enjoying this book, I'm almost done with it and I think Irwin is probably one of the really great artists out there today. He definitely goes his own way and as a contemporary thinker about the state of art and his take on things and artistic investigations, he's just fantastic.
As it turns out, I was talking to an artist friend of mine from California and I mentioned Robert Irwin, my friend said, "He was the best teacher he ever had in college, ever!" and he couldn't say enough about him.
Have a great day,
09-04-2007, 07:54 AM
waiting for my amazon copy of the new Serra coffee table book. Took Ironman's advice and saved 30 bucks. PICTURES, PICTURES, PICTURES !
Yup, nothing beats books with tons of pictures--they stimulate and teach the most. Second place goes to writings by the artists themselves and interviews--why I recommended the book above. Books about the artists is in third place. History (recent) goes in fourth. Critical and theory books are somewhere on an other list that I've lost and not motivated to find.
I read the Irwin book several times shortly after it came out. I recall it as being mind expanding in a major way. time for a re-read.
09-23-2007, 09:36 PM
Has anyone read the Scott McCloud books on comics as sequential art?
Although not related directly to sculpture, has some very interesting ideas and has lots of pictures.....
09-24-2007, 12:01 AM
Recently I ran across an older book by Michelangelo scholar Robert J Clements. It happened to be about The Poetry of Michelangelo which I started reading only to find out, to my delight, that he wrote two more equally well researched books....Michelangelo's Theory of Art and Michelangelo, A Self-Portrait. I quickly purchased the others and am knee deep in each.
A victim of the mutiple book disease myself (ADD?), I am also making my way through Ivan Mestrovic: Sculptor and Patriot, The Feud That Sparked The Renaissance: How Bruenelleschi and Ghiberti Changed the Art World, and The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini. Sadly, only the Mestrovic book has lots of pictures.
09-24-2007, 11:21 AM
Hi, I'm now reading "Please Pay Attention, Please: Bruce Nauman's Words", it's a compilation of interviews with him done over the years. I find his work thought provoking and ideosyncatic in many ways. Sometimes hard to understand and sometimes honest in a goofy way, Nauman has always intrigued me.
For example, One interviewer asked him, "How did you come to do that work?", his answer, "to keep myself busy". How can you not like that?
Have a great day,
11-21-2007, 07:01 AM
I just finished reading the first chapter of 'The Life of Isamu Noguchi - Journey Without Borders' by Masayo Duus. As a kid growing-up in Seattle I always loved seeing and touching his black granite sculpture 'Black Sun' which was installed outside the Seattle Art Museum (now the Seattle Asian Art Museum, I believe).
11-23-2007, 01:45 AM
just finished this book called "Studio Art: praxis, symbol, presence" by Marilyn Zurmuehlen. it will take a second read but it has some interesting stuff in it about the motivations/roles of art from the perspective of children.
06-08-2008, 11:49 PM
I read technical books about different metals, and how to weld them right now.
As I use oxy/ace too, with a stick welder too. And I read lots of psychology books too. Art magazines too. (metalsmithing books.) Metal fabricating books to see what tools I need to do different things. I just got this cool metal punch
at a tag sale! you just wind it around and it makes a hole. PERFECT. no drilling.
06-10-2008, 08:33 AM
thats my favorite book too! i'm always refering to something in it!
06-10-2008, 08:39 AM
"Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art--a sourcebook of artist's writings" ed. by Stiles and Selz i got excited and forgot to put that part in. i'm also reading "Twumps" a great look at david nash's work.
Ditto on Stiles and Selz. Been chewing on that one for quite some time.
06-10-2008, 11:30 AM
yeah i love techinacl books, im also realy into drawing and i find the best place to see that is often in 'how to draw' books ones wich feature the work of lots of different artists, ditto for sculpture to.
though i regularly re reaed zen and the art of motorcyle maintince, to think about my 'gumption traps'
the original editon of The encyclopedia of sculpture techniques, by jhon mills is realy usefull and has lots iof realy great work into, the information in the new idition is just as good but the feautured sculptures arnt.
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