Art History

  • RTBO
    Phaidon Editors
    • £12.99
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    An iconic and award-winning read, this absolutely huge tome provides a compelling and comprehensive introduction to art. It contains full-colour recreations of some of the most acclaimed artworks of all time and features critics' overviews for each one.

    It introduces 100 artists selected from all periods and from all over the globe and highlights leading performers from both the photography and performance art industries. Among the artworks you can both view and read all about are Michelangelo's Pieta, Pablo Picasso's Weeping Woman and Joan Miro's Women and Bird in the Moonlight. It even lists where you can see the paintings in real life.

    Drawing on the research of artists, curators, critics and academics, this updated edition of The Art Book provides an introduction to art that has influenced culture - all the way from the medieval era through to today's contemporary masterpieces.
  • ATBK
    • £5.99
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    From prehistoric cave paintings to performance art, DK's The Art Book provides an easy-to-follow and fascinating introduction to this compelling and important subject.

    This book explores history's most influential painters, sculptors and artists' most celebrated artworks and provides information surrounding the pieces and insightful quotes about them. It also has profiles of the most important artists from all over the world and explains their impact on impressionism, symbolism and cubism.

    It will help you understand the ideas that inspired Rembrandt and Picasso's masterpieces and covers everything from painting and drawing to printing, sculpture and conceptual art.
  • WMAG
    Andy Pankhurst
    • £2.99
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    Showcasing 80 of the most famous paintings and sculptures of all time, What Makes Great Art is a handy pocket guide that provides would-be art aficionados with a guide to why these pieces of art have inspired so much acclaim and respect.

    Ideal for anyone who loves art, Andy Pankhurst and Lucinda Hawksley look at projects from many different eras and of various styles - from Expression and Beauty to Realism and Form. There are also chapters based on Symbolism, Distortion and Erotic artwork.

    Whether the paintings owe their greatness to the composition or colour, provide an insight into a human subject or convey a message in an effective manner, this book covers it. Among the famous pieces covered are Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, Claude Monet's Impression: Sunrise and Jackson Pollock's Mural.

    Please note that What Makes Great Art contains a chapter dedicated to Erotic art.

    Although this book features Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring on its cover, there is no information inside about this painting. There are, however, intricate details about 80 of the most iconic pieces of artwork ever created.
  • MLAD
    Judith Miller
    • £9.99
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    Art Deco is one of the most iconic and impressive design styles of all time and this book provides a celebration of the glamour of the Jazz Age.

    Classic yet contemporary, Art Deco remains a popular theme today and this stylish book looks at how designers and craftsmen used natural and man-made materials in innovative ways to produce the elegant pieces that defined the 1920s and 1930s.

    Judith Miller, an antiques expert, explores the key makers and pieces from the Art Deco era and explains what you should be looking for as a collector. From furniture to sculptures and prints to rugs, it's illustrated with over 700 stunning photographs.
    John Berger
    • £7.19
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    How do we see the world around us? "The Penguin on Design" series includes the works of creative thinkers whose writings on art, design and the media have changed our vision forever. "Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak." "But, there is also another sense in which seeing comes before words. It is seeing which establishes our place in the surrounding world; we explain that world with words, but word can never undo the fact that we are surrounded by it. The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled." John Berger's "Ways of Seeing" is one of the most stimulating and influential books on art in any language. First published in 1972, it was based on the BBC television series about which the (London) "Sunday Times" critic commented: 'This is an eye-opener in more ways than one: by concentrating on how we look at paintings ...he will almost certainly change the way you look at pictures.' By now he has.
    Will Gompertz
    • £8.99
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    What is modern art? Why do we either love it or loathe it? And why is it worth so much damn money? Join Will Gompertz on a dazzling tour that will change the way you look at modern art forever. From Monet's water lilies to Van Gogh's sunflowers, from Warhol's soup cans to Hirst's pickled shark, hear the stories behind the masterpieces, meet the artists as they really were, and discover the real point of modern art. You will learn: not all conceptual art is bollocks; Picasso is king (but Cezanne is better); Pollock is no drip; Dali painted with his moustache; a urinal changed the course of art, why your five year-old really couldn't do it. Refreshing, irreverent and always straightforward, What Are You Looking At? asks all the basic questions that you were too afraid to ask. Your next gallery trip is going to be a little less intimidating and a lot more interesting.
    Francesco Poli
    • £201.69
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    By 1947, Matisse in his seventies and suffering poor health much preferred the simple, fluid act of cutting forms from painted paper to drawing or painting. It was his intention to use this assemblage technique to illustrate a collection of poems, which would be printed as a limited edition book. As this project evolved, Matisses notes, written with a paintbrush in looping letters, became integral, and the publisher agreed that they should replace the poems. They appear here in their original rough form, creating a visual counterpoint to the images. Henri Matisse Jazz has stood the test of time, and is regarded as one of Matisses greatest achievements its original illustrations still exhibited as significant works in their own right. This edition is accompanied by a special book mounted on the reverse of the presentation boxs cover, featuring both a translation of Matisses text and two new essays: one examining its principal place among other artists books, and the other surveying the history of artists books as a field.
    • £160.00
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    Here is a dazzling celebration of one of the most admired illustrators working today, with a specially produced print exclusive to this limited, slipcased edition. Noma Bar's innovative, playful style has made him one of the most sought-after illustrators working today, with a broad range of commissions from magazines and newspapers - including Empire, the New York Times, Wired, the Guardian and Time Out - and numerous private and advertising clients. His use of negative space and minimalist forms creates images with multiple readings that can delight and shock in equal measure. Each of Bar's illustrations tells a story that is hidden in the details, with the message revealing itself as you look more closely. Here, Noma Bar has handpicked his most iconic illustrations and favourite works, each one displaying the distinctive style that has established his reputation. The works are organized into thematic chapters such as 'Pretty Ugly' (portraits), 'In Out' (sex), 'Life Death' (conflict), and 'Less More' (daily life). Alongside the images, Bar reveals his working methods and the stories behind his often idiosyncratic inspiration for different illustrations, and reflects on how his life experiences have shaped him as an artist. As a collection, the whole is much greater than the sum of these many, many-layered parts. This limited, slipcased edition is destined to become a must-have reference source for all professionals in the worlds of graphic design and illustration, while also being an enthralling treasury for any follower of visual and popular culture.
    Dian Hanson
    • £112.69
    • RRP £135.00
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    One big slice of cheesecake. Pin-up travels the long road from barracks wall to high art. In the 15 years since TASCHEN released The Great American Pin-up, international interest in this distinctly American art form has increased exponentially. Paintings by leading artists such as Alberto Vargas, George Petty, and Gil Elvgren that sold for $ 2000 in 1996 are going for $ 200,000 and more today. Pin-up, defined as drawings or paintings of pretty girls that stop short of frank nudity, was produced between 1920 and 1970, and much of it was discarded by publishers and calendar companies after printing. Today it's huge, and ripe for an equally huge and truly comprehensive collector's edition. Formidably sized, The Art of Pin-up is an impressive book that will be coveted by casual fans as well as hardcore pin-up collectors. The reproduction quality of the paintings, pastels, and preparatory sketches - largely sourced from the original art - invites the viewer to trace the brush strokes in these full-page delights. Each chapter contains exquisite period calendars, vintage prints, and original model photos as well, documenting the artists' creative process. Much of these ephemera were photographed on-site at the historic Brown & Bigelow Company, home to the world's largest archive of vintage pin-up calendars. Following the chapters on the 15 featured artists, the book concludes with an "Encyclopedia of Pin-up," featuring thumbnail bios and representative art of 72 additional artists, the most complete compendium of pin-up artists ever compiled. All this adds up to a hard-to-beat book on this popular subject.
    • £79.49
    • RRP £99.99
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    His works have prompted a New York Times bestseller; a film starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth: record visitor numbers at art institutions from Amsterdam to Washington; and special crowd-control measures at the Mauritshuis, The Hague, where thousands flock to catch a glimpse of the enigmatic, wide-eyed, and enchanting Girl with a Pearl Earring, also known as the "Dutch Mona Lisa". In his lifetime, however, Johannes Vermeer's fame barely extended beyond his native Delft and a small circle of patrons. After his death, his name was largely forgotten, except by a few Dutch art collectors and dealers. Outside of Holland, his works were even misattributed to other artists. It was not until the mid 19th century, that Vermeer returned to the attention of the international art world, which suddenly looked upon his narrative minutiae, meticulous textural detail, and majestic planes of light, spotted a genius, and never looked back. This XL edition brings together the complete catalog of Vermeer's work, gathering the calm yet compelling scenes treasured in galleries across Europe and the United States into one edition of utmost reproduction quality. From letter writing to music playing to preparations in the kitchen, it allows Vermeer's restrained, but richly evocative, repertoire of domestic actions to unfold in generous format, including three fold-out spreads. Many details, meanwhile, emphasize the artist's outstanding ability both to bear witness to the trends and trimmings of the Dutch Golden Age and to encapsulate an entire story in just one transient gesture, expression, or look.
    Joachim Pissarro
    • £79.99
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    Dealing with the power of artistic gesture, each work, presented here in stunning colour, features a blue glass gazing ball that sits on a painted aluminum shelf attached to the front of the painting that reflects both the painting and the viewer. Through the simple act of placing a gazing ball in front of the images, painting and sculpture are reunited for maximum sensory perception.
    Martin Caiger-Smith
    • £80.00
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    For more than thirty-five years, Antony Gormley has sought to explore the relationship of the human body to space and to reinvigorate and test the potential of sculpture with dramatic outdoor sitings. This definitive monograph, compiled in close collaboration with the artist, examines Gormley s career, from his earliest sketches to his best-known public installations. With unprecedented access to archives of unpublished work, the studio, and the artist himself, Martin Caiger-Smith examines the relationship between Gormley s life and art and identifies the vision that ties together a vast canon of work in an extraordinary range of media and materials. Best known for his major public works that most visibly represent his rigorous and innovative approach to sculpture, Gormley is a prolific and intellectual artist whose own privacy and interiority create a tension between ideas of the individual and the universal. With images that range from childhood snapshots to photographs of his most recent gallery installations, this book traces the evolution of Gormley s work, from the drawings he makes in the studio, through the evolving process of casting his own body in various forms, to masterpieces such as the colossal Angel of the North or the scattered figures of Another Place. With lavish images that show the scale and impact of Gormley s work many never published before and with anecdotes and notes on process from the artist seamlessly integrated into Caiger-Smith s careful critical narrative, this book is a comprehensive survey of a truly monumental career.
    Robert Storr
    • £78.40
    • RRP £98.00
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    Louise Bourgeois was a prolific artist known for her highly personal body of work consisting of sculptures, installations, drawing and prints that deal with themes of memory, trauma, fear and hidden emotion. Bourgeois first received international acclaim in the 1990s, when the artist was in her eighties, for her ambitious series of Cells: small room-like sculptures containing arrangements of symbolic objects intended to elicit emotional and psychological responses in the viewer. Here, for the first time, her vast oeuvre is interwoven with a fascinating discussion of the full range of ideas, emotions and experiences that inspired the creation of her work. Renowned critic and curator Robert Storr, acknowledged as Bourgeois' leading interpreter, presents a chronological account of the artist's career, weaving in thematic discussions accompanied by sequential 'portfolios' of the artist's work. An introduction outlining the artist's career is followed by chapters examining her childhood; Bourgeois' education, early career and emigration to the US; her mid-career 'disappearance' and her gradual return to prominence during the 1980s; and her late career as high-profile celebrity artist, exhibiting across the world until her death in 2011. The final chapter examines Bourgeois' profound and ongoing artistic legacy.
    William Gaunt
    • £76.00
    • RRP £95.00
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    Celebrates one of the giants of French Impressionism with luxurious, large-format images Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) was one of the founders of Impressionism and a friend of Monet, Pissarro and Sisley. He worked side-by-side with Monet on the banks of the Seine, sharing his concern with light and colour, but landscape painting never displaced his enduring love of figure painting. Delighting in the ample curves of the nudes he painted increasingly frequently in his later years, Renoir was also a master at capturing the spirit of Parisian life. His art is filled with optimism - his lifelong philosophy was that he painted because it gave him pleasure, and he shares that pleasure with those who see his work. It is almost always summer in his pictures, and in paintings like Moulin de la Galette, The Dance at Bougival and The Luncheon of the Boating Party he gives us an enduring record of contemporaries relaxing and enjoying their leisure.
    Ludwig Goldscheider
    • £76.00
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    Celebrates one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age with luxurious, large-format images Johannes Vermeer (1632-75) is one of the most beloved artists of the Dutch Golden Age. Vermeer's tranquil and meticulously painted interiors, of such subjects as women writing or reading love letters, and men and women drinking together or playing musical instruments, are acutely observed and have an enduring appeal. This sumptuously produced volume features full-colour reproductions of all 36 surviving works by the artist, along with numerous details that reveal the exquisite complexity of his paintings. An updated essay for the 1958 edition by Ludwig Goldscheider, co-founder of Phaidon Press, is accompanied by a new preface from Dutch painting specialist Wayne Franits, putting Vermeer into a contemporary context. Elegant design, fine papers and tipped-on image plates make this a true collector's edition.
    Lionello Venturi
    • £76.00
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    Celebrates one of the greatest and most beloved painters of the Early Renaissance with luxurious, large-format images Sandro Botticelli, one of the greatest painters of the Italian High Renaissance, enjoyed the patronage of the greatest Florentine families. He spent most of his career in the humanist circle of the Medici, for whom he painted such masterpieces as Primavera and Venus and Mars, works that combine a decorative use of line with Classical elements in harmonious and supple compositions. This sumptuously produced volume features an updated, full-colour selection of the artist's works made for the original 1937 edition by Ludwig Goldscheider, co-founder of Phaidon Press. The original essay by Lionello Venturi is accompanied by a new introduction from Renaissance specialist Alessandro Cecchi, putting Botticelli and his school into a contemporary context. Elegant design, fine papers and tipped-on image plates make this a true collector's edition.
    Anna Wintour
    • £76.00
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    Oscar de la Renta is one of the most celebrated and famed fashion designers and couturiers in the worlda renaissance man of American fashion. Born in the Dominican Republic, he has played a central role in the fashion scene for over forty years and has dressed everyone in the celebrity world. Brimming with images from Oscar de la Renta s personal albums and iconic fashion photography, this beautifully updated volume of the 2002 edition of Oscar de la Renta: The Style, Inspiration, and Life of Oscar de la Renta gives an inside view of the designer s creative inspirations and private world. Renowned fashion writer Sarah Mower chronicles the story of this always relevant and beloved luminaryfrom the beginning of his storied career through todaya man whose artistic, generous spirit transcends his fashion creations."
    J. Lawrence
    • £74.00
    • RRP £92.50
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    More than forty unique artists s books, their pages painted with gesso to mimic marble, can be found in the exciting new tome. Artists s books are an integral part of Kiefer s oeuvre; over time they have ranged in scale from the intimate to the monumental, and in materials, from lead to dried plant matter. In this selection of books, the sequences of narrative information and visual effect evoke the fragile endurance of the sacred and the spiritual through the female figures on the marbled pages.
    Gisela C. Fischer
    • £31.69
    • RRP £49.99
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    Known for his spontaneous and imaginative interpretation of the world around him, Joan Miro is one of the most popular artists of the 20th century. His carefree, almost childlike works are at once universal and magical. This beautiful collection of works is arranged chronologically, allowing readers to appreciate the evolution of Miro's themes based on his observation of nature and its transformation in his symbolic language. Each chapter opens with an introductory text and features full-colour illustrations. From his earliest, more figurative works such as Vegetable Garden with Donkey and The Church and Village at Mont-Roig, to more abstract works such as Catalan Peasant with a Guitar and Woman, Bird, Stars, the full range of Miro's oeuvre is on display. Readers will understand how Miro incorporated images of moons, stars, comets, birds, and women into his art, while appreciating his poetic interpretation of these familiar objects. Essays by Miro scholars as well as a text by the artist himself round out this celebration of a painter, sculptor, and draughtsman whose unwavering delight in ordinary objects is both infectious and inspiring. Exhibition, Albertina Museum, Vienna, 12th September 2014? 11th January 2015.
    Wayne Thiebaud
    • £81.79
    • RRP £100.00
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    The most comprehensive and deluxe monograph on Wayne Thiebaud, a celebrated and active American artist, spanning the length of hiscareer, from the mid-1950s to the present. Wayne Thiebaud is one of the world s most popular and respected painters. Born in 1920, he has lived for most of his life in Sacramento, with much of his youth spent in Long Beach; Southern California, in particular Laguna Beach, remains an area of great sentimentality. For this book he has selected the works himself, an act of autobiography in a sense. At age 94, he looked back over his life and his work, rich with breakthroughs in painting and masterful individuality.This deluxe volume, with more than 200 illustrations, covers Thiebaud s career as a painter and draftsman from 1959 to 2014. It features many of the still lifes of pies, cakes, desserts, candies, and other objects lusciously painted, brightly colored, perfectly composed, and gently comic for which he is best known. Such works brought national recognition in 1962 with a seminal exhibition at the Allan Stone Gallery in New York, attracting rave reviews and, to the discomfort of the artist himself, leading critics to see him as part of the Pop Art movement. The other artistic genres that he cultivated most avidly since then are landscape and cityscape, with special interests in the Sacramento River valley and San Francisco. New essays by a wide range of writers give a fresh perspective on his life and work."
    Luigi Serafini
    • £72.00
    • RRP £90.00
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    An extraordinary and surreal art book, this edition has been redesigned by the author and includes new illustrations. Ever since the Codex Seraphinianus was first published in 1981, the book has been recognized as one of the strangest and most beautiful art books ever made. This visual encyclopedia of an unknown world written in an unknown language has fueled much debate over its meaning. Written for the information age and addressing the import of coding and decoding in genetics, literary criticism, and computer science, the Codex confused, fascinated, and enchanted a generation. While its message may be unclear, its appeal is obvious: it is a most exquisite artifact. Blurring the distinction between art book and art object, this anniversary edition-redesigned by the author and featuring new illustrations-presents this unique work in a new, unparalleled light. With the advent of new media and forms of communication and continuous streams of information, the Codex is now more relevant and timely than ever. A special limited and numbered deluxe edition that includes a signed print is also available.
    Rolf Toman
    • £81.59
    • RRP £99.00
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    "Ars Sacra is an unique tribute to 2000 years of Christian art, architecture and spirituality. This glorious tome takes the reader on a tour through seventeen centuries of sacral art, architecture, and culture, from the late antiquity to the middle ages, renaissance, baroque, art nouveau to works by contemporary artists such as Marc Chagall and Gerhard Richter. "
    Ahmed Moustafa
    • £77.69
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    This landmark study is the first comprehensive exploration of the Proportioned Script, an Arabic writing system attributed to the Abbasid wazir (minister) Ibn Muqla and the master scribe Ibn al-Bawwab that has dominated the art of Arabic and Islamic penmanship from the 10th century to the present day. Volume One, Sources and Principles of the Geometry of Letters, traces the origin of the Proportioned Script to the cross-cultural encounter between Greek learning and the scientific, artistic and philosophical pursuits of classical Islam. On the basis of instructions in surviving sources it identifies a grid module that serves as a common foundation for the design of all the Arabic letter shapes. In Volume Two, From Geometric Pattern to Living Form, the authors construct each of the letter shapes on the grid module and compare their findings to samples traced by two classical master scribes. They conclude by examining the religious, aesthetic and cosmological significance of the Proportioned Script in the wider context of the Islamic cultural heritage. Drs Moustafa and Sperl have succeeded in unearthing the very foundations of Arabic penmanship, with implications for the arts of Islam as a whole.
    Arne Glimcher
    • £77.79
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    Agnes Martin's career spanned over seven decades. Though a major influence on Minimalist painters, Martin saw her own work, more closely related to Abstract Expressionism, her paintings being 'meditations on innocence, beauty, happiness and love.' More than 130 of these works can be found in this book. Agnes Martin: Paintings, Writings, Remembrances is the first and only complete career retrospective of the visionary painter. This important and beautiful book brings together 130 of Martin's paintings and drawings, with her previously unpublished writings and lecture notes, which vividly illuminate her art. Letters and facsimiles are reprinted in Martin's own hand, and cut to notebook size, adding an element of intimacy for the reader. Pace Gallery founder, Arne Glimcher's illuminating introduction, his personal remembrances of visits to Martin at her studio, and their correspondence throughout her career, reveal much about the artist's life and work.