A Few of My Favorite Coffee Table Art Books
I enjoy books on art, obviously. But when they're large with a hardcover, and feature high-quality full pages of artworks, I can't refuse. Coffee table books in themselves are a work of design, so building a collection is a good idea for the aesthetically-inclined. Not only do these books look good on the table, they are full of great information, context, illustrations, and photographs that can also act as conversation-starters. I've included some of the books I love.
Note: These books often tend to be expensive, so it's also always possible to explore a public library, and create temporary rotations of curated book collections (I've borrowed a few of these books from the Smithsonian Libraries).
Joan Mitchell by Klaus Kertess
A great choice for those into abstract art. Mitchell was a leading gestural painter and forced her way into the male-dominated art scene. Mitchell's work can spark discussion on abstract expressionism as well as feminism.
Jean Michel Basquiat: Now's The Time by Dieter Buchhart
One of my all-time favorite artists, Basquiat has become one of the most celebrated neo-expressionists in art history. His work deals with race, politics, language, and social culture. His style is distinct and invigorating, and is a great starting point for discussions surrounding race politics and street art culture.
Gerhard Richter: Large Abstracts by Gregor Stemmrich
Richter is an artist known for subverting the binary of photography and painting. His abstract work (which often begins as the obscuring of a photograph) has become unmistakable. His work questions form and medium, as well as reflects his philosophy on reality and perspective.
Modigliani: Beyond the Myth by Mason Klein
I've always been fascinated by Amadeo Modigliani's work, as my grandmother used to always replicate his paintings. He is known for his sexually-charged nudes and his distinct, elongated portraiture style. This book goes into his history and influences, and is a great read for anyone who is particularly interested in the artist.
Henri Matisse by A. Izerghina
Another one of my all-time favorites, Matisse is known for his fauvist works. His paintings are colorful, atmospheric, and harmonious. Extremely influential, Matisse was a master of color and form.
Mark Bradford: Tomorrow is Another Day by Katy Siegel
Bradford's choice of medium, paper and found objects, is a testament to his dedication to the social exploration of the material world. He uses abstraction as a way to involve viewers and spark discussions. A politically-driven artist, Bradford's work often examines history, as well as the societal effects of race and class.
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