Art Theory and Criticism
Featured Items
Living Materials
Living Materials
Paperback      ISBN: 0520064526

Every material has an active presence and every material is susceptible to change. The task of the sculptor is to understand the natural properties of a chosen material, to know in the process of creation how best to work with, or against, its characteristics. In this generously illustrated studio manual, sculptor Oliver Andrews takes a new approach to sculpture, focusing on how the innate assertiveness of materials affects the complex act of making a sculpture.

The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War
The Rape of Europa
The Fate of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War
Paperback      ISBN: 0679756868
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award

The real story behind the major motion picture The Monuments Men. The cast of characters includes Hitler and Goering, Gertrude Stein and Marc Chagall--not to mention works by artists from Leonardo da Vinci to Pablo Picasso. And the story told in this superbly researched and suspenseful book is that of the Third Reich's war on European culture and the Allies' desperate effort to preserve it.

From the Nazi purges of "Degenerate Art" and Goering's shopping sprees in occupied Paris to the perilous journey of the Mona Lisa from Paris and the painstaking reclamation of the priceless treasures of liberated Italy, The Rape of Europa is a sweeping narrative of greed, philistinism, and heroism that combines superlative scholarship with a compelling drama.
Learning to Look: A Handbook for the Visual Arts
Learning to Look
A Handbook for the Visual Arts
2nd Edition    Paperback      ISBN: 0226791548

Sometimes seeing is more difficult for the student of art than believing. Taylor, in a book that has sold more than 300,000 copies since its original publication in 1957, has helped two generations of art students "learn to look."

This handy guide to the visual arts is designed to provide a comprehensive view of art, moving from the analytic study of specific works to a consideration of broad principles and technical matters. Forty-four carefully selected illustrations afford an excellent sampling of the wide range of experience awaiting the explorer.

The second edition of Learning to Look includes a new chapter on twentieth-century art. Taylor's thoughtful discussion of pure forms and our responses to them gives the reader a few useful starting points for looking at art that does not reproduce nature and for understanding the distance between contemporary figurative art and reality.
Signs and Symbols in Christian Art: With Illustrations from Paintings from the Renaissance
Signs and Symbols in Christian Art
With Illustrations from Paintings from the Renaissance
Paperback      ISBN: 0195014324

First published in 1954 and having gone through several editions, this comprehensive book remains the authoritative source in the study of symbols in Christian art. This paperback edition includes all of the three hundred fifty illustrations from the original edition, as well as the complete and unabridged text, revealing . the symbolism inherent in representations of religious personages, the Earth and Sky, animals, birds, insects, and flowers. In addition to a discussion of objects treated symbolically in Christian art, George Ferguson explores Old Testament characters and events and their symbolic representation in art. In addition to a discussion of objects treated symbolically in Christian art, George Ferguson explores Old Testament characters and events and their symbolic representation in art.

Kings & Connoisseurs: Collecting Art in Seventeenth-Century Europe
Kings & Connoisseurs
Collecting Art in Seventeenth-Century Europe
Hardcover      ISBN: 069104497x

Old master paintings are now considered to be the most valuable and prestigious of the visual arts, and the best examples command the highest prices of any luxury commodity. In this series of lectures Jonathan Brown tells in vivid detail the story of the rise of painting to this exalted status. The result is an exciting narrative of greed and passion, played out against a background of international politics and intrigue. This book, which is an essay in cultural and art history, is completed by a postscript showing why important old master paintings have now virtually disappeared from the art market.


The transformation of painting from an inexpensive to a costly art form reached a crucial stage in the royal courts of Europe in the seventeenth century, where rulers and aristocrats assembled huge collections, often in short periods of time. Brown traces this process in Madrid, Paris, London, and Brussels, beginning with the dispersal of the great English collections in the aftermath of the Civil War, including those of Charles I, the Earl of Arundel, and the Dukes of Buckingham and Hamilton. Hundreds of great pictures were all at once available to continental collectors and were acquired by Cardinal Jules Mazarin, Louis XIV of France, Archduke Leopold William of Austria, and Philip IV of Spain, as well as lesser-known collectors, including Everhard Jabach and Luis de Haro. Through comparative analysis of collecting and collectors at these courts, Brown explains the formation of new attitudes toward pictures, as well as the mechanisms that supported the enterprise of collecting, including the emergence of the art dealer, the development of connoisseurship, and the publication of sumptuous picture books of various collections.

An American Vision: Three Generations of Wyeth Art : N.D. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, James Wyeth
An American Vision
Three Generations of Wyeth Art : N.D. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, James Wyeth
Paperback      ISBN: 0821216562

Briefly traces the careers of all three Wyeths, shows a selection of their work, and discusses their approach to painting

Walker Evans: The Collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Walker Evans
The Collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Paperback      ISBN: 0816643717

Associate curator of photography at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, describe Evans's photographic vision and include fascinating information about the acquisition history of many of the photographs in this book. Illustrated with almost one hundred high-quality black-and-white photographs, Walker Evans presents the full breadth of Evans's expansive and varied photographic art.

Blue Note: Album Cover Art
Blue Note
Album Cover Art
Paperback      ISBN: 0811836886

Smaller in trim size, greatly expanded in content, this compendium of Chronicles classic "Blue Note" books (50,000 copies sold) is now an appealingly chunky paperback. Blue Note remains one of the most influential jazz labels of all time, and its cover art is a virtual time-capsule of cool. Now comprehensive, " Blue Note: Album Cover Art" gathers nearly 400 of the legendary covers, spanning the 40s to the 70s, and features the greatest work of legendary Blue Note art director Reid Miles. Simple and sophisticated, moody and alluring, these covers continue to influence designers and excite jazz aficionados today. "One glance," as "Esquire" said of the original edition, "and youll know where the essence of cool remains."

Air Guitar: Essays on Art and Democracy
Air Guitar
Essays on Art and Democracy
Paperback      ISBN: 0963726455

The 23 essays (or "love songs") that make up the now classic volume Air Guitar trawl a "vast, invisible underground empire" of pleasure, through record stores, honky-tonks, art galleries, jazz clubs, cocktail lounges, surf shops and hot-rod stores, as restlessly on the move as the America they depict. Air Guitar pioneered a kind of plain-talking in cultural criticism, willingly subjective and always candid and direct. A valuable reading tool for art lovers, neophytes, students and teachers alike, Hickey's book--now in its eighth printing--has galvanized a generation of art lovers, with new takes on Norman Rockwell, Robert Mapplethorpe, Stan Brakhage, Andy Warhol and Perry Mason. In June 2009, Newsweek voted Air Guitar one of the top 50 books that "open a window on the times we live in, whether they deal directly with the issues of today or simply help us see ourselves in new and surprising ways," and described the book as "a seamless blend of criticism, personal history, and a deep appreciation for the sheer nuttiness of American life."

Dave Hickey (born 1939) is one of today's most revered and widely read art writers. He has written for Rolling Stone, Art News, Art in America, Artforum and Vanity Fair among many others.
Concerning the Spiritual in Art
Concerning the Spiritual in Art
Paperback      ISBN: 0486234118

A pioneering work in the movement to free art from its traditional bonds to material reality, this book is one of the most important documents in the history of modern art. Written by the famous nonobjective painter Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), it explains Kandinsky's own theory of painting and crystallizes the ideas that were influencing many other modern artists of the period. Along with his own groundbreaking paintings, this book had a tremendous impact on the development of modern art.
Kandinsky's ideas are presented in two parts. The first part, called "About General Aesthetic," issues a call for a spiritual revolution in painting that will let artists express their own inner lives in abstract, non-material terms. Just as musicians do not depend upon the material world for their music, so artists should not have to depend upon the material world for their art. In the second part, "About Painting," Kandinsky discusses the psychology of colors, the language of form and color, and the responsibilities of the artist. An Introduction by the translator, Michael T. H. Sadler, offers additional explanation of Kandinsky's art and theories, while a new Preface by Richard Stratton discusses Kandinsky's career as a whole and the impact of the book. Making the book even more valuable are nine woodcuts by Kandinsky himself that appear at the chapter headings.
This English translation of ber das Geistige in der Kunst was a significant contribution to the understanding of nonobjectivism in art. It continues to be a stimulating and necessary reading experience for every artist, art student, and art patron concerned with the direction of 20th-century painting.