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Art Books To Read In Quarantine


Because now’s the perfect time to start reading

Staying home is the new going out, and it means we now have A LOT of spare time on our hands. The days seem twice as long as they were pre-corona and many art enthusiasts may be at a loss when it comes to what to do with all those extra hours. Why not pick up a new book? While we can’t get to libraries or bookshops, most online outlets are still posting orders, making picking a new book that much easier. Reading is a great way to escape the realities of what is going on outside our windows, and it can also help top up your knowledge of the art world you so desperately miss. Here’s a list of books you might want to start with:

Modern Arab Art by Nada Shabout

Nada Shabout’s Modern Arab Art provides a historical and theoretical overview of modern art from the Arab world from the 1940s until today. The book negates the idea that Arab art is a timeless and exotic “other”, and is the perfect way to discover the Arab history in art from your couch.

Great Women Artists by Phaidon

Now here’s a book every feminist to have on their bookshelf! Published last year, Great Women Artists, crosses out the word “women”, reminding us that female artists are just as important as male artists, and that artists should not be defined by their gender. Featuring over 400 artists, spanning 500 years and more than 50 countries, the book presents each female artist with a key artwork and accompanying text.

Out Of This Century by Peggy Guggenheim

What better way to spend your time indoors than by reading art legend Peggy Guggenheim’s autobiography?! The book includes notes on her relationships with Jackson Pollock and Max Ernst, as well as her discovery of new artists. It’s a must read!

Boom by Michael Schnayerson

The subtitle to Michael Schnayerson’s book Boom is “Mad Money, Mega Dealers, and the Rise of Contemporary Art.” The book tells the story of the rise of the largest unregulated financial market in the world and the hard-nosed dealers who are behind it. Beginning in the 1940s, Schnayerson speaks with everyone from Larry Gagosian and David Zwirner to Andy Warhol and Cy Twombly, moving from 1950s artist studios to today’s Art Basel, quite simply a must-read!

The Art Of Love by Kate Bryan

Who doesn’t love a good art-fuelled love story? Kate Bryan’s The Art Of Love tells us about the romantic lives of our favourite couples from throughout art history. From Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera to Gilbert & George, Bryan documents everything: the short-live drama fuelled affairs and the long lasting relationships we all wish we had ourselves.

The Art Gorgeus