The Best Photography & Art Books of 2016

Share

Of course we all love our mobile devices and reading books on them is second nature to creating art but sometimes, we also really like to curl up with a really good traditional book with real paper. I have selected some of the very best photography and Art books released this year. I am sure any one of these, you would love to receive. Take a look and if you feel there are some others that I have missed, please add them to the comments below.

The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection

“Elton John’s truly remarkable collection of international modernist photography stems from personal passion: since 1991, he has amassed more than two thousand photographs, which include key figures from Europe and America alongside many of the foremost photographers from Japan, Eastern Europe and Latin America. This book draws together the finest works from 1920 to 1950, a period that is widely considered to be photography’s ‘coming of age’, a time of great experimentation and innovation when artists pushed the boundaries of the medium. New Vision refers to the term coined by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy in the mid 1920s to describe the way photography could be used to see the world through a modern lens. As new technology developed, it allowed the freedom both to experiment and to record, leading to new developments such as photograms, typographics and the bird’s- and worm’s eye views. This period also encompassed key avant-garde movements of the 20th century in which photography played a central role – dada, surrealism, the Bauhaus and Russian constructivism. With over 150 illustrations, an interview with Elton John exploring the motivations behind his collecting, and essays looking at the photographs within the history of modernism and an exploration of the impact of technical innovations on the form, New Vision will introduce a new audience to this unique body of work and provide an indispensable resource to those who are already fans of the period”.

£26/$40 Amazon

Hieronymus Bosch, Painter and Draughtsman: Catalogue Raisonne

Compiled by members of the Bosch Research and Conservation Project and published on the 500th anniversary of Hieronymus Bosch’s death, this is the definitive new catalogue of all of Bosch’s extant paintings and drawings. His mastery and genius have been redefined as a result of six years of research on the iconography, techniques, pedigree, and conservation history of his paintings and on his life. This stunning volume includes all new photography, as well as up-to-date research on the individual works. For the first time, the incredible creativity of this late medieval artist, expressed in countless details, is reproduced and discussed in this book. Special attention is being paid to Bosch as an image maker, a skilled draughtsman, and a brutal painter, changing the game of painting around 1500 by his innovative way of working”.

£90/$135 – Amazon

The Lightroom Mobile Book: How to extend the power of what you do in Lightroom to your mobile devices

“The Lightroom Mobile Book, first shows you how to get up and running quickly. Then, comes the fun stuff, like telling Lightroom on your computer which collections you want access to over in Lightroom Mobile. Plus, you’ll learn how to manage your collections, add Pick flags and star ratings, move images, play slide shows, and a bunch of other important stuff you’ll want to know right up front. Then, you’ll learn how to edit your images in Lightroom Mobile, using the same Basic panel features found in the desktop version of Lightroom–it’s the same sliders that do the same thing, and it’s even in the same order. You’ll also learn how to easily crop images, as well as use the in-app camera. You’ll learn step by step how to set up Lightroom on your desktop and mobile device, so that during a shoot, you can hand your client your tablet and not only can they see the images coming in live as you shoot, they can make their own Picks, comments, and even share the link with someone at a different location, so they can be part of the shoot, and the approval process, too!”

£12.76/$18.54 – Amazon

A Matter of Memory: Photography as Object in the Digital Age

The majority of photographic images today are recorded and viewed digitally, rather than on film and paper. Amateurs, photojournalists and commercial photographers alike rarely produce material objects as the final step in their photographic process, making photographs in the form of physical objects increasingly scarce.

But what happens to personal and collective memories when photographic images are not instantly accessible on the face of physical objects? How is society’s relationship to memory changing as digital photographs become the norm?

A number of contemporary artists are making work that suggests the potential consequences of photography’s latest metamorphosis. Two main strategies emerge: some artists dig deep into photographic materials as though searching for the locus of memory, and others incorporate found photographs into their work as virtual talismans of recollection. Both highlight the presence of the photographic object and function as self-conscious meditations on photography’s ongoing reorganisation of our mental and physical landscape.

A Matter of Memory features the work of more than 30 artists including Thomas Barrow, Matthew Brandt, Ellen Carey, John Chiara, Adam Fuss, Robert Heinecken, Leslie Hewitt, Kenneth Josephson, Laura Letinsky, Chris McCaw, Diane Meyer, Yola Monakhov Stockton, Vik Muniz, Floris Neusüss, Marlo Pascual, Matthew Porter, Taryn Simon, Michelle Stuart, Kunié Sugiura, Bertien van Manen, James Welling and Augusta Wood”.

$50/£39 – Amazon

Kitchen Table Series

“Kitchen Table Series is the first publication dedicated solely to this early and important body of work by the American artist Carrie Mae Weems. The 20 photographs and 14 text panels that make up Kitchen Table Series tell a story of one womans life, as conducted in the intimate setting of her kitchen. The kitchen, one of the primary spaces of domesticity and the traditional domain of women, frames her story, revealing to us her relationships with lovers, children, friends and her own sense of self, in her varying projections of strength, vulnerability, aloofness, tenderness, and solitude. As Weems describes it, this work of art depicts the battle around the family . . . monogamy . . . and between the sexes. Weems herself is the protagonist of the series, though the woman she depicts is an archetype. Kitchen Table Series seeks to reposition and reimagine the possibility of women and the possibility of people of colour, and has to do with, in the artists words unrequited love”.

£22.75/$32 – Amazon

Nan Goldin: Diving for Pearls

In her latest book, Diving for Pearls, Nan Goldin presents us with almost exclusively new, unpublished work. We are invited to contemplate the sense of magic and surprising abstractness exuding from unintentional photographic mistakes made with an analogue camera, such as double and triple exposures, or clip marks on the negatives. Following a loose narrative, we witness Goldin’s visceral intuitive style, driven by emotions reaching deep down in all of us. The book includes a new muse in Venice, cityscapes and animals, self-portraits, Venitian interiors, mirrors and gravestones. A true token of Goldin’s lifelong dedication to her friends is deeply portrayed by her pairing of their portraits with paintings of saints that she took in museums. The striking similarities between the contemporary and the archetypical verve of past beauty exert an intense dynamic on the viewer. Diving for Pearls was conceived as an independent artist book on the occasion of Goldin’s exhibition at Hannover’s Kestner Gesellschaft”.

£30.00/$30.84 – Amazon

Dali: Les Diners de Gala (Va)

Les diners de Gala is uniquely devoted to the pleasures of taste … If you are a disciple of one of those calorie-counters who turn the joys of eating into a form of punishment, close this book at once; it is too lively, too aggressive, and far too impertinent for you. Salvador Dalí

Food and surrealism make perfect bedfellows: Sex and lobsters, collage and cannibalism, the meeting of a swan and a toothbrush on a pastry case. The opulent dinner parties thrown by Salvador Dalí (1904 1989) and his wife and muse, Gala (1894 1982) were the stuff of legend. Luckily for us, Dalí published a cookbook in 1973, Les diners de Gala, which reveals some of the sensual, imaginative, and exotic elements that made up their notorious gatherings.

This reprint features all 136 recipes over 12 chapters, specially illustrated by Dalí, and organised by meal courses, including aphrodisiacs. The illustrations and recipes are accompanied by Dalí s extravagant musings on subjects such as dinner conversation: The jaw is our best tool to grasp philosophical knowledge.

All these rich recipes can be cooked at home, although some will require practiced skill and a well-stocked pantry. This is cuisine of the old school, with meals by leading French chefs from such stellar Paris restaurants as Lasserre, La Tour d Argent, Maxim s, and Le Train Bleu. Good taste, however voluptuous, never goes out of fashion. In making this exceptionally rare book available to a wide audience, TASCHEN brings an artwork, a practical cookbook, and a multi sensory adventure to today s kitchens.

£29/$35 – Amazon

A History of Pictures: From the Cave to the Computer Screen

A picture, says David Hockney, is the only way that we can communicate what we see. Here, in a collaboration with art critic Martin Gayford, he explores the many ways that artists have pictured the world, sharing sparkling insights and ideas that will delight every art lover and art maker. Readers who thrilled to Hockney’s Secret Knowledge know that he has an uncanny ability to get into the minds of artists. In A History of Pictures he covers far more ground, getting at the roots of visual expression and technique through hundreds of images—from cave paintings to frames from movies—that are reproduced. It’s a joyful celebration of one of humanity’s oldest impulses”.

£20.37/$26 – Amazon

Jitka Hanzlová: Horse

“In previous series, Czech photographer Jitka Hanzlová (born 1958) has explored the connections between individuals, their identities and their environments. In the body of work collected here, she turns her camera on horses. As art historian Jesus Carrillo Castillo has noted, horses are more familiar as images than as animals–so to recapture the physicality of the horse, and convey something of the visceral experience of being with these animals, Hanzlová zooms in on the details. She moves in close to her subjects, creating intimate color photographs of parts of horses, capturing the essence of these animals in the texture of their eyelashes, the fur on their ears or a piece of grass caught in a long tail. Beautifully produced in an oversized clothbound format, Jitka Hanzlová: Horse features a preface by John Berger”.

£51/$58 – Amazon

Mark Neville: Fancy Pictures

“Fancy Pictures brings together seven of Mark Neville’s socially engaged and intensely immersive projects from the last decade. Neville often pictures working communities in a collaborative process intended to be of direct, practical benefit to his subjects. The Port Glasgow Book Project (2004) is a book of his social documentary images of the Scottish town. Never commercially available, copies were given directly to all 8,000 residents. Deeds Not Words (2011) focuses on Corby, an English town that suffered serious industrial pollution. Neville produced a book to be given free to the environmental health services department of each of the 433 local councils in the UK. Battle Against Stigma and Helmand are both projects resulting from Neville’s time in Afghanistan. Two projects for the USA are also included. Invited by the Andy Warhol Museum in 2012, Neville examined social divisions in Pittsburgh, and the photo-essay Here is London, commissioned by The New York Times Magazine, echoes the style of the celebrated photographers who documented the boom and bust of the 1970s and ’80s”.

£40/$55 – Amazon

LIFE Farewell: Remembering the Friends we Lost in 2016

“Celebrating the people we lost in 2016, LIFE‘s commemorative collector’s edition gives an intimate look back at the lives of David Bowie, Prince, Harper Lee, Patty Duke—and many more. Featuring exclusive personal tributes from Tom Brokaw on Nancy Reagan, Susan Lucci on the creator of All My Children, Travis Tritt on Glenn Frey, Billy Ray Cyrus on Merle Haggard, Leslie Stahl on Morley Safer, Ray Romano on Doris Roberts, Mel Brooks on Gene Wilder, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Muhammed Ali”.

£9.99/$13.99 – Amazon

The Joy of iPhotography: Smart pictures from your smart phone

Forget all the tech-talk about workflow and archiving, Apple have given us all a camera that takes care of all this for us, so now it’s time to take great photos.

This book will show you the best ways to approach every possible subject with your iPhone, offering tips as clear and simple as the iPhone’s interface.

Additionally you’ll see some great effects that you won’t find in Instagram (but your followers will love)”.

£6.94/$12.99 – Amazon

Artrage!: The Story of the BritArt Revolution

“The Young British Artists (YBAs) stormed on to the contemporary art scene in 1988 with their attention-grabbing, ironic art. They exploded art-world conventions with brazen disdain. Dismissed as trivial gimmickry and praised for its witty energy, their art made a mark both on the art scene and on public consciousness that continues to reverberate today. Now, almost three decades after they emerged, Artrage! tells the story of the YBAs with the benefit of perspective, chronicling the group’s rise to prominence from the landmark show ‘Freeze’ curated by Damien Hirst, through the heyday of the 1990s and the notorious ‘Sensation’ exhibition, to the Momart fire of 2004 that seemed to symbolize the group’s fading from centre stage. The book ends with an update on the artists’ careers and fortunes in the last decade. Drawing on interviews with all the key BritArt players and extensive archival research, Elizabeth Fullerton examines the individual characters, their relationships to one another, crucial events and seminal artworks, considering, too, the political, economic and artistic context of those years. Plentiful quotations bring out the distinctive personalities and provide fresh insights into the people and the period. Among the artists discussed are Damien Hirst, Rachel Whiteread, Tracey Emin, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Sarah Lucas and Gary Hume”.

£19.96/$23.86 – Amazon

Justine Kurland: Highway Kind

“Justine Kurland, known for her utopian photographs of American landscapes and their fringe communities, has spent the better part of the last twelve years on the road. Following in the photographic lineage of Robert Frank, Stephen Shore, and Joel Sternfeld, Kurland’s work examines the story of Americaand the idea of the American dream juxtaposed against the reality. Her deep interest in the road, the western frontier, escape, and ways of living outside mainstream values pervade this stunning and important body of work. Since 2004, Kurland and her young son, Casper, have traveled in their customised van, going south in the winter and north in the summer, her life as an artist and mother finely balanced between the need for routine and the desire for freedom and surprise. Casper’s interestsparticularly in trains, and later in carsand those he befriends along the way often determine Kurland’s subject matter. He appears at different ages in the work, against open vistas and among the subcultures of train-hoppers and drifters around them. Kurland’s vision is in equal parts raw and romantic, idyllic and dystopian. From highly symbolic pictures of trains moving across epic landscapes to allegorical depictions of mechanics and muscle cars, this book features the full scope of her road workfrom her series This Train is Bound for Glory, to her most recent, Sincere Auto Care”.

£35/$39 – Amazon

Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies

Mad Enchantment tells the full story behind the creation of the Water Lilies, as the horrors of World War I came ever closer to Paris and Giverny, and a new generation of younger artists, led by Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, were challenging the achievements of Impressionism. By early 1914, French newspapers were reporting that Monet, by then 73 and one of the world s wealthiest, most celebrated painters, had retired his brushes. He had lost his beloved wife, Alice, and his eldest son, Jean. His famously acute vision–what Paul Cezanne called “the most prodigious eye in the history of painting”–was threatened by cataracts. And yet, despite ill health, self-doubt, and advancing age, Monet began painting again on a more ambitious scale than ever before. Linking great artistic achievement to the personal and historical dramas unfolding around it, Ross King presents the most intimate and revealing portrait of an iconic figure in world culture–from his lavish lifestyle and tempestuous personality to his close friendship with the fiery war leader Georges Clemenceau, who regarded the Water Lilies as one of the highest expressions of the human spirit”.

£20.70/$20.02 – Amazon

Little North Road: Africa in China

“Little North Road is a photographic collaboration that looks at a pedestrian bridge in the middle of Guangzhou. The bridge serves as a symbolic gateway into China from Africa. At the heart of this book is a selection of images collected from two Chinese itinerant portrait photographers, Wu Yong Fu and Zeng Xian Fang. Equipped with digital cameras, they have made a living making portraits for Africans who wanted a memento of their time in China. Daniel Traub’s photographs explore the broader dynamics of the area and provide a context through which to look at the work of Wu and Zeng.

As China’s power and reach have grown, it has become a new center of gravity pulling people from remote lands. Guangzhou has become a magnet for Africans and other groups who have come in search of opportunity and to trade in the goods produced in the Pearl River Delta. Recent developments, however, call into question whether this cosmopolitanism is an inevitable part of China’s future or a moment that has already passed”.

£30/$34 – Amazon

Donating = Loving = TheAppWhisperer.com

Bringing you (ad-free) TheAppWhisperer.com takes hundreds of hours each month and hundreds of pounds to sustain. If you find any joy and stimulation here, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, or possibly making a one-time donation. This is a not for profit website and one that can only grow with your support.

JavaScript is not enabled. You must enable JavaScript to use this form.

Donation Information

I would like to make a donation in the amount of:

£1,000£500£200£100£50£20£10£5Other

I would like this donation to automatically repeat each month

Donor Information

Please do not display my name publicly. I would like to remain anonymous
Add me to your mailing list

Related Post

1 thought on “The Best Photography & Art Books of 2016

Leave a Comment

Skip to toolbar