“My classes don’t provide enough reading material and now I have too much free time,” said no student, ever. “My classes provide a lot of theory-heavy texts that bear little relevance outside of academia,” says a lot of students, all the time. Or was it just us as students? Either way, as much as we enjoyed the readings provided by our professors, we wanted to share some books excluded from our uni reading lists that helped shed light on arts and culture that Foucault simply didn’t cover.
Aesthetica is a beautifully designed magazine available in print and digital, a worldwide destination for art and culture. Its in-depth features foreground today’s most innovative practitioners across art, design, photography, architecture, music and film.
Published ten times a year, Art Monthly keeps you in touch with the complex and ever-evolving art world through in-depth features, interviews with artists, an extensive reviews section, profiles on emerging artists and coverage of major trends and developments by independent critics.
David Balzar, Curationism
Tracing the history of curation from origin to buzzword to cult status, Curationism explains this phenomenon for the layperson and offers a solid contemporary introduction to the topic.
John Berger, Ways of Seeing
Based on the BBC television series of the same name, this seminal book continues to influence conversations surrounding visual culture today.
James Bridle, New Dark Age
A book for a new age, this lucid read by artist and writer James Bridle examines our relation to increasing technological complexity and the consequences of an unprecedented faith in data.
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.
From one of the co-founders of Pixar Animation Studios, this book is essential for business-minded individuals who understand the value of inspiration.
Elephant surveys the international cultural scene to provide quarterly publications that analyses life through art.
Adrian George, The Curator’s Handbook
A step-by-step guide on curation, this book maps out every stage of the process that builds toward an exhibition.
Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!
So you’ve made your masterpiece… now what? Addressing the hump that artist upon artist finds difficulty overcoming, this book turns the process of self-promotion into self-discovery.
Oli Mould, Against Creativity
What could be so bad about creativity when every head of department of every corporation is thirsty for it? Against the message that we’ve been sold, Mould shows that creativity is a barely hidden form of neoliberal appropriation that refuses to recognise anything that is not profitable.
Grayson Perry, Playing to the Gallery: Helping Contemporary Art in its Struggle to be Understood
Filled with delightful illustrations, this book highlights the author’s personal journey through the art world in a way that answers questions that you might have while avoiding any elitism.
Barry Schwabsky, Vitamin P3: New Perspectives in Painting
A documentation of contemporary paintings, this book gives an account of the trends and movements of this classical medium in our time, making both a great coffee table book and an insightful study of visual culture.
Don Thompson, The $12 Million Stuffed Shark: The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art
While art and commerce don’t always enjoy sharing a bed, the elusive beast of the contemporary art market is tamed ever so slightly in this book that looks at marketing strategies and the economics of the art world.
Sarah Thornton, Seven Days in the Art World
A fascinating sociological study of the art market, this book follows the author’s attempt at decoding the wills and whims of this world, from the excessively lavish collectors attending Art Basel to renowned artist Takashi Murakami’s studio in Japan.