New Bridget Riley biography and other painting related books

Here we’re concentrating on the theme of painting and we’re really excited to announce this new title, which should be coming in to stock at the warehouse and available to purchase in the next few days: Bridget Riley: A Very, Very Person. The Early Years is the first biography written on this iconic British artist. It charts her sudden success when in the 1960s, over a 3-year period, she went from total unknown to New York art sensation and even featured on the cover of Vogue. It focuses on her wartime childhood, her struggles, her personal crisis and compellingly tells the story of this remarkable woman during her early years as an artist. It is written by Paul Moorhouse, Senior Curator at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The biography is very timely as later this year (opening 23 October 2019) there is a Bridget Riley retrospective at Hayward Gallery in London.

Want to dig deeper? We really want to encourage you to explore our list of amazing titles that we have the pleasure to distribute, so here are some other titles to highlight that might just whet your appetite for further investigation. Hopefully also proving at the same time that painting isn’t old hat and showing that it keeps re-inventing itself in order to keep being expressive and relevant.

If you haven’t already, and if you get chance, do head over to Victoria Miro Gallery in Mayfair, London to go and see Chantal Joffe’s self-portraits (ends 16 May 2019). For a whole year she challenged herself to paint a self-portrait every day, and this is the fascinating result: Chantal Joffe: The Front of My Face.

Monique Frydman’s painting is abstract, vibrant and colourful. Her process involves a technique called frottage where she uses an unstretched canvas placed over string or cord, with pastels and pigments then added to produce the effect of very soft lines. The book was conceived for this French artist’s first public UK show which took place at Parasol Unit, London in 2017.

Alice Neel spent five decades living in Upper Manhattan, New York and is well known for her portraits of friends, neighbours, family and local characters, as well as those of artists, writers and poets. Alice Neel: Uptown was produced to accompany an exhibition that was curated by Hilton Als for Victoria Miro, London and David Zwirner, New York in 2017.

Michael Craig-Martin: Transcience  takes an art historical perspective to Michael Craig-Martin’s work, looking at the appearance of certain objects within his work. Is it drawing or painting? Or both? (We’ve decided both.) In this book there’s a conversation with Liam Gillick on how technological invention has shaped his choices of object-subject, plus an essay by Alice Rawsthorn on the survival or demise of certain items, mirroring a sort of Darwinian selection, but of everyday objects.

In 2016 Liu Xiaodong did a month-long artistic residency in Qatar, and this book, Liu Xiaodong: The Position of the Moon and Stars (+DVD), is a document of his thoughts, studies and paintings of his time there. Nine groups of landscape paintings were completed, each one selected according to its geographic co-ordinates, in order to make the shape of a star and crescent across the countryside.

Painting, Process and Expansion was produced alongside an exhibition at MUMOK in 2010, but it’s theme is still relevant right now – that painting as an artistic medium and process is flexible. It manages to reinvent itself time and time again. It considers how painting acts as a discursive medium, with its ongoing artistic development being partially determined by its protagonists and opponents.

Probably best known for his landscapes and paintings of the sea, Emil Nolde also painted his canine friends. Emil Nolde: Dogs shows the importance of these creatures to his and his wife’s everyday life. A dog also had an important role to play in their love story: Walking her dog in Copenhagen was how Ada met Emil, the poor artist, and they eventually fell in love.

How about Peter Joseph: Paintings 2015 – 2017 ? Joseph usually paints within self-imposed frames, and is well known for his two-colour, tonal canvasses. However, more recently (and here) he splits the canvas into two planes and uses a looser brushwork and more natural tones. As Joseph says: ‘A painting must generate feeling otherwise it is dead… The aspiration is to find that moment when feeling is not just emotional expression, but is transformed into a value.’ 

Lubaina Himid: Workshop Manual is the first monograph on this Turner Prize winning artist who uses painting in her practice. Her work concentrates on her feelings of belonging as a black person. This title was published after her major exhibitions at Spike Island (Bristol), Harris Museum and Art Gallery (Preston) and Walker Art Gallery (Liverpool) in 2017/18.

Sculpture in Painting: The Representation of Sculpture in Painting from Titian to the Present explores the relationship between painting and sculpture from the 1500s to the present day. What is the difference and connection – the relationship –  between art that takes a two-, or three-dimensional approach?

Early Mondrian: Painting 1900 – 1905 concentrates on Mondrian’s early career and his figurative landscape paintings, made primarily in Amsterdam at the turn of the 20th Century. This marked his last decade of engaging with figurative painting, where he can be seen to explore the inter-relationship between colour and space. Was this the forming of a basis for his later abstract works?

In 2017 Victoria Miro Gallery held its first exhibition of Milton Avery’s work after it announced its post-humous representation of this influential 20th Century artist. This book was created alongside: Milton Avery. According to an essay by Royal Academy Curator Edith Devaney, Avery became the link between American Impressionism and Abstract Expressionism. She believes his sophisticated understanding of colour was passed on to Rothko and Newman.

Painting is just one part of the process when Korean artist Hyon Gyon creates her works. She often combines this together with traditional Korean textiles and Japanese paper to create her explosive, energetic works. Her first European solo exhibition was shown at Parasol Unit earlier this year. So if you missed it, this book, simply entitled Hyon Gyon, gives you a great insight into this artist’s oeuvre.

That should hopefully give you an insight into the treasures to be found when you further investigate our list of over 4000 different titles. You can browse our titles using keywords, artists, authors, publishers and subject category. Have a go, you never know what you might find lurking in the warehouse.

Image taken from book cover, Robert Kudielka on Bridget Riley, Ridinghouse (c) Bridget Riley



Posted on 30th April 2019
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