Top Thirteen Books to Understand the Contemporary Art

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Art has evolved over the years, the knowledge has developed and a need to understand all that is contemporary art will depend on how you read for it. Reading has always been praised for many reasons. Warren Buffet says that when he is looking for a gap about something, he learns all that is available and in that process, he can identify the gap. 

In the same way, reading for contemporary art can enable a person to identify the gaps in art and take advantage of those gaps to make a difference. You could be asking yourself what you need to read about and there is always where to get those answers. Below are the top 13 books that can enable you to understand contemporary art:

Into Words

With the subtitle, the selected writings of Carroll Dunham. This book was done Carroll Dunham and edited by Paul Chan. In this book, Carroll has gathered the reviews by Jasper Johns and Picasso about the films of Kara Walker. The book could be of help to lovers of culture and contemporary art.

 Tell Me Something Good

This is an art book from the David Zwirner Books collection. The book encapsulates about 60 artist interviews.  The book talks of renowned artists like Alex Da Corte and Richard Sierra. A keen look at the interviews opens up about the development of the storied art publication against the development of contemporary art discipline.

Leonardo da Vinci

A biographer Walter Isaacson is the brains behind this legendary book. Amongst many other bios he has done, Walter brings together pages of polymath's notebooks. Da Vinci is the greatest of artists in history. His works have crossed over to generations who still recognize his contribution to art, today is known as contemporary art; this book is hugely a motivation to today’s artists.

Interviews on Art

Historian Francesca Pietropaolo bases this book on a collection of discussions on art. The book encompasses many interviews on works of art by the best of the best of the past. In the book are also the pictures done by Robert Storr an artist, curator, and critic. Storr has been for a while the dean of the Yale School of Art. The book comprises of about sixty interviews done in the years between 1981 and 2016. The book motivated by Storr talks about how one can come up with an art show in today’s world of contemporary art.

How to See

Subtitled looking, talking, and thinking about art is a work of author David Salle in 2016. In the book, multiple pressing questions have been covered. The issues are mainly the way art inspires, informs and influences viewers. The explanations are quite easy to understand and can help build capacity on contemporary art. In the boo Salle has engaged contemporaries, including friends on matters art.


Interviews by Alain Elkann

This book was done in 2017. It is a collective work of Aby Rosen and David Adjaye. In the book, the two have a collection of how Elkann stresses about bravery. The book is majorly talking about interviews as a form of contemporary art. Elkann says that a brave journalist will repeat the same questions to get the same answers about the same issue without fear of irritating an influential person.

The Shift

Subtitled, the Art and the Rise to Power of Contemporary Collectors is a work of Marta Gnyp. The book talks about a shift of power to contemporary collectors. The book carries interviews of art collectors from all over the world and encapsulates what motivates those artists in life. The book also touches on the business of the art market and can be an addition to knowledge about that which drives the art market.


Also titled, The Conquest of Time is a work of Jed Perl.  The book is based on the letters and papers of a famous artist Alexander Calder. The book also comprises of interviews done by Jed Perl. Moreover, it carries images of some less known works of some artists and finally the strong relations between Calder and friends like Marchel Duchamp and Piet Mondrian.

Master of the Eclipse

This is a book of a famous poet and visual artist, Etel Adnan. The book demonstrates how visual art and poetry can work together. The world today has gone beyond words; there is a need to combine literature with images of contemporary art.

On to Gerhard Richter’s Wald

The world acknowledges Gerhard Richter's works. In the book, the writer recognizes Gerhard as the most prolific artist of this century. The writer also talks about Gerhard’s books of art and the difference they have brought to art. Gerhard is known for combining art and photography and is also famous for Vintage Wine Label, Chateau Mouton of France.

Do It: The Compendium

This book is the work of Hans Ulrich Obrist, a curator. In the book, Obrist talks about how he recruited about 60 well-known artists to be able to come up with knowledge about how to create and exhibit artworks. The book is believed to be a contribution to contemporary art and should miss on any artist’s shelf.

Creative Block

This book is the work of Danielle Krysa. The book is rich with the 50 most important strategies for doing creative blocks and seeking inspiration. In the book, any contemporary artist can find ideas from those in the game on how to deal with the challenge of the art world.

The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist

By Lisa Congdon talks about how the author, Congdon converted a passion for art into a full-time business. The book talks about career and art business development, amongst them facts about the world of art from drawing to selling to the legal part of the business.

These books will engage you in matters contemporary art, with them you can develop into a more professional artist who understands the business of art.