While the Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art is in full swing until next November, Icon-Icon has selected the essential books to capture this artistic movement in perpetual construction!
SPECIAL Contemporary Art: Fine Reference Books
From April until November 2022, the epicenter of contemporary art that is the city of Venice vibrates to the rhythm of the Contemporary Art Biennale. And around this event, each time decisive for the history of art, the greatest artists exhibit unpublished works.
But in this nebula that is contemporary art, it is difficult to grasp the actors, the mediums and the codes of this movement in perpetual construction. What is contemporary art? Who are the great artists who write its history? To allow each and everyone to grasp contemporary art in what it has most fascinating and relevant, Icon-Icon has compiled this exhaustive selection of beautiful books that shed a bright light on this movement.
And to look at it, this special selection of contemporary art enters the heart of the subject through the prism of the artists who paved the way, and those who write the present. From Frida Kahlo and Jean-Michel Basquiat to Jenny Saville, Jean-Michel Othoniel and Peter Doig, contemporary art is an aesthetic, political, economic adventure and ultimately the adventure of the very lives that have revolutionized the genre!
The Fine Books on Pioneering Artists of Contemporary Art…
In July 2021, Taschen published an XXL monograph that brings together the total work of Frida Kahlo. Also known as the painter who has transcended many statuses and pre-designed to open Mexican painting and culture towards universes free from the occidental norm is revealed!
A year earlier, it was the work of pioneer Jean-Michel Basquiat who found expression in a beautiful book signed Eleanor Nairne. Jean-Michel Basquiat XXLcaptures the rich and unique symbolism of Jean-Michel Basquiat. A work deciphered and translated here in a monograph where the great masterpieces of Basquiat are put in resonance with the music and the socio-political context of his time!
The other great artist, still alive, of contemporary art is none other than David Hockney. In 2021, the Thames Hudson publishing house published a book written by the painter — Savoirs Secrets, a book in which the iconic artist questions himself and seeks to unravel the secrets and techniques of painting… Going back a long way in the great history of art!
Fine Books on Contemporary Art Artists
But where contemporary art is more alive than ever, it is in the exhaustive range of practices that define it. starting with the polyvalent Jeff Koons.
Jeff Koons Mucem, published by Phaidon, is the catalogue of the exhibition held at Mucem. . Ce livre explore la juste mise en perspective de l’œuvre de Koons avec les objets de la vie de tous les jours !
The work, vision and aesthetics of Peter Doig, one of the world’s most acclaimed contemporary painters, are as rarely revealed in this book by Richard Shiff. A scholarly and complete work, published by the very beautiful publishing house Rizzoli.
Another major painter, Jenny Saville. The work of this key figure of the YBA, aka the Young British Artists, is revealed here in a very beautiful edition of the house Rizzoli. A book signed Richard Calvocoressi and Mark Stevens as a complete and completed monograph of this major artist of our time.
YBA patron figure Damien Hirst has recently revealed a new phase in his artistic production. Damien Hirst, Cherry Blossoms, is the catalogue of the event exhibition held at the Fondation Cartier in 2021. An exhibition that revealed a new and little-anticipated side of the contemporary art trublion that is Damien Hirst.
Yayoi Kusama ! One of the most hypnotising artist in the galaxy is revealed in this beautiful book by Taft Catherine dedicated to his vision, and his very personal and yet so universal approach to artistic expression!
His latest work currently visible in Venice, at theDoge’s Palace, Anselm Kiefer is a determining artist of contemporary art… Published in 2015, Dominique Baqué’s book is only the second monograph to be published on the artist. An important book, which brings together the work of Anselm Kiefer — the first plastic artist appointed holder of the chair of artistic creation at the Collège de France!
The most committed artist of contemporary art is none other than Ai Weiwei The history of China, from Mao to today, through the prism of the committed and scholarly artist Ai Weiwei is… Here is the beautiful book “1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows”, a fascinating dive into the history of the empire turned communist, sometimes very Orwellian…
Contemporary art is also what is sometimes summarised trivially as “street art”. Bansky is its guardian figure. Published in December 2020, Banksy, War and Spray is the only book validated by Bansky himself — the most famous, relevant and most importantly the most secret artist of the time!
The other great artist of this movement is none other than KAWS.
The bookWhat a Partypublished in 2021 by Phaidon Press, offers a comprehensive monograph on the work of KAWS, one of the most sought-after artists of our time — able to sign works for the Kim Jones Dior Fashion Show, and facilities for major contemporary art fairs, such as Art Basel.
Here are so many books of references, to offer or to be offered!