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To get the ball rolling I have a few I like:
The Life of Isamu Noguchi: Journey Without Borders by Masayo Duus, just started it seems to be good, biography
Greenberg, Clement. Art and Culture, basically abstract expressionist theory, pompous but worth it.
The Lives of the Artists, Giorgio Vasari, REALLY good pair of books biographies from Cimabuie to Michealangelo, first time in history anyone thought the artist was worth documenting.
Albers, Joseph, Interaction of Color, best explanation of how color works how to mix gradiants, reactive color, optical mixing, etc.
Wassily Kandinsky, Concerning The Spiritual in Art, recommended by a friend I'll have to get back to you on this one.
Art and Illusion
A study in the psychology of pictorial representation
1. Every art history book that I ever looked at had a photo of Michelangelo's Pieta. I was never particularly impressed. When I finally got to the Vatican and saw the thing itself, it literally brought me to my knees.
2. I had seen pictures of Mark Rothko's paintings in many art books as well. I didn't even like them. I walked into the Rothko Chapel on the campus of Rice University in Houston, Texas, one day in 1974, expecting to find less than nothing, just another High Art hoax. My reaction was both overwhelming and totally unexpected. I literally wept, much as I also did years later when I saw the Van Goghs in Munich, and Michaelangelo’s “Pieta” in the Vatican.
It’s a total cliche whenever one meets another painter who’s mad about Rothko. Sooner or later, the question of, “Did you cry in the Chapel?” comes up. It’s very corny but most of us did shed a tear. You have to see it for yourself, It’s quite a rush, the paintings are about 15 feet tall, mostly in blues, browns, and blacks. The emotional impact is quite something, hard to describe, you just have to go there some day and see for yourself. No photograph could ever do it justice.
My favorite art theory book is called Art? No Thing!: Analogies Between Art, Science and Philosophy by Fre Ilgen. It introduces some very interesting ways to view and think about art.
Rebus by James Jean
Reflections: David Mack Art Book
The Art of Neal Adams
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