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Art & Art History

Suggested Resources

Books on Painting

What Painting Is

Unlike many books on painting that usually talk about art or painters, James Elkins compelling and original work focuses on alchemy, for like the alchemist, the painter seeks to transform and be transformed by the medium. In What Painting Is, James Elkins communicates the experience of painting beyond the traditional vocabulary of art history. Alchemy provides a magical language to explore what it is a painter really does in her or his studio - the smells, the mess, the struggle to control the uncontrollable, the special knowledge only painters hold of how colours will mix, and how they will look. Written from the perspective of a painter-turned-art historian, What Painting Is is like nothing you have ever read about art. "

Painting Now

Painting is a continually expanding and evolving form of creative expression whose ongoing relevance is here convincingly asserted by renowned critic and art historian Suzanne Hudson. Her book offers an original survey of contemporary work - a critical snapshot that brings together more than 200 artists from around the world who are defining the painterly ideas and aesthetics of our time. The introduction maps out the history of painting in the modern and postmodern eras, followed by six chapters that offer a wideranging thematic analysis of the field, addressing such ideas as appropriation, attitude, production and distribution, the body, painting about painting, and painters who introduce performance, installation and textiles into their work to critique painting itself.

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Landscape Painting Now

From fantastical worlds to political topologies: a global survey of landscape painting in the 21st century Although the fact may be surprising to some, landscape painting is positively thriving in the 21st century--indeed, the genre has arguably never felt as vital as it does today. The reasons why, if speculative, surely include our imminent environmental collapse and increasingly digitally mediated existence. Landscape Painting Now is the first book of its kind to take a global view of its subject, featuring more than eighty outstanding contemporary artists--both established and emerging--whose ages span seven decades and who hail from twenty-five different countries.

Vitamin P3 : new perspectives in painting

At last - the next instalment in the popular Vitamin series - the world's hottest painters, selected by international experts Since the publication of the first Vitamin P in 2002, painting has continued to evolve and excite, with new generations responding to its historic importance and taking it in unexpected directions. A central pillar of artistic practice, painting also has enduring appeal, dominating the art market. Vitamin P3 takes the conversation forward, spotlighting more than 100 outstanding artists who are engaging with - and pushing the boundaries of - the medium of paint.

Books on Materials and Techniques

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The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques

Since 1940, when it was originally published,The Artist's Handbookhas been indispensable for thousands of practicing artists and art students. The book has remained continuously in print through many editions and has some more than a quarter of a million copies. It is, asAmerican Artist Magazinecalls it, the "artist's bible," an invaluable reference for the painter, sculptor, and printmaker. 

The Painter's Methods and Materials

The mediums used in painting -- The written evidence on early painting methods in oil -- Wood panels and paper -- Priming of panels and canvas -- The pigments used in painting -- The behaviour of white light -- Colour and the prism -- Linseed oil, walnut oil, and poppy oil -- The optical properties of oil -- How to paint oil pictures -- Balsams, resins, varnishes, etc. -- How to paint in tempera -- Emulsions -- Fresco painting -- Modern methods of fresco painting -- Other methods of wall painting -- Preservation and cleaning of pictures.

Artist's Pigments

Now distributed by Oxford University Press for the National Gallery of Art, Artists' Pigments is the first and most complete handbook of its kind. Volume 1 looks at Indian yellow; cobalt yellow (aureolin); barium sulfate; cadmium yellows, oranges, and reds; red lead and minium; green earth; zinc white; chrome yellow and other chromate pigments; lead antimonate yellow; and carmine.