Not everyone can be an art historian, critic or theorist, even if you actually studied art history. The Fine Arts field is a highly dynamic and ever changing arena. There is always something new to explore, always something new to learn. Art history is much broader than the Renaissance where even the most learned scholars who have devoted their entire lives and careers to it’s study are daunted. From there is can be argued that art is essential, innate to the human experience. The creation and appreciation of art can be traced back to man’s earliest history. There is a fundamental quality about artistic endeavors. Humans are compelled to pursue creativity. Art, of course, is a somewhat over-broad term that encompasses the entirety of all human creations. We could include non homosapiens in our discussion, as in painting elephants. We will, however, stick to people and people creating fine art.
Narrowing our focus to this spectrum still leaves us with a full plate. March is All Things Art month because Bookmans people tend to be rather ‘arty’. Not only are many, many of our employees artists of multiple types, our customers are as well. Our shelves (and Event Calendar) are filled with all manner of how to guides, art history texts, theory and genre examinations, glorious full color plate filled compendiums and art related events. We will be focusing on that later group today, giving you a brief overview of some of the titles that caught our eye. Just note that even if we wrote a new review everyday for Art Month we would never come close to covering even half of the brilliant Art titles Bookmans displays. So let’s get started with a feast for the eyes and the mind; recommends of Art titles for All Things Art month!
Let’s start at the beginning (or at least ONE of the beginnings…) with a basic Usborne Introduction to Modern Art, Internet Linked, by Rosie Dickins. True, with this particular ‘beginning’ we are stepping over not only Egyptian, Aboriginal, Primitive, and Indigenous art as well as the entire Renaissance, but Modern Art exploration will give us a language and grounding in the artwork that is currently all around us in architecture, advertising and many galleries. This title is excellent because it gathers examples from some of the most famous art houses, museums and collections around the globe including the National Gallery, London, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Guggenheim Museum, New York and the Orsay Museum, Paris and others. It was written in consultation with art historian Tim Marlow and is Internet-Linked. Internet-Linked means the work contains websites and links that can aid you in your learning, taking you deeper into any particular movement or artist.
Next is Art Beyond Isms by Eliza E. Rathbone and Johanna Halford-MacLeod. This work is subtitled Masterworks from El Greco to Picasso. Both works include full color plates of the original works.  The 20th Century Artbook by Phaidon is a nifty pocketbook sized concise, alphabetical compendium of 20th century artists. This also includes color plates but it’s text in highly condensed and to the point which makes it perfect for the traveling student.
Specific artists and genres have the floor beginning with The Lady in Gold by Anne Marie O’Connor. One of the most famous and best loved artists of our time, Gustav Klimtz, is profiled and his masterwork The Lady in Gold is chronicled. Learn the true details of this iconic work and it’s muse, model Adele Bloch-Bauer.
For those whose tastes run to the eclectic grab Smart-Phone Art by Sergio Zuniga. This slim volume is one part R-rated comic book, one part modern art and one part irreverent adult humor.
Art Tiles is one volume in the Lark Studio Series. This miniature hard back covers the work of mulitple artists working in the varied genre of tile art. Blaine Fontana, Jean-Marc Bustamante and Brandon Boyd all published works covering their unique and individual styles of artwork.
Last we cover Graffiti NYC by Martinez and Nato with Prestel publishing. This photo essay covers the vibrant underground world of graffiti in the Big Apple. Text accompanies the photos which gives the works and those who do it a voice.
No matter what type of art you prefer, Bookmans has lots of materials to help you explore it. What we really recommend however is that you amble into our Art Cube and choose some at random, learn about the infinite, rich, expressive, varied and endlessly fascinating world of art.