Noble-Winged Seraphs: On Nabokov’s Butterfly Illustrations

Soon after Vladimir Nabokov arrived in the United States in 1940, he secured a job at the Museum of Natural History studying insects. His job entailed arduous, 14-hour days craning over microscopes and sketches of butterfly anatomy. The work strained … Read More

A Book About Colab (And Related Activities), 2016. COURTESY PRINTED MATTER

Gang of New York: Printed Matter Revisits the Colab Group in a New Book

“We were a gang of young artists who had nothing to lose, and as a result we had the power to accomplish anything that we could think of.” This the gadabout artist and writer Walter Robinson declares in his introduction … Read More


Clear History: Boris Groys Tackles Art in the Age of the Internet

Boris Groys’s latest book of essays, In the Flow (Verso Books), has been marketed as being about art on the Internet. This is deceptive. For one thing, Groys’s definition of “art on the Internet” refers not to net art, digital … Read More

Henri Matisse, The Dance, 1932–33, oil on canvas, installation view. PHOTO: ©2016 THE BARNES FOUNDATION; ART: ©2016 SUCCESSION H. MATISSE/ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK

Matisse in All His Glory: New Tome Chronicles the Artist’s Work at the Barnes Foundation

It’s easy to fall in love with a painting by Henri Matisse. It’s more difficult to explain what makes a Matisse great. The best and brightest have tried. Scores of scholars, curators, and critics have published copiously illustrated books and … Read More


A Nightclub Goddess Dishes on Her Life: Grace Jones Finally Wrote Her Memoirs

The title of Grace Jones’s memoir, I’ll Never Write My Memoirs (Gallery Books), is lifted from the first line of her song “The Art Groupie,” off side two of her fifth album, Nightclubbing. You can’t go through life without breaking … Read More


Unhappy Thoughts: Gary Indiana Gets Personal In New Memoir

“Reality is, for the most part, a great disappointment,” Gary Indiana writes in his new memoir I Can Give You Anything But Love (Rizzoli Ex Libris). This epiphany comes when Indiana is flipping through a book of Annie Leibovitz’s photography … Read More

Books Features
The New York Printed Matter Book Fair, 2014.COURTESY PRINTED MATTER

Bookish: On the Art World’s Publishing Boom

One morning last spring Julia Joern and Todd Bradway were sitting in a Manhattan townhouse discussing David Zwirner Books. The year-old enterprise is the latest addition to Zwirner’s fast-growing gallery, which now encompasses 80,000 square feet of space in New … Read More


Being a Good Critic in a Bad World: Hal Foster and the Avant-Garde

The title of Hal Foster’s new book Bad New Days: Art, Criticism, Emergency is drawn from an oft-quoted maxim of Bertolt Brecht’s: “Don’t start with the good old days, but the bad new ones.” Contending that the last 25 years … Read More

Artists Books
Pages from Skin & Bone, issue one.COURTESY SKIN & BONE

‘The Human Body Is Very Raw’: An Interview With Skin & Bone Magazine

In a new small-format (5½ by 8 inches) magazine called Skin & Bone, photographers Philip Campbell and Brandon Shade explore the male form—all of its nooks and crannies included. The volume, which has the polished feel of an artist book, includes images they each shot … Read More

Artists Books News

Glenn Ligon Names His Ten Favorite Books, Includes ‘Citizen’ Among Them

Aaron Hicklin has been asking people to name their favorite books in an ongoing T magazine feature, and the series’s most recent installment has the American conceptual artist Glenn Ligon revealing what’s on his bookshelf.Considering Ligon’s interest in race and politics, it’s not … Read More


Grapes of Wrath: How a California Road Trip Made an Artist Out of Andy Warhol

In 1963, Andy Warhol drove from New York to Los Angeles with his friends Wynn Chamberlain, Gerard Melanga, and Taylor Mead. Deborah Davis’s new book, The Trip (Simon & Schuster), an examination of this cross-country journey, argues that the brief … Read More

Books Reviews

In a New Book With an Unprintable Title, Seth Price Considers the Art World, Aesthetics, Murder

This week New Yorker critic Peter Schjeldahl offered some pretty sensible advice to all those who are maddened by the obscene action in today’s high-flying art market: chill out. “Sensing that people will one day look back on this era as … Read More

Artists Books News
Pages from a comic book by Art Green, as published in. COURTESY MATTHEW MARKS GALLERY

1,000 Miles From Normal: The Hairy Who Artists on Their Comic Books and Their Countercultural Energy

Five of the six members talk art, history at Matthew Marks Read More

Artists Books
Agnes Martin, Friendship, 1963, incised gold leaf and gesso on canvas. ©2015 AGNES MARTIN/ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK

Off the Grid: A New Agnes Martin Biography Explores the Reclusive Artist’s Life

John Ashbery once described Agnes Martin’s watercolors as “almost distressingly powerful.” The same could be said about Nancy Princenthal’s new biography of Martin. Princenthal’s style in Agnes Martin: Her Life and Art is underplayed—she, like her subject, never lends herself … Read More