• ART

The Modern Art Invasion

Picasso and Duchamp landed in New York in 1913, with revolutionary results.  Art history at its most explosive.

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  • ART

Extinct Boids

Having long illustrated the writings of Hunter S. Thompson, artist Ralph Steadman boasts nearly five decades worth of work capturing his wide-ranging interests beyond the gonzo sphere. His latest masterpiece goes the Audubon route, offering us over 100 depictions of bird species that no longer exist -- as well as a few that never did!

 

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  • ART

Always Looking

Those who lament John Updike's death because it cut off new fiction from his pen are matched only by those readers who bewail the cessation of his essays. This posthumous volume collects the last of his previously ungathered writings -- many from The New York Review of Books -- that concern the visual arts. Updike confronts the the work of visionaries such as Rockwell, Eakins, and Homer with a keen eye -- and wizardly prose.

 

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  • ART

Leonardo and the Last Supper

The author of the celebrated Brunelleschi's Dome turns his attentions to Leonardo da Vinci, who  seems in historical hindsight an unstoppable genius predestined for fame. But Ross King reveals that the multitalented artist and inventor was as plagued by doubts, misfortunes, and setbacks as any modern striver. Centering around The Last Supper as Leonardo's make-or-break moment, Ross's narrative reframes the godlike artist as a fully and truly human.

 

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  • ART

The Wild Duck Chase

Every year since 1934, artists have competed to design an official stamp that's used to confer duck-hunting privileges, with proceeds going to conservation programs. Martin Smith takes a droll and penetrating look at the 2010 contest, producing a strange-but-true story that will appeal to fans Christopher Guest's Best in Show.

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Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomist

The Renaissance master was captivated by the human body's elaborate interior, and Martin Clayton and Ron Philo here collect 90 of da Vinci's most gorgeous sketches of musculature, organs, and bones, as well as his remarkably accurate notes about physiological function and form.

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  • ART

Gauguin Polynesia

In 1891, disillusioned with European civilization and "everything that is artificial and conventional," Paul Gauguin sailed to French Polynesia. This thoughtfully curated work, edited by Suzanne Greub, places gorgeous reproductions of the artist's Tahitian paintings in the context of the native art and culture that inspired them.

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  • ART

The Lady in Gold

With its graceful subject gazing out from a shimmering peacock's tail of a dress, Gustav Klimt's gold-flecked 1907 portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer has an equally spectacular backstory, complete with a breathtaking woman, turn-of-the-century Viennese society, Nazis, and, of course, an inspired painter. Anne-Marie O'Connor sweeps us up in this true story of high art and high-stakes intrigue.

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  • ART

Vauxhall Gardens: A History

Think of it as the 18th century's Studio 54. In this suburban tavern/pleasure ground/meeting place/pickup joint, London celebrities like Pepys, Handel, and Hogarth consorted, and the outdoor revelry went on for more than a hundred years before the Victorian era opted for more buttoned-up venues. David Coke and Alan Borg bring Vauxhall's seedy glory to new life in this stylish volume.

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  • ART

The Coral Sea

Patti Smith's National Book Award-winning memoir, Just Kids, detailed the rock star and poet's extraordinary relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. The Coral Sea, Smith's 1996 ode to her late friend, was written just a few years after his death. Appearing in a welcome new edition, it's a haunting, achingly evocative tribute.

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Velázquez and The Surrender of Breda: The Making of a Masterpiece

New Yorker writer Anthony Bailey (Vermeer: A View of Delft) uses one of 17th-century Spanish painter Diego Velázquez's most celebrated works, "The Surrender of Breda," a large-scale narrative painting depicting the transfer of the keys to the Dutch town of Breda to Spain in 1625, to anchor a portrait of the artist and his time. Filled with rich detail and lush descriptions, this book, like the painting that inspired it, is remarkable for both its scope and its intimacy.

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Caravaggio

Certain classical-era painters speak to our current moment more forcefully than others. Sporting a transgressive biography -- in which sex and violence loom large -- to match a virtuosic, naturalistic style, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio is one such epoch-leaping renegade. The four-hundredth anniversary last year of his mysterious death brings out fresh ruminations from Andrew Graham-Dixon, who casts his scholarly eye on the artist's headlong life and work.

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One Hundred Portraits

Barry Moser's wood engravings are eloquent commentaries on the characters of the writers, musicians, artists, and other notables who have been his subjects across the past few decades. His portraits—100 of which are collected and beautifully reproduced here—are telling visions of complexity and attention. From John Keats to e. e. cummings, Charles Dickens to Joyce Carol Oates, Moser's faces speak volumes.

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Fabergé's Animals

Crowned heads through history have given artists some strange commissions, but when Edward VII in 1907 had Carl Fabergé create tiny bejeweled replicas of the animals the king and Queen Alexandra kept on their Norfolk estate, the result had its own majesty. This volume brilliantly matches photographs of these delicate miniatures (a terrier in agate and rose diamonds; a pig of aventurine quartz; a cow with ruby eyes) with the stories of their real-life counterparts.

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Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell

The work of one great American storyteller, the artist Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), as revealed in the collections of two other great American storytellers, filmmakers George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.

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And the Pursuit of Happiness

"Sincere, yet disarmingly screwy"—I've spent my adult life reading publishers' book publicity, but I've never known it to be as accurate as those four words, which perfectly capture the inspiriting charms of artist Maira Kalman's year-long quest to discover the character of American democracy. A stunning, visually vivid journal, shot through with quirky gravity and profound grace.

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Art + Science Now

An international survey of how scientific research and technological innovation are informing the aesthetics of the 21st century, from algorithms and kinetics to robotics and microbiology; illustrated with the work of scores of contemporary artists. Read more...

April 17: "In less than three years, both GM and Chrysler would be bankrupt, and a resurgent Ford would wow Wall Street..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

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