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Non-Fiction > The Arts & Literary Criticism

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message 1: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jeoblivion) | 4869 comments A place to talk about and recommend your favorite books about fine arts, music, performing arts, photography and literary critisism.


message 2: by Amber (new)

Amber (amberterminatorofgoodreads) My favorite book of art is Femina and Fauna the art of Camilla D'errico by Camilla D'errico. She is an amazing artist from Canada who does her paintings on wood and her art is outside of the box. She even features elements of horror in her art. You can find the book at http://www.store.camilladerrico.com/b... . One of my favorite paintings in the collection is her painting of the disney villains maleficient. I got that book of art as a prize for participating in my library's summer reading program one year.


message 3: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Thanks to Leslie for reminding me of this thread, which deserves unearthing!!

I've just been reading a wonderful book about painting, within quite a narrow field, the female form in Impressionist painting. It's written by my favourite Art critic of all time, Edward Lucie-Smith, who has written over 100 books - many being on modern Art, though he is also a poet of some distinction. I'll link here to my review of the book.

It wowed me so much that I gave it 5*...

Impressionist Women


message 4: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jeoblivion) | 4869 comments Jean, that sounds fabulous!

I just remember that one book that really shouldn't be missing here is Ways of Seeing by John Berger. I have yet to see the BBC series that this book of essays on art is based on, but it was an eye-opener for me. Both in terms of perception of art as well as gender-issues in art.


message 5: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) It certainly was! The whole series influenced a whole generation (probably including me!) and was the sort of TV programme you would rush home to watch whatever other commitments you had...


message 6: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jeoblivion) | 4869 comments OH good, I think UBU web has the whole series still!


message 7: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Well worth a watch :)


message 8: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Ah! I think this must be the thread you mentioned, Jenny, rather than the general one about artists. Here then are a few books about Impressionism, which I have on my shelves, and like very much. Perhaps this is the only subject where it might be helpful to list them dimensionally, largest first:

Books on Impressionism:

The Impressionists and Post-Impressionists by Keith Roberts
Claude Monet by Mary Rose Blacker And Here's my review
Impressionists: Gaunt by William Gaunt (large fat book which I think of as the definitive one)
Claude Monet by Nancy Nunhead
Impressionists Clive Bell (This Phaidon series is a favourite of mine, as the commentary is in clear print, separate from the colour plates, all of which have a page to themselves. Most volumes are for individual artists such as "Manet" by John Richardson, "Renoir" by William Gaunt, "Degas" by Keith Roberts etc. I'll enter them in the Goodreads database eventually...)
Impressionist Women by Edward Lucie-Smith And Here's my review
Everyone's Book of the Impressionists by Denis Thomas
Impressionist Paintings in the Louvre by Germain Bazin

All the book are oversize, except the last one which is slightly larger than a hardback novel. I haven't included pocketsize Art books, mainly because I find the size of the reproductions a bit frustrating!


message 9: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jeoblivion) | 4869 comments Ah brilliant, thank you, I will take some time tomorrow to look at them.


message 10: by Dhanaraj (new)

Dhanaraj Rajan | 2962 comments An interesting book on the nature of Fiction, Fiction Writer, Teaching Literature in School/College by one of the well loved American writers Flannery O'Connor - Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose.

A lovely book for the lovers of literature, writers and most specially for the aspiring writers.

Here is my review. If interested check it out.
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 11: by Paulfozz (last edited Sep 16, 2014 10:27PM) (new)

Paulfozz | 1001 comments I'm reading (and looking at since it's an art book) Cutting Away: The Linocuts of Robert Gillmor, an artist/print-maker based in Norfolk that I've admired for some time, mainly due to his work adorning the covers of the recent New Naturalist books that enjoy so much.

The book looks back over his print-making life and includes details of his working method. Since he also frequently mentions the north Norfolk coast and Skomer Island in Pembrokeshire (both of which I love visiting) and Robert seems to take joy in many birds that I do, it has hardly been an arduous task to read! I do rather regret not buying one of his prints when I visited the Cley gallery now though; and it turns out that our rented holiday cottage this year was just around the corner from his cottage/studio!


message 12: by Rowena (last edited Sep 17, 2014 11:59PM) (new)

Rowena | 364 comments Mod
I need to come back to this thread later! I'm currently doing some art research for a project. I'm interested in art therapy so I enjoyed Art as Therapy by Alain de Botton.


message 13: by Bionic Jean (last edited Sep 18, 2014 06:21AM) (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) That does look an interesting book Rowena. The blurb implies that it covers the act of engaging in Art as a spectator. Does the theory of creating Art as being therapeutic come up at all?

A main cancer hospital here not only offers studios in which patients can create visual pieces, paintings and sculptures, but has also published a book of poems by patients. The introduction to the book was by the poet laureate. I'll link to it when I can track it down ;)


message 14: by Greg (new)

Greg | 7362 comments Mod
That sounds like a wonderful thing Jean - I definitely believe in the therapeutic power of art.


message 15: by Rowena (new)

Rowena | 364 comments Mod
Jean wrote: "That does look an interesting book Rowena. The blurb implies that it covers the act of engaging in Art as a spectator. Does the theory of creating Art as being therapeutic come up at all?

A main c..."


Hi Jean,

Yes it does though it's not in too much depth (at least compared to the other art therapy books I've read. Then again, I'm in academia!).

Please do link it when you find it, Jean! I'm so impressed by the art therapy studies I've come across in my readings.


message 16: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) I am racking my brains as to what I filed it under... LOL!


message 17: by Gill (last edited Dec 23, 2014 01:25AM) (new)

Gill | 5720 comments I'm halfway through A Crisis of Brilliance: Five Young British Artists and the Great War (there was a tv series about several of these artists recently, which whetted my appetite to find out more.)

The artist I'm finding most interesting is Stanley Spencer.


message 18: by Dhanaraj (new)

Dhanaraj Rajan | 2962 comments Just came across a thought in a book which can be considered part of literary criticism. It struck me immediately. I just want to share with you and would like to get your opinions on it. Here is the quote:

"You ought to be writing one single novel or play or one volume of poems all through your life. (Dostoyevsky, Chekhov, Mickiewicz did.) Writers who write stand-alone stories, novels, poems are superficial. Conrad was writing a poem, one poem, all his life;...The writers here are busy little bees. They skip from one flower to the next. But it's no good. There's nothing they can't do and yet it's pointless...The dogged reworking, repeating, returning to the same matter, and so on...to the very end. Other things will get written by somebody else. There is no alternative. Or you end up with literary chit chat." - TADEUSZ RÒZEWICZ.


message 19: by Monica (new)

Monica Davis Dhanaraj wrote: "Just came across a thought in a book which can be considered part of literary criticism. It struck me immediately. I just want to share with you and would like to get your opinions on it. Here is t..."

Interesting. I am of the opinion that while a grand opus, or masterpiece may very well be a central lifelong focus, we now live in a world of "asides", "footnotes", "tangents". Our technological advancements have almost forced us to mutli-task; to become aware of what is going on outside of our near view (outside our own village, so to speak). In my opinion, to process and express the immense variety of thoughts and feelings that wash over us, and through us, by writing is a very positive and healthy response. Those "snippets" of expression may very well be pulled together at a later time to become what future generations may view as a "single" work.


message 20: by Dhanaraj (new)

Dhanaraj Rajan | 2962 comments Wow...Monica. That was an interesting take on TADEUSZ RÒZEWICZ. Fully appreciated.


message 21: by Greg (last edited Jan 04, 2015 03:08PM) (new)

Greg | 7362 comments Mod
I agree Monica, especially in that when I read several of an author's books or pieces, they often play off of each other and work together as a whole that's larger than the combination of the individual pieces. A bit similar to a good art collage, different images operating together to form something better than all of the images taken separately.

So in some senses all those different works of an author can be "pulled together" and viewed as one larger entire body of work. Just because works are created at separate times doesn't mean they must be viewed only separately.


message 22: by Monica (new)

Monica Davis Dhanaraj wrote: "Wow...Monica. That was an interesting take on TADEUSZ RÒZEWICZ. Fully appreciated."

Thanks for posting that, Dhanaraj. I like things that make me stop and think about the "wherefores and the whys".


message 23: by Monica (new)

Monica Davis Greg wrote: "...when I read several of an author's books or pieces, they often play off of each other and work together as a whole that's larger than the combination of the indiv..."

Exactly, Greg. And one never knows what may inspire another through the smallest hint, a mere thought, or a faint echo...all worthwhile in my opinion.


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