Five New Books On Art To Read In Quarantine

BY Harper's BAZAAR Art / Apr 7 2020 / 18:30 PM

If art could speak, what would it say? BAZAAR Art reviews the newest tomes on art and photography you need on your radar

Five New Books On Art To Read In Quarantine
Pablo Picasso: The Impossible Collection

Pablo Picasso: The Impossible Collection

“When I was a child my mother said to me, ‘If you become a soldier you’ll be a general. If you become a monk you’ll end up as the pope.’ Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso,” said the legendary Spanish painter once.

Written by French art historian and curator Diana Widmaier Picasso, this insightful limited edition volume is dedicated to Pablo Picasso’s revolutionary oeuvre, highlighting his most powerful paintings, prints and sculptures through over 100 illustrations. Assouline. Dhs 3,460,

Pablo Picasso
An inside spread of Pablo Picasso: The Impossible Collection. Self portrait, Paris. Spring 1907. Oil on canvas. 50x46cm

Sujata Bajaj: L’Ordre du monde

Renowned French novelist Jean-Claude Carrière has known Indian contemporary artist Sujata Bajaj for nearly two decades, since her fist exhibition in Paris. In this hardcover tome, Carrière uncovers Bajaj’s riveting artistic journey, an artist whose work has caught the attention of collectors from all over the world with her sense of fusing reds and sharp lines.

“Reward or no reward, I do what I must do, with all my strength,” she writes. “It is my dharma, my only vessel. If I did not do my duty, all that is solid and substantial would vanish and the world would be plunged into a demeaning darkness.” Sujata’s paintings poetically speak to the viewer with a hopeful essence and authenticity.

The book is a riveting account of the artist’s extraordinary work, featuring a mountain of images and insightful texts.

Sujata Bajaj
Sujata Bajaj: L'Ordre du Monde

Frida Kahlo A to Z: The Life The life Activism to Zapotec

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter known for her several self-portraits and art pieces inspired by the nature and artifacts of Mexico.  Her life and art resonated with people of colour, people with disabilities and with those who stood against political injustices.

This book explores some of the key topics Frida was always passionate about: activism, community, duality, folk art, granizo, identity, jewellery, nature and many more. “She lived intensely, painfully, passionately—her life was as rich in love as it was in pain,” writes Nadia Bailey, describing Frida’s unique personality.

“She wasn’t a simple person nor was she easy. She contained deep contradictions. She was extremely generous but incredibly needy. She was humble but vain about her appearance.” The book also pays homage to her experiences, her definition of womanhood and to her extraordinary life. Smith Street Books. Dhs55,

Frida A to Z: The life of an icon from Activism to Zapotec

Rembrandt: The Complete Paintings

The Dutch Golden Age solidified some of history’s greatest master painters. This tome is devoted to none other than the oeuvre and legacy of Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669).

Although never having left his homeland, Netherlands, Rembrandt anticipated the boundaries of his own experience, bringing some of art’s most diverse and influential woks to life across portraiture, biblical, allegorical, landscape and genre scenes.

This volume explores Rembrandt’s intricate paintings—the totality of each subtle facial wrinkle, gaze, or figure summing to an emotional force that stands supreme among his contemporaries and artistic progeny alike.

Every art piece is instilled with raw emotion, for example, Bathsheba at her Bath has become a vehicle for mediation on human longing, searching depths beyond that which is beatified in scripture or depicted by other forms.

The master painter covered portraits of people from various social statuses, from wealthy patrons or tradesmen, who all depict the essence of an individual through fine differentiations, their faces suffused in an ethereal light against darkened earthy tones. Taschen. Dhs735,

Rembrandt: The Complete Paintings

David Bailey

English fashion and portrait photographer David Bailey, one of the pioneers of contemporary photography, has captured some of the most iconic images of the last five decades.

Bailey’s work has seen him photograph British icons by the likes of Kate Moss and Mick Jagger, to name a couple. His simple yet captivating black and white images have taken up a genre of their own and secured him as the hip tastemaker for the sixties London cool. This book covers Bailey’s incredible career by revealing the many emotions his photographs have caught, to be kept forever.

The photographer’s artistic images represent powerful writers, artists and fellow photographers, showcasing sweeping cultural history and how it has transformed from the last six decades. Featured subjects include Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, Kate Moss, Nelson Mandela, Francis Bacon, Zaha Hadid, the Rolling Stones, Jack Nicholson, Brigitte Bardot, Margaret Thatcher and hundreds more. Taschen. Dhs11,019, 

David Bailey
David Bailey

From the Spring 2020 issue of Harper's BAZAAR Art