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Best Contemporary Art Books that Should be on Your Bookshelf

Our list of some of the best Contemporary Art books & series in recent years. Get inspired by one or more of the following books.

1. Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists’ Writings (Second Edition, Revised and Expanded by Kristine Stiles) (2012)

Best Contemporary Art Books that Should be on Your BookshelfFirst published in 1996, this irreplaceable resource has now been updated, revised, and expanded by Kristine Stiles to represent thirty countries and more than one hundred new artists. Stiles has added forty images and a diverse roster of artists, including many who have emerged since the 1980s, such as Julie Mehretu, Carrie Mae Weems, Damien Hirst, Shirin Neshat, Cai Guo-Qian, Olafur Eliasson, Matthew Barney, and Takashi Murakami. The writings, which as before take the form of artists’ statements, interviews, and essays, make vivid each artist’s aesthetic approach and capture the flavor and intent of his or her work….
Author(s): Kristine Stiles, Peter Selz

2. Themes of Contemporary Art: Visual Art after 1980 (2016)

Best Contemporary Art Books that Should be on Your BookshelfOffering a unique thematic approach to recent art history, Themes of Contemporary Art: Visual Art after 1980, Fourth Edition, focuses on eight central ideas recurring in art over the past few decades: identity, the body, time, memory, place, language, science, and spirituality.This thought-provoking volume features over 200 full-color images of artworks that exemplify a wide variety of materials, techniques, theoretical viewpoints, and stylistic approaches, by artists from diverse ethnic, cultural, and geographic backgrounds. Its concise, engaging, and accessible…
Author(s): Jean Robertson, Craig McDaniel

3. International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues (11th Edition) (2012)

Best Contemporary Art Books that Should be on Your BookshelfUpdated in its 11th edition, International Politics places contemporary essays alongside classics to survey the field’s diverse voices, concepts, and issues. Edited by two of the most respected international relations scholars,International Politics challenges readers to use original scholarship to recognize and analyze patterns in world politics. This bestselling reader considers how to effectively understand politics under governments and beyond. Carefully edited selections cover the most essential topics and are put into conversation with each other to illustrate fundamental debates and differing points of…
Author(s): Robert J. Art, Robert Jervis

4. How to Write About Contemporary Art (2014)

Best Contemporary Art Books that Should be on Your BookshelfAn essential handbook for students and professionals on writing eloquently, accurately, and originally about contemporary artHow to Write About Contemporary Art is the definitive guide to writing engagingly about the art of our time. Invaluable for students, arts professionals and other aspiring writers, the book first navigates readers through the key elements of style and content, from the aims and structure of a piece to its tone and language. Brimming with practical tips that range across the complete spectrum of art-writing, the second part of the book is organized…
Author(s): Gilda Williams

5. The Photograph as Contemporary Art (World of Art) (2014)

Best Contemporary Art Books that Should be on Your Bookshelf“Essential reading for anyone who wishes to make sense of the complex . . . world of contemporary art photography.” ―Picture Professional In the 21st century photography has come of age as a contemporary art form. Nearly two centuries after photographic technology was first invented, the art world has fully embraced it as a legitimate medium, equal in status to painting and sculpture. This book provides an introduction to contemporary art-photography, identifying its most important features and themes and celebrating its exciting pluralism through an…
Author(s): Charlotte Cotton

6. Contemporary Art: World Currents (2011)

Best Contemporary Art Books that Should be on Your BookshelfContemporary Art: World Currents is the first comprehensive worldwide survey of contemporary art from the 1980s to the present day.   Author Terry Smith argues that, in recent decades, a global shift from modern to contemporary art has occurred: artists everywhere have embraced the contemporary world’s teeming multiplicity, its proliferating differences and its challenging complexities and new technologies. Alongside more than 350 carefully selected color images of key works, Terry Smith offers the first account of these changes, from their historical beginnings to the present…
Author(s): Terry Smith

7. Contemporary Issues in Animal Agriculture (3rd Edition) (2003)

Best Contemporary Art Books that Should be on Your BookshelfThis book, previously titled Impacts of Livestock Production, objectively deals with a number of important issues that are affecting livestock production and the public perception of animal production on a global basis. Some of these issues include consumption of animal products and human health, global warming, biotechnology and animal rights. The volume examines domestication of animals and their contributions to human welfare, animal products in the human diet, principles of animal nutrition and the scientific feeding of livestock, feed additives and growth promotants in animal production, environmental concerns involving…
Author(s): Cheeke Professor Emeritus, Peter R.

8. Art Since 1980: Charting the Contemporary (2013)

Best Contemporary Art Books that Should be on Your Bookshelf  Art Since 1980: Charting the Contemporary presents a chronological survey from the late 20th century into the early 21st century. This title is built around short discussions on individual artists. Author Peter Kalb maintains a balance between a social history of institutions and contexts, and attention to individual aesthetic choices. Works cited come from these fields: painting, photography, and sculpture, plus installation, performance, and video art.     #652,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #868 in Art History (Books) Would you like to ?If you are a seller for this product, would you like to ?…
Author(s): Peter R. Kalb

9. DEVOR: STATL QUAL DES CONTROL _c2 (2nd Edition) (2006)

Best Contemporary Art Books that Should be on Your BookshelfFeatures a blend of statistical process control (SPC) and design of experiments (DOE) concepts and methods for quality design and improvement. The book places particularly strong emphasis on proper methods for data collection, control chart construction and interpretation, and fault diagnosis for process improvement….
Author(s): Richard E. DeVor , Tsong-how Chang, et al.

10. Contemporary Art: A Very Short Introduction (2006)

Best Contemporary Art Books that Should be on Your BookshelfContemporary art has never been so popular, but what is its role today and who is controlling its future? Contemporary art is supposed to be a realm of freedom where artists shock, break taboos, flout generally received ideas, and switch between confronting viewers with works of great emotional profundity and jaw-dropping triviality. But away from shock tactics in the gallery, there are many unanswered questions. Who is really running the art world? What effect has America’s growing political and cultural dominance had on art?Here Julian Stallabrass takes us inside…
Author(s): Julian Stallabrass

11. Contemporary Art: 200 of the World’s Most Groundbreaking Artists (2013)

Best Contemporary Art Books that Should be on Your BookshelfThis veritable Who’s Who of contemporary art—now in a new format and fully updated—contains 200 of the most influential, widely exhibited, and talented artists. Spanning 40 years, the list ranges from Lucian Freud, Louise Bourgeois, and Jasper Johns to Ai WeiWei, Subodh Gupta, Matthew Barney, Damien Hirst, and Tracey Emin. Insightful biographies, with a special focus on key works, and cross-referencing to linked artists, themes, and movements, make this the essential insider’s guide to the international art scene. #437,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #3388 in Art History (Books) #3169…
Author(s): Charlotte Bonham-Carter, David Hodge , et al.

12. Themes of Contemporary Art: Visual Art after 1980 (2012)

Best Contemporary Art Books that Should be on Your BookshelfOffering a unique thematic approach to recent art history, Themes of Contemporary Art: Visual Art after 1980, Third Edition, focuses on eight central ideas recurring in art over the past few decades: identity, the body, time, memory, place, language, science, and spirituality.Featuring 160 vivid illustrations (23 in color and 137 in black and white), this wide-ranging introduction presents artworks that exemplify a variety of materials, techniques, theoretical viewpoints, and stylistic approaches, by artists from diverse ethnic, cultural, and…
Author(s): Jean Robertson, Craig McDaniel

Best Contemporary Art Books that Should be on Your Bookshelf

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some contemporary art books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

Contemporary art and memory

Author(s): Joan Gibbons
Publisher: I. B. Tauris, Year: [2007?], Size: 7 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 915001

The Practical Art of Divine Magic: Contemporary & Ancient Techniques of Theurgy

Author(s): Patrick Dunn
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications, Year: 8 Aug 2015, Size: 4 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 2290047

Intersections of Contemporary Art, Anthropology and Art History in South Asia: Decoding Visual Worlds

Author(s): Sasanka Perera, Dev Nath Pathak
Publisher: Springer International Publishing;Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2019, Size: 6 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2354647

Contemporary Dental Pharmacology: Evidence-Based Considerations

Author(s): Arthur H. Jeske
Publisher: Springer International Publishing, Year: 2019, Size: 3 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2355362

A critical introduction to fictionalism

Author(s): Brock, Stuart; Kroon, Fred; McKeown-Green, Arthur Jonathan
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic, Year: 2019, Size: 2 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2370844

Contemporary Art and Unforgetting in Colonial Landscapes: Islands of Empire

Author(s): Kate McMillan
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2019, Size: 6 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2392382

Curatorial Challenges: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Contemporary Curating

Author(s): Malene Vest Hansen; Anne Folke Henningsen; Anne Gregersen
Publisher: Routledge, Year: 2019, Size: 33 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2396329

Nature and Space in Contemporary Scottish Writing and Art

Author(s): Camille Manfredi
Publisher: Springer International Publishing; Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2019, Size: 3 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2408338

Contemporary Bohemia: A Case Study of an Artistic Community in Philadelphia

Author(s): Geoffrey Moss, Rachel Wildfeuer, Keith McIntosh
Publisher: Springer International Publishing, Year: 2019, Size: 5 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2408341

In the Mind But Not From There - Real Abstraction and Contemporary Art

Author(s): Gean Moreno
Publisher: Verso Books, Year: 2019, Size: 5 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 2412650

Please note that this booklist is not final. Some books are absolutely record-breakers according to Los Angeles Times, others are written by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant books you could recommend? Leave a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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