Great French paintings from the Clark : Barbizon through Impressionism: essays by James A. Ganz and Richard R. Brettell
The names of Sterling and Francine Clark are perhaps not as well known as some of the great art patrons and collectors, but this lovely catalogue of French 19th century paintings held in the Clark Art Institute in Massachusetts brings their legacy to the fore. The foreword describes Sterling Clark as “a professional explorer, horse-breeder and art connoisseur”, and in a charmingly straightforward way he observed of his approach to art: “I like all kinds of art if it is good of its kind”. You can’t ask more than that!
A fascinating period for Australian art and its reception overseas, this wonderfully detailed study examines some of the major mentors championing its cause in England, such as Sir Kenneth Clark, Bernard Smith and Bryan Robertson, Director of the Whitechapel Gallery in London. The distinctive vision of Australia created by a diverse group of artists far from home is still very much with us today, and this microscopic examination of the political, social and artistic influences of this flourishing period is both an eye opener and a page turner.
It’s easy enough to think of Los Angeles as almost entirely given over to filmmaking Hollywood-style, but the truth of course is far more interesting. Whilst the New York art scene has long stolen most of the limelight as far as contemporary visual art is concerned, there was clearly a thriving and unique art movement developing on the West Coast as well. This hefty tome from the Getty Museum is a colourful history and celebration of the astonishing creativity that came out of the wild, wild west!
The fashion world of Jean Paul Gaultier : from the sidewalk to the catwalk: edited by Thierry-Maxime Loriot
Lavish is a much overused word, but sometimes you just have to use it! French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier has been a one-man baroque spectacular since he first came to prominence in the seventies with his seriously post-punk, pop-culture inspired designs, and this lavish volume virtually bursts at the seams with designs, photos and interviews with dozens of people swept along in the Gaultier wake. And unlike so many people in the fashion industry, you can almost hear his sense of humour bursting out of the fabrics. Merveilleux!