As the proud owner of two whippets who just happen to be the most beautiful dogs in the entire world (arguments will not be entered into), it’s pretty clear that I would find a book like this irresistible! Steven Miller has brought together a lovely compendium of dogs in Australian art, alphabetically arranged by breed, and having given it considerable attention I can honestly say that any work of art is vastly improved by the inclusion of a friendly (or otherwise!) canine. Woof!
For better or worse German painter Johan Zoffany was more interested in portraits of people than dogs (although a few manage to sneak in), and this beautiful new book explores his remarkable chronicling of Georgian England where his attachment to the court of George III gave him an entree into aristocratic society at its height. His luminous paintings celebrate a privileged way of life seemingly far removed from the more cynical art of Hogarth, but this book explores the subtle ways in which even he was able to delicately comment on his subjects as well as memorialise them.
Photography was introduced into China in the 1840s in the wake of the Opium Wars and promptly started to flourish, practiced by both Western and Chinese practitioners keen to document and/or propagandise their visions of the Middle Kingdom. This terrific volume is the catalogue to an exhibition held at the Getty Institute in 2011, based on a remarkable collection of photographs purchased in 2003.
Man Ray : portraits : Paris, Hollywood, Paris : from the Man Ray Archives of the Centre Pompidou edited by Clement Cheroux
Best known today for his avant-garde photography, Man Ray was also a renowned fashion and portrait photographer, as this voluminous study clearly shows. Based as he was in Paris and Hollywood between 1921 and 1976, and given his position within the mid-20th century art world, it comes as no surprise that this collection is a virtual who’s who of the contemporary creative world. Text and photos alike are absolutely fascinating, and this is one book you can definitely lose a few hours in!