Looking for books about modern and contemporary art? Browse through our expert recommendations to find the best books on the art of recent times to give as a gift to an art lover—or for your own library. Five Books is a comprehensive library of knowledge, curating book recommendations on any topic you might want to read about. Art interviews explore themes in the visual arts from ancient times to the present day with historians, curators, critics and practitioners. Our interviews range from engaging introductions to specialist subjects — such as the Dutch Masters, the Art Market, Leonardo, the Renaissance, Typeface, Interior Design — to in-depth explorations of more personal themes and inspirations. Our archive covers a vast array of subjects, extending well beyond the best-seller lists. In contrast to other online reviews, Five Books content is timeless and our contributors authoritative – these truly are the best books on everything. Browse the archive, or create your own lists of the best books in any category close to your heart, to share with like-minded readers everywhere. Is there a subject that piques your interest that you don't see on the site? Let us know by getting in contact with the editorial team.
The Artist and His Critic Stripped Bare: Correspondence
by Marcel Duchamp & Robert Lebel
Worte Nicht in Giftige Buchstaben Einwickeln
by Lisa Wenger & Meret Oppenheim
by Eva Hesse
Robert Voit: The Alphabet of New Plants
by Robert Voit
Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian
by Hans Ulrich Obrist
Why should we read what visual artists have written? Michaela Unterdörfer, head of publishing for the art gallery Hauser & Wirth, argues that the visual and artistic language of artists makes archival material more immediate and compelling. Artists’ testimonies refer not only to physical archives but above all to the mental archives of artists, their cultural and historic inheritance, which books like these bring to life.
In times of political or personal turmoil, there’s a tendency to seek solace in stripping back life to its bare essentials. Minimalist thought is threaded through Stoicism and Zen Buddhism; absence and space became major preoccupations of 1960s US art. Kyle Chayka, the art critic and author of The Longing for Less, recommends five books on the philosophy that underpins the present fad for minimalist self-help.