Art Appreciation

Art Appreciation

The 2017 Bloomington Open Studios Tour gives the public the chance to witness the artistic process firsthand. October 21 and October 22, enter the world of visual artists by watching them work in their studios as they create a diverse body of art. Add understanding and context to your Open Studios experience with these items in the Library's collection. 

Compiled by Jane R.


25 Projects for Art Explorers

Christine M. Kirker
Adult Nonfiction - 372.5 Kir

With schools emphasizing STEM activities for children to meet curriculum goals for standardized testing, nurturing children's artistic creativity is often given short shrift. Kirker's fun resource aims to restore the balance, offering more than two dozen projects that will spark children's interest in art and encourage creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. Designed for kids aged 5-10, and flexible enough to use in either storytimes or classroom settings, the projects here introduce children to a variety of art techniques, from gouache and watercolor to collage and papermaking, using a curated selection of quality picture books; provide detailed directions for guiding children to experiment with these techniques to create their own projects; and include materials lists adaptable for any budget, capsule biographies of the picture books' illustrators, programming tips, and links to additional resources. Kirker's inventive projects will help library staff and educators reinforce learning, encourage experimentation, and build an appreciation for art and the creative process.


The Art of Looking: How to Read Modern and Contemporary Art

Lance Esplund
Adult Nonfiction - 709.04 Esp

A hand-signed porcelain urinal. An abstract drip painting. A silent 700 hour performance.00Art has changed since the days of Giotto, Michelangelo, and even Picasso--and many of us are perplexed. Do modern and contemporary artists such as Marcel Duchamp, Jackson Pollock, and Marina Abramovic represent civilization's highest achievements? Or is something else afoot? In The Art of Looking, art critic Lance Esplund demonstrates that works of modern and contemporary art are not as indecipherable as they seem to be. He reveals the threads that weave the art of the past with that of the present, and shows us how to separate the genuine article from mere rags--not to mention the emperor's new clothes.


Happiness: 25 Ways to Live Joyfully Through Art

Christophe André
Adult Nonfiction - 158.1 And

Drawing upon his ground-breaking work in the psychology of happiness and mindfulness, Christophe André shares 25 paintings by a wide range of masters, including Van Gogh, Vermeer and Chagall, and invites us to consider how they capture the many colours of happiness in their art, alongside its inseparable shadow, sadness.


How Art Can Make You Happy

Bridget Watson Payne
Adult Nonfiction – 701.18 Pay

Helps anyone fall in love with art, whether for the first time or all over again.


How to See: Looking, Talking, and Thinking about Art

David Salle
Adult Nonfiction – 709.04 Sal

Replaces the jargon of art theory with evocative descriptions that help the reader develop a personal and intuitive engagement with art.


In My View: Personal Reflections on Art by Today's Leading Artists

Simon Grant
- Editor
Adult Nonfiction - 701 In

Behind the closed door of the contemporary artist’s studio is a hidden world of images―those artworks from the distant or near past that have animated, troubled, consoled, or inspired the artists of today. This book reveals that hidden world, presenting an intimate guide to the imaginations of today’s leading practitioners through the works they love best. Artworks ranging from the fifteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries are featured, often supplemented by reproductions of work by the selecting artists. Intimate and evocative, the stories speak of the challenges, provocations, revelations, and delights that can be found when one artist looks closely at the work of another. 


Japanese Design: Art, Aesthetics & Culture

Patricia J. Graham
Adult Nonfiction - 745.0952 Gra

This Japanese design book presents the arts, aesthetics and culture of Japan with over 160 stunning color photos and extensive historical and cultural commentary.

The Japanese sensibility often possesses an intuitive, emotional appeal, whether it's a silk kimono, a carefully raked garden path, an architectural marvel, a teapot, or a contemporary work of art. This allure has come to permeate the entire culture of Japan—it is manifest in the most mundane utensil and snack food packaging, as well as in Japanese architecture and fine art.

In Japanese Design, Asian art expert and author Patricia J. Graham explains how Japanese aesthetics based on fine craftsmanship and simplicity developed. Her unusual, full-color presentation reveals this design aesthetic in an absorbing way. Focusing on ten elements of Japanese design, Graham explores how visual qualities, the cultural parameters and the Japanese religious traditions of Buddhism and Shinto have impacted the appearance of its arts.

Japanese Design is a handbook for the millions of us who have felt the special allure of Japanese art, culture and crafts. Art and design fans and professionals have been clamoring for this—a book that fills the need for an intelligent, culture-rich overview of what Japanese design is and means.


Look Again: How to Experience the Old Masters

Ossian Ward
Adult Nonfiction - 750.11 War

The art of the past can seem very far away, obscured both by time and by knotty academic theory. Foregrounding the experience of the contemporary viewer, Look Again shows how this need not be the case. Ossian Ward's simple, ten-step programme acts as an aid to looking, breaking down the often obscure strategies of the Old Masters into intuitive categories - from Art as Honesty to Art as Vision. 0Look Again's novel approach is influenced by John Berger's Ways of Seeing, but is here updated for the art world of the 21st century. Key to this book is an emphasis on ways of experiencing Old Masters - more than just looking. Just as contemporary art should be judged by how it moves us, cajoles us and envelops us, so too can the great paintings of the world be seen as immersive, captivating, even participatory experiences. Ward does not deny the specific complexities and barriers associated with looking at art from other eras. Instead he offers readers a new formula to help illuminate this kind of art. His method not only provides the viewer with the tools to interpret a work of art, but also assumes that we hold some of this knowledge within ourselves already. In other words, everyone can share the enriching experience of Old Master paintings.


Native North American Art

Janet Catherine Berlow
Adult Nonfiction - 704.0397 Be

Explores the indigenous arts of the U.S. and Canada from the early pre-Columbian period to the present day, stressing the conceptual and iconographic continuities over five centuries and across an immensely diverse range of regions.


Old Masters Rock: How to Look at Art with Children

Maria Sayn-Wittgenstein Nottebohm
Adult Nonfiction – 701.1 Say

Demystifies western art—and demonstrates that it's accessible to adults and children alike.


Painting Now

Suzanne Perling Hudson
Adult Nonfiction - 759.07 Hud

Painting is a continually expanding and evolving medium. The radical changes that have taken place since the 1960s and 1970s--the period that saw the shift from a modernist to a postmodernist visual language--have led to its reinvigoration as a practice, lending it an energy and diversity that persists today. In Painting Now, renowned critic and art historian Suzanne Hudson offers an intelligent and original survey of contemporary painting--a critical snapshot that brings together more than 200 artists from around the world whose work is defining the ideas and aesthetics that characterize the painting of our time. Hudson's rigorous inquiry takes shape through the analysis of a range of internationally renowned painters, alongside reproductions of their key works to illustrate the concepts being discussed. These luminaries include Franz Ackermann, Michael Borremans, Chuck Close, Angela de la Cruz, Subodh Gupta, Julie Mehretu, Vik Muniz, Takashi Murakami, Elizabeth Peyton, Wilhelm Sasnal, Luc Tuymans, Zhang Xiaogang, and many others. Organized into six thematic chapters exploring aspects of contemporary painting such as appropriation, attitude, production and distribution, the body, painting about painting, and introducing additional media into painting, this is an essential volume for art history enthusiasts, critics, and practitioners.


Portraits: Talking With Artists at the Met, the Modern, the Louvre, and Elsewhere

Michael Kimmelman
Adult Nonfiction - 701.15 Ki

The chief art critic for The New York Times tours the world's museums with such preeminent painters, photographers, and sculptors as Roy Lichtenstein, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Elizabeth Murray, who speak informally about their favorite works of art. 


Rendez-vous with Art

Philippe de Montebello, Martin Gayford
Adult Nonfiction – 701.1 Dem

Reveals the pleasures of truly looking at works of art, as well as some of the pitfalls.


The Self-portrait: A Cultural History

James Hall
Adult Nonfiction - 704.942 Hal

In this broad cultural survey, art historian and critic James Hall brilliantly maps the history of self-portraiture, from the earliest myths of Narcissus to the prolific self-image-making of contemporary artists. His intelligent and vivid account shows how artists' depictions of themselves have been part of a continuing tradition that reaches back for centuries. Along the way he reveals the importance of the medieval 'mirror craze'; the explosion of the genre during the Renaissance; the confessional self-portraits of Titian and Michelangelo; the role of biography for serial self-portraitists such as Courbet and van Gogh; themes of sex and genius in works by Munch, Bonnard and Modersohn-Becker; and the latest developments of the genre in the era of globalization. The full range of self-portraits is covered here, from comic and caricature self-portraits to 'invented' or imaginary ones, as well as key collections of self-portraiture such as that of the Medici in Florence. Throughout, Hall asks why - and when - artists have chosen to make self-portraits, and looks deeply into the worlds and mindsets of the artists who have created them. Comprehensive and beautifully illustrated, the book features the work of a wide range of artists including Alberti, Caravaggio, Courbet, Dürer, Emin, Gauguin, Giotto, Goya, Kahlo, Koons, Magritte, Mantegna, Picasso, Raphael, Rembrandt and Warhol. Offering a rich and lively history, The Self-Portrait is an essential read for all those interested in this most enduringly popular and humane of art forms.


Ways of Looking: How to Experience Contemporary Art

Ossian Ward
Adult Nonfiction - 709.05 War

Art has changed. Those reassuringly familiar styles and movements that characterised art production prior to the twenty-first century have all vanished. Traditional artistic media no longer do what we expect of them. This book provides a straightforward, six-step programme for understanding contemporary art based on the concept of the tabula rasa a clean slate and a fresh mind. Since artists increasingly work across traditional media and genres, the author has also developed an alternative classification system Art as Entertainment, Art as Confrontation, Art as Joke designed to help make sense of otherwise obscure-seeming works. Ways of Looking transforms a potentially intimidating encounter with cutting edge contemporary art into a dramatic, sensually rewarding thought provoking experience.