Art History: a reading list

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Here’s a rundown of what happens to me when I see an interesting painting or exhibit at a museum or art gallery: I fixate on the artist, instantly wanting to learn everything about him or her, and then stop at the gift shop on the way out to look at all the books they have on that artist. After the Abstract Expressionist New York exhibit at the MOMA and the AGO, I wanted to learn everything there was to know about Jackson Pollock. And now that I’ve seen the Picasso exhibit at the AGO twice, I have the overwhelming desire to learn as much as I can about the legendary artist.
Does this happen to anyone else?
These five books are all on my art history reading list, one that grows with each new gallery I visit.

Jackson Pollock: An American Saga
Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith

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Van Gogh: The Life

Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith

de Kooning: An American Master
Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan

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The Unknown Matisse and Matisse the Master: A Life of Henri Matisse
Hilary Spurling

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A Life of Picasso: Volumes I, II & III
John Richardson

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I’d love to hear of any great artist biographies that you’ve read. As I said, my list is always growing!

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