Art & design book highlights from the year

Prehistorians propose that the arrival of art in the timeline of humanity’s history indicates a jump in our cognitive abilities, so Readings is happy to present to you some wonderful art and design books from this year to delight, entertain, inform and help our cognitive skills expand and grow, as surely this year has asked of us.

Starting close by, The Garden State offers a look inside an inspiring collection of private gardens across Victoria. Adelaide Hills Gardens features some locations that are so pretty I look forward to getting there soon. Moving further afield, Philip Hughes: Painting the Ancient Land of Australia includes photographs and insights connected to the landscapes Hughes has painted. Unfinished Business: The Art of Gordon Bennett makes it a good time to explore the important contribution the late Bennett made to identity and contemporary art. Team it with Becoming Our Future: Global Indigenous Curatorial Practice from the AGSA – it’s an expansive exploration of the subject. Then back to Melbourne again for a new book on mid- century architect Robin Boyd, Robin Boyd: Late Works, featuring material from the last decade of his life.

Further treats perfect for those who love architecture and interiors include Living In, featuring rarely seen modern residential masterpieces, and Homes for Our Time in Taschen’s new 40th anniversary format. High Grade Living by Jacqui Lewis and Arran Russell of The Broad Place, is a gorgeous lifestyle oasis for creativity, clarity and mindfulness. Peek into the private spaces of famous creatives from Voltaire and Byron to Kipling, Woolf and Bowie in Life Meets Art .

A standout new classic is Van Eyck, the official book for the largest ever exhibition of Van Eyck’s work which was held at the Museum of Fine Art in Ghent this year. Other must-haves for the art history shelves are Abstract Art: A Global History by Pepe Karmel and Shaping the World: Sculpture from Prehistory to Now by Antony Gormley and Martin Gayford. How To Be An Artist by Pulitzer Prize- winning art critic Jerry Saltz is the real deal and witty to boot. The Honest Art Dictionary by podcasters The Art History Babes is informative and fun, and I encourage everyone to discover the inspirational Artemisia Gentileschi, the latest in a series inspired by Vasari’s Lives of the Artists.

Dronescapes is an irresistible collection of aerial photography with a bird’s-eye view, and we can’t travel but Steve McCurry takes us places in the latest collection from his archive, In Search of Elsewhere. Bruce Mau shares 24 principles for impacting change though design in Mau MC24, and, lastly, a bit of fashion fun: sustainable dressing with savoir faire in Why French Women Wear Vintage by Alois Guinut.


Margaret Snowdon is the art & design book buyer at Readings Carlton.

Living In

Living In

Andrew Gestalten, Trotter, Luz

$105.00Buy now

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