5 Art Books to Read in April


As every month, Sybaris’ editorial team selected five outstandings book related with art history, art theory, artists books, etc., to keep an eye on. Here is the selection for April.

1. Louise Bourgeois x Jenny Holzer: The Violence of Handwriting across a Page 

Two of the most original artists of the postwar period, Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010) and Jenny Holzer (b. 1950), meet in this exceptional artist’s book conceived and designed by Holzer to accompany the Bourgeois exhibition she has curated at the Kunstmuseum Basel.

Holzer’s book is not a document of her Bourgeois exhibition but rather a parallel work that further mines the dynamic interplay between text and image in Bourgeois’ art. Working in a sumptuous oversize format, she has set up a nonlinear narrative through juxtapositions of Bourgeois’ works and writings, deploying extreme close-ups, dramatic croppings, full-page bleeds, and other devices to startle and refocus our attention on Bourgeois’ preoccupations and obsessions. At times these juxtapositions are enriched with works chosen from the historical collections of the Kunstmuseum Basel. The resultant confrontations are unexpected, jarring, and inspiring.

2. Tamayo 40. 1981-2021

This editorial project celebrates the 40 years of one of the most important modern and contemporary art museums in Mexico and Latinamerica, as well as the first museum in Mexico dedicated to contemporary art. Tamayo 40 is a design box including 4 books: Más allá de los árboles in which the current director Magalí Arriola and curators Juan Carlos Pereda, Andrea Valencia and Andrés Valtierra explore through different essays the importance of the Museo Tamayo an its history; La fosa de los cocodrilos gathers together a series of interviews of some of de directors and curators which became the Tamayo-since its opening in 1981 to the date- in an museum of international relevance; Una larga historia con muchos nudos a journey through 40 years of exhibitions; an edition documenting the exhibition Más allá de los arboles designed to celebrate the anniversary, and a facsimile with original archives from the Fernando Gamboa Foundation (the first director of the Tamayo and key figure in achieving the musuem’s existence).

The edition is published both in English and Spanish

3. Our Selves: Photographs by Women Artists

Our Selves: Photographs by Women Artists spans more than one hundred years of photography, from a turn-of-the-century photograph of racially segregated education in the United States, by Frances Benjamin Johnston, to a contemporary portrait celebrating Indigenous art forms, by the Chemehuevi artist Cara Romero. By looking at the intersections of photography with feminism, civil rights, Indigenous sovereignty, and queer liberation, Our Selves contributes vital insights into figures too often excluded from our current cultural narratives.

4. Curating Digital Art

What is the role of the curator when organizing digital art exhibitions in offline and online spaces? This book focuses on how the experiments of curators, artists and designers have opened the possibility to reconfigure traditional models and methods of presenting and accessing digital art. In the process, it addresses how web-based practices challenge certain established museological values and precipitate alternative ways of understanding art’s stewardship, curatorial responsibility, public access and art history. Through more than twenty interviews with artists and curators in the course of the last ten years, and flanked by an extensive timeline, the reader of this publication is given an insight into the discourse on digital art and its curation today.
Annet Dekker is a curator and researcher. She is Assistant Professor Media Studies: Archival and Information Studies at the University of Amsterdam and Visiting Professor and co-director of the Centre for the Study of the Networked Image at London South Bank University. She has previously been Researcher Digital Preservation at Tate, London, core tutor at Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam and Fellow at Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam. She has published in numerous collections and journals and is the editor of several volumes, including Lost and Living [in] Archives.


5. Everyday Play

‘Life must be believed as play,’ said Plato, and this book will help you rediscover the wonder in the weekly grind, and the extraordinary in the ordinary. Throughout history, philosophers, artists and writers have found liberation in taking play seriously.  EVERYDAY PLAY shows you how you can use creativity, games and the imagination to transform your life. s the essential compendium of artists’ games, philosophers’ enquiries and manifestos against the banal. They will challenge our perceptions of work, rest and play, with contributions from, amongst others, Louise Bourgeois, Jeremy Deller, Luis Buñuel, R. B. Kitaj, Lewis Carroll, and Lydia Davis.


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