In the run-up to the gift-giving season, buying a book on gardening history is perfectly natural. You could be forgiven, however, for wondering about the relevance of a centenary history of Sheridan Nurseries of Ontario to art history in general, and to the National Gallery of Canada’s current exhibition Artists, Architects and Artisans, in particular.
The gradual extinction of analog photography is the subject of Toronto-based photographer Robert Burley’s new book, The Disappearance of Darkness. Burley spent several years documenting how monolithic film factories—including Kodak, Agfa, Polaroid, and Ilford—struggled, not always successfully, to cross the threshold into the New Digital World.
Bread glued to a windowpane. That’s the unusual object that prompted Eric Fischl to enroll in a community college art class. Created by the young Fischl’s furniture store coworker in the 1960s, it’s an unexpected catalyst for a life as an art “star.” But that encounter is one of the pivotal moments the now 65-year-old American artist recounts in his candid autobiography, Bad Boy: My Life On and Off the Canvas.
Art history students in study carrels across this fine nation must be jumping with joy. Finally, one of their go-to books on Canadian art, Dennis Reid’s A Concise History of Canadian Painting, has come out in a third edition that is fully illustrated with large, glossy, colour reproductions.
Other than a few anecdotes focusing on Turner’s eccentric ways and his reclusive habits, relatively little personal information is known about one of Britain’s most acclaimed painters—recognized by leading English art critic John Ruskin (1819–1900), as the artist who could “most stirringly and truthfully measure the moods of nature.”
Michel Sapone was born in 1912, in a small village just north of Naples. Following an apprenticeship as a tailor and completion of his wartime service, in the Spring of 1950 Sapone found himself in Saint-Paul-de-Vence on the Côte d’Azur, accepting a painting from Italian artist Manfredo Borsi as payment for a suit of clothes. Within a few years, Sapone was bartering tailor-made clothing for art with Pablo Picasso.
In the world of art, drawing is often perceived as bridesmaid, and painting, the bride. Phaidon’s latest, Vitamin D2: New Perspectives in Drawing, showcases drawing without linking it to painting. The result is a stunning book of over 500 illustrations that would, come to think of it, make a great wedding gift.
The Festival of Films on Art is like one of those “supermarket sweeps” game shows, where you try to cram as much into your cart as possible before the time’s up. Nearly 250 films were scheduled in just 11 days. All over Montreal—in museums, cultural centres, and university auditoriums—you could see films about painting, architecture, fashion, music, animation, literature, and more.
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