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Coffee Table Curator: February 2017

Visionaries: Creating a Modern Guggenheim, Guggenheim Museum Publications, 55 USD

Before "Visionaries: Creating a Modern Guggenheim" opens at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York on February 10, you can leaf through this accompanying volume celebrating the museum's masterworks on the occasion of its 80th anniversary. Even if you've never walked through Frank Lloyd Wright's famed rotunda, this volume will take you through the institution's vast holdings, spanning works from the past 200 years. 


Ed Ruscha: Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings Volume Six, Steidl, 200 USD

It's an undisputed fact that Ed Ruscha is one of the most prolific modern artists currently alive, with a massive oeuvre that consists of everything from painting and printmaking to photography and film. This monograph is one of seven volumes that collectively span Ruscha's entire career. As the sixth in the series, it specifically tracks his output between from 2004 to 2011, featuring both Psycho Spaghetti Western and Mountain works. 

Lines of Thought: Drawing from Michelangelo to Now, Thames & Hudson, 23.95 USD

The history of drawing is broad to say the very least, but this small volume makes for a concise and organized read despite the vast topic it tackles. It tracks the practice of drawing over the past 500 years, spotlighting artists such as Michelangelo, Degas, and Rembrandt to show they each distinctively contributed to the development and evolution of the skill.


Dior by Mats Gustafson, Rizzoli, 95 USD

Nothing exudes Parisian sophistication and elegance quite like Christian Dior. Case and point: Swedish illustrator Mats Gustafson's 2012 depictions of that year's collections on paper. The series was a first for the brand, and the results are nothing short of stunning; Gustafson makes use of vibrant watercolors and collages to showcase Dior's designs in a new light.  



Renoir: Intimacy, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. 65 USD

French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir's impressionist en plein air works may be his most well-known, but there's something special about his intimate depictions of people that are deserving of a longer look. Evoking the tactility of his paintings, this volume dives into the numerous ways Renoir depicted all kinds of intimacies, from the social to the erotic, and how that imagery aligns with Renoir's visions of sensuality.

Battle of the Sexes: Franz von Stuck to Frida Kahlo, Prestel, 60 USD

While this volume seems to pull a theme right out of the current political climate, artists have always tackled gender, whether by adhering to or subverting stereotypes. This exploration of various artistic representations of gender and sexuality spans decades and styles, including works by artists such as painter and printmaker Edvard Munch and photographer Lee Miller. However you choose to interpret the works, they all, of course, share insights into the complexity of gender norms and identity.