Books about Art

When you want to be a writer about Art you will enrich everything you do if you also read about Art. Read everything you can get your hands on: library books about artists, newspaper articles about art exhibitions, biographies and autobiographies about artists.

Reading biographies and autobiographies will help you to see the context from which the artist came, and give you an insight into the many million things that influence a person to become who they are and produce the art they do.

In an obituary or in an article about an up-coming exhibition, newspapers often give an overview of the life and influences of a particular artist. These articles can also be excellent for you to examine the style of writing used, and perhaps also extend your vocabulary.

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Autobiography: Marc Chagall

Written in 1922 as he has about to leave Russia

I suppose no-one thinks of themselves as especially unusual. We all just get on with living. Yet each story is interesting in its own way. Marc Chagall (1887-1985) lived at a time of major historical upheavals and proliferating artistic movements so we can think of his life as extraordinary. But his young life was very ‘ordinary’ to him, and in this delightful little book he tells us about his childhood, the characters around him and his formative experiences. All the way through there are his little line drawings that open up a window onto his childhood landscape. The dreamy little fellow – whether that be because there wasn’t enough food, or because he was a day-dreamer – becomes the adult who translates this quality into his paintings.

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