There are numerous books, which not only influence art and history but also help us to conduct cultural studies, and craft architectural/media theories. Most of the books presented here are directly related to the development of technology. Hence, they are important aspects of the art associated with the 20th and 21st centuries.
Without any further delay, let’s dive into our list of top 5 books for art lovers.
On Photography— Susan Sontag
This book is the most famous work written on the art of photography. It throws light on the different aspects of the reproduced image, which have cast a negative impact over contemporary society.
Susan wrote this book with a purpose in mind, which the reader can easily ascertain after reading initial content. It doesn’t explain the techniques of photography nor it covers the history of photography.
In fact, it is an incredible critique where Susan allows the readers to reconsider a simple act of “snapping” and explains the meanings attached to this act. According to him, when we take a photograph of a person, we observe that a moment in his/her life has expired.
Ways of Seeing— John Berger
John Berger seems to be attracted to the themes of Walter Benjamin’s essay. He appeared in the television program Ways of Seeing (1972) and afterward wrote this book. He translated the ideas propose by Benjamin and expand them in an accessible manner.
It is the most influential work, which renders it as a must-read book for the art students. The book clearly explains the way we look at art. It also suggests that what types of images have a deeper meaning, which is not understandable by merely looking at them.
The Medium is the Message—Marshall McLuhan
Mostly, people don’t understand contemporary art, this makes them less attracted to this art form. When we look at an abstract painting, we usually try to find the hidden ideas. This is the time when thoughts of Marshall McLuhan play a vital role.
One of the concepts presented McLuhan explains that abstract art is usually far away from understanding, it is a type of entirety, which respond to its composition and form in a sensual and intuitive way.
While reading Medium is the Message, one clearly ascertains the idea of Marshall McLuhan. He claims that while sending and receiving information, the most essential factor is the information and not its form.
The Story of Art—Ernst Gombrich
Sold in millions of copies, the ‘Story of Art’ is a classic introduction to art history. However, this book doesn’t include the ultimate history of art. This is the best option for the beginners, as it would help them to learn about the artists and movements associated with art and history.
The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction—Walter Benjamin
This book turns out to be one of the most acclaimed works of cultural art. It is so authentic that it still seems to be the most prophetic artworks. It clearly suggests that how people come across the work of art repeatedly through mass media.
Walter suggests that the artwork is out of its traditional frame, which used to be its original surroundings. When the audience observes an art while sitting at their cozy sofa, the uniqueness of this type of work fades out quickly.