Who doesn’t love a smart summer page-turner, the kind of book you enjoy on the beach as you soak up a few craft-brewed ales? (Recommended.) MAN offers up five art beach-books for your summer enjoyment. None is as frothy as a Danielle Steel, but you wouldn’t be caught dead in the Hamptons or in Carmel toting such piffle, would you?
1.) Robert Hughes, Nothing If Not Critical. Smart, opinionated exhibition reviews from a time when NYC critics didn’t fawn over every NYC museum show they saw.
2.) Peter Robb, M, The Man Who Became Caravaggio. One of the most stylish, violent artist biographies out there. With this exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada (and on its way to the Kimbell), it’s also timely.
3.) Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan, de Kooning: An American Master. One of the best artist biographies of the last decade. Two extra reasons to read it now: This upcoming retrospective at MoMA, an opportunity to double-up by reading Susan E. Lake’s superb study of de Kooning’s materials.
4.) Jonathan Lopez, The Man Who Made Vermeers: Unvarnishing the Legend of Master Forger Han van Meegeren. This well-spun tale features Vermeers, fakes, Nazis, fakes, Vermeers and fakes. What more do you need?