Atlanta Contemporary have invited artists to share books, writings, and other literature that inspire their practice. The books below are recommended to us by THE END! curator Craig Drennen.
John Currin: The Dogwood Thieves by John Currin
This book traces Currin’s path through the six years it took to complete a single painting, The Dogwood Thieves. Every dead end and misstep depicted with deadpan clarity. A useful antidote for the overdetermined. Published by A.S.A.P. 2012
Our Aesthetic Categories: Zany, Cute, Interesting by Sianne Ngai
This book is still a genuine game changer in that it calmly suggests that nearly everything we’ve been taught about aesthetics is worse than wrong—it’s irrelevant. When you’re finished with it, go back and read her other book, Ugly Feelings. Harvard University Press. 2015.
Ignatz by Monica Youn
Here’s a case where a practicing lawyer wrote one of my favorite books of recent poetry. She uses George Herriman’s Ignatz character as an algebraic stand-in for the men in her life. Somehow this appropriated disguise makes the emotional content closer, not farther away. By chance I met Youn at an awards ceremony in New York City a couple of years ago where she ignored me completely. I’ve never felt more understood. Four Way Books. 2010
The Pornhub Podcast
This is not a book but go ahead and listen to gallerist Michele Maccarone of Maccarone Gallery discuss her exhibit “The Pleasure Principle” with Asa Akira and explain when and how the art world is too conservative for actual innovation.
Lee Lozano: Dropout Piece
by Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer
This is still one of my favorite books about a single artist, and it’s technically about a single artwork. One of the great accomplishments of this book is its tone. The author glides through Lazano’s world like the cool kids that first took you to record stores---surefooted and informed but right by your side. Afterall Books. 2014 (eBook only)