Delving into the world of contemporary art can be a daunting experience. To coincide with the MCA’s new informal yet informative lecture series, Tap Into Contemporary Art, Bridie from MCA Store has compiled a list of fun books to help you on your journey.
Suitable for all curious minds, from first time visitors and aspiring artists to industry professionals and hardened critics, these bestsellers provide a wealth of insight with a side of wit and humour.
There’s no denying the best way to learn about contemporary art is to head to a gallery or museum and How to Visit an Art Museum is thoughtfully designed to help you make the most of your visit. It covers a range of practical and philosophical concerns, ranging from general museum etiquette (Should I take photos? Is it rude to stare at nudes? Why do my legs hurt so much from walking in circles?), to how to pick the good art from the bad. Best of all it encourages you to slow down and look beyond the wall text for information – watch how other visitors interact, listen to the refreshing observations of children, join a guided tour, ask gallery hosts and store staff for recommendations and you may be surprised by what you discover!
Taking its title from one of the most overheard and amusing arguments against art, Why Your Five Year Old Could Not Have Done That is a fully illustrated crash course in modern art via 100 of the most divisive works in recent history. Thematically divided into five chapters the author tackles such hotly contested subjects as pop art and found objects, abstraction and expressionism, conceptual, landscapes and figurative art, with concise case studies outlining why each work is notably notorious, alongside helpful technical, historical and contextual information – a must-read for fans and critics alike.
Kicking off with the inspirational (Lesson No. 1: Art can be anything) and ending with a harsh dose of reality (Lesson No. 101: Not every art school graduate becomes a successful artist), 101 Things to Learn at Art School outlines the fundamentals of colour, form, composition, concept and context central to any formal art school education. Beautifully illustrated with the author’s own graphite renderings inspired by well-known works of art, (Lesson No. 2 Learn to Draw) it provides art school insight for the curious and inspiration for the rebellious – after all if art can be anything the rules are there to be broken!
Bridie manages inventory and online operations for MCA Store. A self-confessed book nerd, her personal library is full of fashion photography, feminist theory and trashy celebrity biographies. A practising visual and performing artist she is interested in representations of women in art and popular culture and is a passionate supporter of emerging local artists and designers.