Wire Service
3 minute read
3 Dec 2019
1:58 pm

Four books to put under the Christmas tree for the little art lover in your life


Picasso famously once said: 'All children are artists. The problem is how to stay an artist when the child grows up.'

Picture: iStock

This holiday season, feed the creativity of your little artist-to-be with these four children’s books about art.

“Art This Way” by Tamara Shopsin and Jason Fulford (Phaidon Press)

Picture: Phaidon Press

This new interactive board book introduces children to the varied collection of New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art, including must-see masterpieces by Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, Alexander Calder and Roy Lichtenstein.

Art This Way notably features a variety of foldouts, flaps and die cuts that encourage young readers to dig deeper into the curated selection of fine art, in which male and female artists are showcased equally.

Each work of art is also accompanied by a concise text to provide context about the artist’s practice, allowing the book to speak to children aged between six months to five years.

Art This Way is listed at R283.

“The Bigger Picture: Women Who Changed the Art World” by Sophia Bennett and Manjit Thapp (Tate Publishing)

Picture: Tate Publishing

Art historian and critic Linda Nochlin famously wondered in her seminal 1971 essay, “Why have there been no great women artists?”

While museums are increasingly including works by female artists in their collections, The Bigger Picture dedicates its entire 112 pages to some of the most inspirational women in the art world.

This illustrated book features biographical entries on over 30 female artists from across the world, including American photographer Lorna Simpson, French sculptor Louise Bourgeois and feminist artistic collective Guerrilla Girls.

Young readers will also discover unique interviews with Rachel Whiteread, Yayoi Kusama and Paula Rego, in which they share their top tips for becoming an artist.

The Bigger Picture: Women Who Changed the Art World is listed at R312.

“A Life Made By Hand: The Story of Ruth Asawa” by Andrea D’Aquino (Princeton Architectural Press)

Picture: Princeton Architectural Press

This biographical book will introduce young readers to Japanese-American artist Ruth Asawa, whose nature-inspired wire sculptures were deeply influenced by her childhood in a farming family.

D’Aquino brings Asawa’s creative journey to life throughout an easy-to-read third-person narrative, notably chronicling her art studies at Black Mountain College with teachers like Merce Cunningham and Buckminster Fuller.

Mini art lovers will get a feel of the spirit of Asawa’s work through a series of charcoal and coloured-pencil drawings as well as mixed-paper collages.

Step-by-step instructions will also allow budding artists to create their own folded paper dragonfly to put their newly-learned knowledge in practice.

A Life Made By Hand: The Story of Ruth Asawa is listed at R254.

“Dr Seuss’s Horse Museum” by Dr Seuss and Andrew Joyner (Random House Books)

Picture: Penguin Random House

This never-before-published book will take young readers on a whimsical tour through a museum dedicated to equine-based artworks — with a horse as their guide.

Art reproductions of real-life masterpieces by Picasso, Jackson Pollock and George Stubbs will enable children to learn about the creative process of some of the biggest names in the art world.

Young fans of the Seussian universe will also be delighted to notice cameo appearances by classic Dr Seuss characters such as the Cat in the Hat, the Grinch and Horton the Elephant.

Dr Seuss’s Horse Museum is listed at R282.

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