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Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Vitamins for everyone

Phaidon's Vitamin series is the best survey of contemproary Art in print. Divided by discipline, each volume weighs as much as the Yellow Pages and explodes with inspiration.

It started in 2002 with Vitamin P, which looks at contemporary painting. 114 artists, and a bunch of my favorites (Tim Gardner, Neo Rauch, Chris Ofili). I was covetous until my birthday, when very kind people bore this gift.


Then Vitamin D blew the top off P. 109 drafters chosen by a panel of curators and museum directors. A whole slew of younger artists I'd never heard of, and other well-known radness. Marcel Dzama, William Kentridge, Raymond Pettibon, Devendra Banhart. The scope is broad, and the quality is excellent. With a particular emphasis on the primal-naive character of much recent drawing, you will want to quit your job and draw more.


I haven't yet thoroughly inspected Vitamin Ph (Photography) but looking at it now, I see the quality is consistent. Thick, glossy pages bursting with colour. Loads of evocative work that plays with boundaries of fiction and fact.

If you're looking for an entry point, or are not feeling inspired by what's going on in the art world today, I command you to pick up these books.

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