What do artists read in the summer?

Legends Breathe, Water Mythologies , archival print of video still, by Allison Maria Rodrigues, part of ‘Exquisite Array”, in the Annex through July 28, 2019.

Legends Breathe, Water Mythologies, archival print of video still, by Allison Maria Rodrigues, part of ‘Exquisite Array”, in the Annex through July 28, 2019.

We asked–you might be surprised!

As the days warm and the beach beckons, we asked our gallery artists to share what they’ll be reading this summer. Not surprisingly, a wide range of titles were mentioned, some art-related, many not. While many were ambitious reads, some were more lighthearted, all thought-provoking.


For art books, Sarah Alexander highly recommends Grayson Perry’s Playing to the Gallery, a delightfully irreverent look inside today’s contemporary art world. 

Jim Banks recommends Ninth Street Women by Mary Gabriel, which he describes as “an amazing and very well written account of how Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler were instrumental in putting American art on the map. Interestingly, like today, it was a highly charged political atmosphere that they had to contend with.”

Joseph Fontinha is reading The Hatred of Poetry, by Ben Lerner, a short essay on the imperfections of the medium of language.

If you are into non-fiction, Chelsea Revelle recommends “In the Realms of the Unreal” about outsider artist Henry Darger. It exposes truths about his early life that disprove social assumptions.  Another one of Chelsea’s picks is “The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks” that examines the ethics of science and just how significant her cells are. 

Rebecca Skinner plans to read “When the Mines Closed: Stories of Struggles in Hard Times” by Thomas Dublin. She discovered the book while planning a photography expedition to the clothing factory that is referenced in the book. The factory is where the Shirley Temple brand was once manufactured.

“Ok, so this isn't a FUN read BUT I think it's a necessary one if you are serious about wanting to do something about the health of the planet and humanity,” notes Brenda Cirioni, who’s reading “Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism: The Belief System That Enables Us to Eat Some Animals and Not Others” by Melanie Joy.  

Even some of the fiction selections require some heavy lifting. Joseph Fontinha’s reading “Swann’s Way” by Proust, whom he calls “One of my fav authors and somehow this little guy (Swann’s Way) slipped through the cracks”

Alexandra Rozenman recommends a few modern authors such as Barbara Kingsolver, Alice Hoffman, Andrew Green, and Hanya Yanagihara, as well as a dark new release by her friend Katya Apekina, “The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish.”

On a lighter note, Sarah Alexander suggests “The Dublin Murder Squad” series by Tana French “addictive, well written, and not too serious,” as well as  “White Teeth” by Zadie Smith.

And of course, Core artist Kathline Carrs acclaimed book “Miraculum Monstrum” is a must read!


What’s on your list?