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A Brush with the Real: Figurative Painting Today (Elephant Books) Hardcover – 24 Mar 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Laurence King (24 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780672837
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780672830
  • Product Dimensions: 22.2 x 3.2 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Marc Valli is the founder of the retail and book-selling company Magma as well as the magazines Graphic and Elephant. His books include RGB: Reviewing Graphics in Britain, Walk the Line and Microworlds (also with Margherita Dessanay).

Margherita Dessanay graduated from the University of Cagliari with a degree in the History of Art before studying for an MA in Contemporary Art Theory at Goldsmith s, University of London. She writes regularly for Elephant magazine and has co-written a number of books, including It s A Stick Up! and Stencil Republic.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By J. Mcdonald TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is a very useful addition to the growing number of publications dealing with the (equally) steady growth of serious figurative painting over the last decade or so.

The book features the work of 51 either recently established or emerging painters; some have already appeared in substantial catalogues/monographs or collective surveys of contemporary art, but the majority - I think - are being published in book form for the first time - I know of some only through the internet, magazine articles or from gallery exhibitions.
There are 320 colour illustrations - check out the available sample images in the product description if they're available; the general format is to have a page of text introducing each artist with statements or interview questions then 3-7 illustrated works; the picture quality is excellent, most plates are satisfyingly large and the paper quality and binding is good - only the rather utilitarian pasteboard nature of the covers detract from the overall quality of the book.
But this is a minor point.

A book well worth adding to your art library if you have a serious interest in figurative painting and (currently) available at a good price for such a volume.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Such an exciting book... from its thick card covers to it's slow-paced and informative text. The book is divided into three parts covering all aspects of contemporary figurative art. 51 painters, currently practicing, are given a voice with a full chapter each. The chapters begin with a short introductory paragraph which leads into the artist's own account of their processes, influences and passions, followed by plenty of full colour images of the work. This book is a joy to read and to handle, to dip into and to reference. A great book to possess.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By simon lw on 2 Sept. 2014
Format: Hardcover
Excellent overview of current painters, with a few exceptions, good for the price too.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this book. It introduced me to a host of contemporary artists from around the globe who I have not heard of before. The book is divided into sections and each section has a number of artist interviews and illustrations. Great book for dissertation reading.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The Most Exciting Selection of Artists In One Book I've Yet To Find 23 Jun. 2014
By C. K. Lidster - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
While a few names were familiar to me, like the brilliant Jeremy Geddes, who is rapidly developing international recognition, the majority of the artists featured were entirely new to me. Sharing the same 'turtleback' format as the editors' other Lawrence King book, 'Walk the Line' (which was an equally exciting view of the most talented young artists working in the mediums of charcoal, pencil and ink), it is essentially a heavy paperback with the extra-thick covers and spine of a hardcover, with rough-cut edges flush to the paper and minus the higher-quality binding of a hardcover. The paper stock is of the heavy, glossy variety I feel is a must for a full-color monograph, allowing the colors of each painting to retain a semblance of their natural vibrancy and/or subtlety. As the title makes quite clear, the focus is on the resurgency of figurative art, particularly amongst a younger generation of painters who drink from the same communal reservoir of endless inspiration known as the 'Google Image Search'. While I'm certain a so-inclined art journalist could easily dredge up a few cantankerous hippies to explain why this is actually the breaking of the seventh seal and the art apocalypse is nigh, it has made finding, organizing and manipulating source material a hell of a lot easier. There are similarities here and there, and Gerhard Richter exerts a strong influence on many of the artists represented. The differences, however, are much more pronounced and much more important. Since buying this book a month or so back, I've been impressed enough to seek out monographs by no less than seven of the artists I discovered in 'A Brush With The Real', most notably Jonas Burgert, Ulrich Lamsfuss, and Oda Jaune. Definitely a book to check out for anyone interested in contemporary figurative art.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful Book, Great Artist Selection, Strange Cover Material 29 Jun. 2014
By Hillary Anzis Hostetler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I like everything about the book, Except the cover. You're the selection is great, the reproduction quality is good. The interviews are brief but interesting. The cover is made out of some sort of gray cardboard. The edges of which are not sealed so will let moisture in. The binding is also not that sturdy. Still I would buy it anyway. I would just comment ,next time they go to print, they may want to change the cover to a more normal fabrication.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I really give this a 4. 5 because of ... 30 Sept. 2014
By William Snypes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really give this a 4.5 because of the cheap cover on it. The book contains commentary from each artist and well as examples of their work. Its very inspirational to anyone in the visual arts, from photographers to painters.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Pages great but the binding... 18 Jan. 2015
By DP - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Two different aspects:
1. Art surveyed is appropriate. The reproductions and text are decent.

2. Book cover/binding is not something that is as durable as a traditional hardcover.
This book seems to be a new hybrid binding. A cross between paperback and a hardcover.
It has a thick cardboard cover and back but a soft binding. Interesting, but does not inspire my confidence in durability.

I've collected art books for 20+ years, I'm artist and art teacher as well.
-DP, 1-18-2015
Five Stars 29 Sept. 2014
By Issa - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very good, with a lot of pictures.
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