Art books coming soon in 2023: the pick of the crop


When We See Us: A Century of Black Figuration in Painting, edited by Koyo Kouoh

Thames & Hudson/Zeitz Mocaa, £45 (hb), published 19 January

Illustrating more than 200 figurative paintings by 161 artists from Africa and the African diaspora—spanning 100 years to now and interspersed with specially commissioned poetry and stories—this new study accompanies the landmark exhibition now at Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town (until 3 September).

The Museum of Other People: From Colonial Acquisitions to Cosmopolitan Exhibitions by Adam Kuper

Profile Books, £25 (hb), published 2 February

Adam Kuper, a former professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics, explores the history of the representation of foreign and prehistoric peoples in Western anthropological museums, while asking fundamental questions about the purpose and future of such collections.

Surreal Spaces: The Life and Art of Leonora Carrington by Joanna Moorhead

Thames & Hudson, £30, published 1 June

After Charles Darwent’s Surrealists in New York (out 16 March), Thames & Hudson’s Surrealism moment continues with Joanna Moorhead’s intimate journey through the spaces and places that inspired her cousin, the British-born Mexican artist Leonora Carrington, from Lancashire via Paris, Spain and New York to Mexico City.

The Trees of the Cross: Wood as Subject and Medium in the Art of Late Medieval Germany by Gregory C. Bryda,

Yale, £60 (hb), published 13 June

Gregory C. Bryda explores the spiritual and symbolic alongside the cultural, social and economic resonances of wood as a material for religious art. Ranging from altarpieces to portable pictures and including images of Christ’s Passion, and martyrdom, Bryda establishes wood as the “medium” between faith and the natural world.

Alfredo Boulton: Looking at Venezuela, 1928-1978, edited by Idurre Alonso

Getty Research Institute/Yale, £50 (hb), published 18 July

In 2020, the Getty Research Institute acquired the archive of the pioneering photographer Alfredo Boulton (1908-95), containing 4,000 prints and 20,000 negatives. Boulton is described as “shockingly under-recognised” beyond Venezuela, and this lavish publication, which examines his full range of activity, including pre-Hispanic art, promises to be revelatory.


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