Alexander, D. (2005). Slide show projected images in contemporary art. PA, USA : The Pennsylvania State University Press.

Baldessari, J & Cranston, M. (2004). 100 Artists See God. New York, NY: Independent Curators International

Barrett, E. (2011). Kristeva Reframed. London, UK : I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd.

In a world immersed in readymade images, consumer advertising and the bureaucratised language of institutions, Kristeva’s work explains how art or aesthetic experience is one of the few means by which we can generate and access images that are linked to our vital and lived experiences and that have the capacity to engender personal, political and social renewal.  For Kristeva art  or aesthetic experience is a practice that constitutes both a subject (a sense of self), as well as an object that has the power to transform meaning and consciousness.  She views the production of a work of art as continuous with the production of the life of the individual, as a dynamic and performative process that moves between and across embodied experience, biological processes and social and institutional discourses. (Barrett, Introduction).

Batchelor, D. (2000). Chromophobia. London, UK: Reaktion Books Ltd.

Bishop, C. (2005). Installation Art. London, UK: Tate Publishing.

Installation Artprovides both a history and a full critical examination of this area of contemporary art, from 1960 to the present day. Claire Bishop argues that, as installation art requires the audience to physically enter the artwork in order to experience it, installation pieces can be categorised by the type of experience they provide for the viewing subject. She uses case studies of significant artists and individual works as examples for each category. Methodologies are explored of the artists examined, Bishop also explains the critical theory that a informed their work.

Bryson, N. (1990). Looking at the Overlooked; Four essays on still life painting. London, UK: Reaktion Books Ltd.

Four distinct yet critically interconnected essays, Bryson analyses the origins, history and logic of ‘still life’.  The first essay on Roman wall painting observes how still life nagivates movements between the raw and the cooked, nature and culture, reality and illusion.  In the second essay the author surveys a major segment in the history of still life, from 17th century Spanish painting to Cubism, discussing worlds by Cotan, Zurbaran, Caravaggio, Cezanne, Juan Gris and Chardin.  The third essay tackles the vexed field of 17th century Dutch still life, contributing original insights on the relation between the art of painting and the economy of overproduction.  The last essay argues that the persisting tendency to downgrade the genre of still life is profoundly rooted in the historical oppression of women.  Bryson concludes that it is the immutable history of material things which maintains the continuity of still-life and allows us to place such different types of image in a single category.

Cain, S. (2012). Quiet. New York, NY: Crown Publishers.

Carter, M. (1990). Framing Art and the Visual Image. Sydney, NSW: Hale & Iremonger Pty Limited.

This book guides the reader through the processes of art production; the nature of the codes, conventions and symbols at work in visual images; and the dimensions that form the encounters between art and spectators.  It also introduces some theoretical influences that are current in contemporary thinking about art, such as cultural codes, psychoanalysis, and semiotics.  The author argues that the work is best understood within the diverse settings which make up the modern art world.

Chandler, D. (2002). Semiotics The basics. New York, NY: Routledge.

Batchelor, D. (2014). The Luminous and the Grey. London, UK: Reaktion Books Ltd.

Fraenkel Gallery (2013). The Unphotographable. New York, NY: D.A.P.

Gallagher, A. (2012). Damien Hirst. London, UK: Tate Publishing.

Gellatly, K. (2012). 101 Contemporary Australian Artists. Melbourne, AUST: National Gallery of Victoria.

Grunenberg, C & Hollein, M. (2002). Shopping: A Century of Art and Consumer Culture. Ostfildern-Ruit: Germany.

Grynsztejn, M. (2007). Take your time: Olafur Eliasson. New York: US. Thames & Hudson Inc

Hall, S. (2007) This means this, This means that; A users guide to semiotics. London: Laurence King Publishing Ltd.

Semiotics is the theory of signs.  Signs are amazingly diverse: from simple road signs that point to a destination, to smoke that warns us of fire, to the culturally-conditioned symbols buried within art and literature, our reading of signs is very much a part of everyday life.  Yet semiotics is often perceived as a mysterious science.  This introductory book decodes the mystery of semiotics using visual examples instead of abstract theory.

Heartney, E.(2008) Art and Today. New York, NY: Phaeton Press Ltd.

Harten, DL. (1999) Heaven. Germany: Hatje Cantz Publishers

Keller, T. (2009) Counterfeit Gods. London, UK: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

Timothy Keller, pondering the persistent temptation to worship what can only disappoint, and with a vital message for today’s climate of financial and social difficulty.

Newton, K. & Rolphh, C. (2006). Stilled: Contemporary Still Life Photography by Women. Cardiff, WL: Zenith Media.

Kohler, M. (1995) Constructed Realities: The Art of Staged Photography. ZH, Switzerland: Edition Stemmle

Kury, G. & Holland, C. (2005). Part Object Part Sculpture. Ohio, USA: WExner Center for the Arts

Manco, T. (2014) Big Art Small Art. London, UK: Thames & Hudson

A survey of contemporary art (primarily sculpture and installation) both large scale works and small scale.

Mitchell, W.J.T. (2005) What do Pictures Want? London: The University of Chicago Press Ltd

Pictures are ‘ways of world-making,’ not world mirroring, says philosopher Nelson Goodman.  Pictures are themselves products of poetry, and a poetics of pictures address itself to them, as Aristotle proposed, “as if they were living beings, a second narrative that human beings have created around themselves.” (Mitchell preface XV)  The question to ask of pictures from the standpoint of a poetics is not just what they mean or do but what they WANT what claim they make upon us, and how we are to respond.  Obviously, this question also requires us to ask what is it that we want from pictures.

Mitchell, W.J.T. (1986) Iconology; Image, Text, Ideology. CH, USA: The University of Chicago Press Ltd

Nelson, R.S. & Shiff, R. (1996,2003) Critical Terms for Art History. CH, USA: The University of Chicago Press Ltd

New 235 Bowery New York NY 10002 USA Museum (2007) Unmonumental: The object in the 21st Century. London, Uk: Phaidon Press Limited

O’Donohue, J. (1990) Anam Cara: A book of Celtic Wisdom. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

John O’Donohue, poet, philosopher, and scholar, guides the reader through the spiritual landscape of the Irish imagination.  Anam Cara is gaelic for ‘soul friend’.  This beautiful book contains the ancient teachings, stories and blessings of Celtic wisdom and provides profound insights on the universal themes of friendship, solitude, love and death.  Some examples; Light is generous; The human heart is never completely born; Love as ancient recognition; Solitude is luminous; Beauty likes neglected places; The passionate heart never ages; Too be natural is to be holy; Death as an invitation to freedom.

Olalquiaga, C. (1998) The Artificial Kingdom. MN, USA: University of Minnesota Press

From her pet glass-globed hermit crab Rodney to the Victorian era’s Crystal Palace, Celeste Olalquiaga offers a meditative look at the origins of kitsch and what kitsch tells us about the conflicts between the real and the artificial tradition and modernity, nostalgia and melancholy.  Olalquiaga artfully traces this form to the mid-1800’s and establishes kitsch as a sensibility of loss – a yearning for objects to help recapture the past – and explains how these artefacts respond to a deep seated human need for meaning and connection with nature.

Petry, M. (2011) The art of not making. London, UK: Thames & Hudson.

Pitts, P. (1998) Contemporary New Zealand Sculpture: Themes and Issues. Ak, N.Z. : David Bateman Ltd.

An overview of contemporary NZ sculpture.  It explores themes, ideas and issues that have occupied New Zealand sculptors, and shows how New Zealand artists have extended the possibilities of sculpture in inventive and individual ways.

Rothkopf, S (2014). Jeff Koons A Retrospective. New York, NY: Whitney Museum of American Art.

Schaeffer, F.A. (1968). Escape from Reason. IL, USA: Intervarsity Press.

Man is dead.  God is dead.  Life has become meaningless existence; man a cog in a machine. The only way of escape lies in a non-rational fantasy world of experience, drugs, absurdity pornography, in elusive “final experience”, madness….If this is the 20th century mentality how did it come about? In Escape from Reason Dr Schaeffer traces the way in which Art and Philosophy have reflected the dualism in Western thinking introduced at the time of the Renaissance.

Smith, J.K.A. (2006). Who’s afraid of Post-Modernism?. MI, USA: Baker Academic

An insightful exposition of three key post modern philosophers – Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault -with illustrations from both popular media and culture.  Smith argues strongly for a church that learns from postmodernism how to revitalise it’s pre-modern heritage.

Smith, J.K.A. (2009). Desiring the Kingdom. MI, USA: Baker Academic.

Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation.

Smith, J.K.A. (2013). Imaging the Kingdom. MI, USA: Baker Academic.

This book is the second of Smith’s three-volume theology of culture.   The author expands and deepens the analysis of cultural liturgies and Christian worship which he began to develop in his acclaimed Desiring the Kingdom. Drawing on the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Pierre Bourdieu, this book helps readers understand and appreciate the bodily basis of habit formation and how liturgical formation–both “secular” and Christian–affects one’s fundamental orientation to the world. Worship “works” by leveraging one’s body to transform his or her imagination, and it does this through stories understood on a register that is closer to body than mind.

Sontag, S. (1961). Against Interpretation and other essays. London, UK: Penguin Books

Townsend, C. (2004). The Art of Bill Viola. London: UK: Thames & Hudson

Tuchman, M. (1986). The Spiritual in Art Abstract Painting 1890-1985. New York, NY: Abbeville Press

This volume is a body of research on the origins of abstract art and their connections with occult and mystical belief systems throughout the period of modernism.  It demonstrates that the genesis and development of abstract art were inextricably tied to spiritual ideas current in Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  A high proportion of visual artists working in the past one hundred years have been involved with these ideas and belief systems, and their art reflects a desire to express spiritual, utopian or metaphysical ideals that cannot be expressed in traditional pictorial terms.

Weintraub, L. (1996). Art on the edge and over. Lichfield, USA: Art Insights, Inc.

Welchman, J.C. & Graw, I. & Vidler, A. (1999). Mike Kelley. London, UK: Phaidon Press Ltd

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