Colossal’s Favorite Art Books of 2022 — Colossal

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Colossal’s Favorite Art Books of 2022 — Colossal



November 28, 2022


A photo of book covers

As we near the end of 2022, we’re taking a look back at the year, starting with the books we found most compelling, impressive, and inspirational. We’ve published dozens of articles on artist monographs and compendiums of broader topics across art and design and science and history over the last 12 months, and these are the 10 titles that impacted us most.

Head to Bookshop to browse all 25 books on our list, including the highly anticipated Hilma AF Klint Catalogue Raisonné, a glimpse into rarely-seen works by Ruth Asawa, and a dive into the history of protest art.


A photo of a colorful underwater organism

Ocean, Exploring the Marine World

Across its 352 pages, Ocean, Exploring the Marine World dives into the planet’s notoriously vast and mysterious aquatic ecosystems, traveling across the continents and three millennia to uncover the stunning diversity of life below the surface. It presents science and history alongside art and illustration, including biological renderings by Ernst Haeckel, Katsushika Hokusai’s woodblock prints, and works by artists like Kerry James Marshall, Vincent van Gogh, and Yayoi Kusama.


A photo of colorful costumes and a pony bead relief

Nick Cave: Forothermore

From floral Soundsuits and found-object sculptures to a multicolor web of millions of pony beads, Forothermore surveys the 30-plus-year career of artist Nick Cave and accompanies a massive retrospective of the same name.


A photo of two embroidered works of bees and flowers

Paint with Thread: A Step-By-Step Guide to Embroidery Through the Seasons

Learn the distinctive stitching techniques of artist Emillie Ferris with Paint with Thread: A Step-By-Step Guide to Embroidery Through the Seasons. The how-to volume contains instructions for creating five whimsical projects that utilize Ferris’s long and short stitches to create textured portrayals of flora and fauna.


A painted portrait of a woman with botanics and fruits covering her face

Great Women Painters 

Spanning nearly 350 pages, Great Women Painters highlights more than 300 artists across 500 years and a vast array of movements and aesthetics. The book pairs icons like Frida Kahlo and Leonora Carrington with contemporary artists like Ewa Juszkiewicz and Katharina Grosse in a broad and diverse overview of the women who profoundly impact art today.


A photo of a book cover

An Alternative History of Photography

From East Asia to West Africa and New Zealand to Uzbekistan, this volume traverses the globe as it acknowledges the recognized greats of the medium and uncovers overlooked artists, traditions, and techniques. The book contains hundreds of images across decades, including works from Western icons like Robert Frank, Diane Arbus, Man Ray, and Ansel Adams and African studio photographers like Sanlé Sory, Michel Kameni, and Malick Sidibe.


A photo of a bright orb and people lying on the floor

Olafur Eliasson, Experience

This enormous, nearly 500-page monograph explores the inimitable career of artist Olafur Eliasson. The edition comprises a breadth of works from the 1990s to today, including “The Weather Project” from 2003 (shown above) and the more recent “Life,” which flooded Fondation Beyeler with murky green waters.


A photo of a figurative textile sculpture with a massive tongue in a gallery

Prime, Art’s Next Generation

Across nearly 450 pages, PRIME, Art’s Next Generation offers a broad and insightful survey of the Millenials defining the future of the art world, including Jordan Casteel, Tau Lewis, and Firelei Báez. The tome takes a broad look at what’s emerged from a cultural and creative landscape shaped by the internet.


A portrait of Jean Michel Basquiat

Photo by Lee Jaffe

Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure

This monograph accompanies the expansive King Pleasure exhibition that opened earlier this year in Chelsea and offers an intimate and holistic glimpse at the life that inspired Jean-Michel Basquiat’s oeuvre. The 336-page book features a broad array of works, interviews with family members, and an in-depth consideration of his life.


A photo of a book cover

Art and Climate Change

We’re continually concerned with the effects of the climate crisis, and this collection within Thames&Hudson’s World of Art series draws together an array of works that respond to the current moment.



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