5 Books for Art Lovers

Any art lovers in the house? We’ve got you covered with five reads that explore everything from what it means to be an artist, how we assign value to art, the complex practice of curation and more!


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Art Life by Catherine Ocelot, translated by Aleshia Jensen (Conundrum Press),

What does it mean to live the life of an artist? In her search for answers, Montréal-based cartoonist Catherine Ocelot seeks out the perspectives of seven different artists who share their personal stories that are at once wise and humorous. With a touch of the fantastical, Ocelot compares and contrasts these experiences to better understand how others have influenced her own work and who she is as an artist.

The Art of the Fall by Véronique Coté and Jean-Philippe Joubert (QC Fiction)

If the recent news about the newest Bansky piece being removed from a London subway car has you riled up, this book might be perfect addition to your TBR list. The Art of the Fall examines what makes art valuable through the story of a struggling artist and a hedge fund manager. Against the backdrop of the financial crisis of 2008, the darkness of the contemporary art scene and it’s complex ties to the global economy are brought to light.

The Benjamenta College of Art by Alan Reed (Pedlar Press)

This one is for the art lover who likes to get a little philosophical about their craft. This story follows Luca, a first-year student at the Benjamenta College of Art,  as he struggles to carve out a space for himself within the institution and overcome his own insecurities. Leaving his hometown behind, Luca fully immerses himself in his craft over the summer, hanging back to study the school itself in an attempt to render it perfectly on paper. This book is not just about the glory of any one final piece of art but the active work involved in creating.

Talking to a Portrait: Tales from an Art Curator by Rosalind Pepall (Véhicule Press)

If you’re a regular gallery-go-er, this pandemic lock-down has likely meant living vicariously through your art books until you can get back to seeing your favourite pieces in person. Art curator for the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, Rosalind Pepall, delivers the goods with this collection of essays that takes us behind the scenes of the world’s greatest art museums, the obsessions of their curators and how art shapes and adds meaning to our lives.

Becoming Our Future: Global Indigenous Curatorial Practice, edited by Julie Nagam, Carly Lane and Megan Tamati-Quennell (ARP Books)

If the complexities of curation tickle your fancy, here’s one more for you. Becoming Our Future explores curatorial practice from an Indigenous lens, with a collection of essays that bring together the voices of Indigenous curators, artists and scholars to share perspectives on the historical moments that unify and distinguish the practice under it’s own unique structural framework.

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