Two current exhibits at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Wilshire Blvd, Calder: From Avant-Garde to Iconic and David Hockney: Seven Yorkshire Landscape Videos inspired a visit to the library to find books on the artists. The library has a terrific art book collection.
The important thing to know about Alexander Calder is that he invented the mobile. Every time you look at a baby’s crib and see a mobile sailing in the air, think about the American sculptor. If you want a snapshot of his work, check out The Essential Alexander Calder by Alexander Greenfield. Compact in size and length, it includes biographical information and color reproductions. Calder: Mobilist, Ringmaster, Innovator by David Bourdon places the artist in the context of other modern artists and has illustrations of his animated wire circus sculptures. And, if you are looking for a more lavish and detailed book with beautiful illustrations, take a look at Alexander Calder: the Paris Years: 1926-1933 by Joan Simon, which traces how the artist was inspired to create his famous work.
David Hockney came from England to Los Angeles in the 1960’s and discovered the joy of living in the Southern California sunshine, something that influenced much of his work. The current exhibit shows his return to England. Hockney is an approachable artist whose bright colors and familiar subjects always have visual appeal. David Hockney: A Retrospective is a glorious book full of reproductions of painting, drawings and photos. That’s the Way I See It is an autobiographical work that explains his motivation.
Whether an art aficionado or not, you’ll enjoy browsing the art books to discover these two artists, as well as many others.