Guest Curator Alice Rawsthorn invites twelve of her friends from the fields of contemporary art, design and other areas of contemporary culture to nominate books for Dublin Art Book Fair 2020.

The list includes twenty titles nominated by Alice and a further seventy-seven books suggested to us by her invitees. Collectively these books add another incredible, fascinating and diverse dimension to the books that DABF 2020, Design as an Attitude gathers together. The nominated books are available to purchase on our Shop and come with short notes of recommendation, written by their nominees.

Alice Rawsthorn (writer and design critic), Paola Antonelli (Senior Curator of Architecture and Design, MoMA), Alvaro Barrington (artist), Hilary Cottam (social designer), Michael Craig-Martin (artist), Es Devlin (artist and stage designer), Conor Donlon (owner Donlon Books, London), Marie Donnelly (philanthropist), Andrew Durbin (writer and editor of frieze), Helen Marten (artist), Hans Ulrich Obrist (Artistic Director, Serpentine Galleries, London), Zoé Whitley (Director, Chisenhale Gallery, London).

Selection by Michael Craig-Martin, artist

Giorgio Vasari, Lives of the Artists: A Selection v. 1(Penguin Classics)
Giorgio Vasari, Lives of the Artists: A Selection v. 2 (Penguin Classics)

This is the first real art history book, consisting of a series of biographies of artists of the time. Every famous Italian Renaissance artist is here. The book remains remarkably readable and informative, down to earth, generous with both praise and criticism, containing biographical information enlivened by a mix of gossip, anecdotes, both true and invented, with an emphasis on the idea of creative development from generation to generation. It marks the moment in Western art when the anonymous medieval artist craftsman became a distinctive individual 'artist' in the sense we still recognise today.

Vincent Van Gogh, The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh (Penguin Classics)
Vincent van Gogh's letters, written over his artistic career, shed light on every facet of the life and work of this complex and extraordinary man, describing his personal artistic development and creative process. He writes movingly, revealing his religious struggles, his ill-fated search for love, his attacks of mental illness, and his relationships, particularly with his brother Theo. You will recognise through his words the same man who produced paintings of such intense emotional and spiritual depth.

Donald Judd, Donald Judd: Complete Writings 1959-1975 (DAP Ltd)
Donald Judd, Donald Judd: Writings(David Zwirner Books/Judd Foundation)

Unlike most other artists, Judd's writings are not personal diaries or memoirs. They are principally essays on art and, most unusually, reviews of other artists' work. Judd was an excellent writer and the most gifted artist-critic, as robust and straightforward in his writings as in his work. He wrote hundreds of exceptionally insightful reviews which together with his highly influential essays provide a unique access to the art and ideas of the sixties to which the present owes so much. Judd is the best model I know for writing about art and anyone attempting to do so would be well advised to read this book.

Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again (Penguin Modern Classics)
This is the most surprising and entertaining book by an artist I've ever read. In fact, it was ghost written but the voice is unmistakeably and uniquely his. It covers Andy's thoughts about everything: his childhood, art, love, beauty, fame, celebrity, movies, photos, work, trash, sex, time, death, money, success, etc. It is funny and touching, ridiculous and profound, detached and ironic. Andy had such an acutely attuned instinct for the essence of contemporary life that many of his thoughts and observations turned out to be prophetic, and though it was written 45 years ago, this book seems to me to be as relevant today as it was when it was written.

Pierre Cabane, Dialogues with Marcel Duchamp (Da Capo Press)
No modern artist has had more books, essays, and theses written about his work, life, ideas, psychology, and influence than Duchamp. Widely considered the most influential artist of the 20th century, a man of exceptional intellect and originality, Duchamp has represented a challenge to an army of writers, their task made more difficult by his often wilful and playful subversiveness. Not surprisingly many of these writings are as obscure and as difficult to understand as his own. By contrast nothing I've ever read about him is as revealing and accessible as his fascinating conversations with Pierre Cabanne.

Eugène Delacroix, The Journal of Eugène Delacroix(Phaidon)
The 19th century French romanticist painter Delacroix started writing his Journals in 1822. He was gifted as both an artist and writer. He writes beautifully and with passion about everything from his daily life with its joys and sorrows, to his painting and creative thinking processes, from his achievements, doubts, and disappointments, to his love of the art of others, of music and literature, but also his views of the political events of his time. This book offers a unique insight into art through the mind of a great artist.

Michael Craig-Martin (born 1941, Dublin, Ireland) is an artist and lecturer based in London. He studied at Yale School of Art and Architecture in the 1960s and then in the 1980s he started teaching at Goldsmiths College and was a significant influence on the emerging YBA generation. Craig-Martin's early works featured ready-mades and later moved to painting and increasingly complex site-specific wall paintings.