Reading List

Art: A Verso Bookshelf

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When galleries display alt-right propaganda, participate in social cleansing, and are sponsored by arms manufacturers, the status of art production must be called into question. How do art and politics intersect? Here we list writers at the forefront of these discussions.

ALL our books are 50% off until January 1 as part of our end-of-year sale! See full details here, as well as our End of Year HighlightsGift Guide, and our best short reads.

Females is Andrea Long Chu’s genre-defying investigation into sex and lies, desperate artists and reckless politics, the smothering embrace of gender and the punishing force of desire. 

In his brilliant new work, leading artist and writer James Bridle surveys the history of art, technology, and information systems, and reveals the dark clouds that gather over our dreams of the digital sublime.

A passionately urgent call for all of us to unlearn imperialism and repair the violent world we share. 

It’s not capitalism, it’s not neoliberalism—what if it’s something worse?

Savage Messiah collects the entire set of Laura Grace Ford’s fanzine to date. Part graphic novel, part artwork, the book is both an angry polemic against the marginalisation of the city’s working class and an exploration of the cracks that open up in urban space. 

In The Social Photo, social theorist Nathan Jurgenson develops bold new ways of understanding the transformations wrought by these image-making and sharing technologies and the cultural objects they have ushered in: the selfie, the faux-vintage photo, the self-destructing image, the food photo. Jurgenson shows how these devices and platforms have remade the world and our understanding of ourselves within it.  

Rancière’s magnum opus on the aesthetic.

 A leading philosopher presents a radical manifesto for the future of art and film.

An award-winning cultural history of how we experience the world through art, film and architecture.

Tracking the postconceptual dimensions of contemporary art. 

What can we do when arms manufacturers sponsor museums, and some of the world’s most valuable artworks are used as currency in a global futures market detached from productive work? Can we distinguish between information, fake news, and the digital white noise that bombards our everyday lives? Exploring subjects as diverse as video games, WikiLeaks files, the proliferation of freeports, and political actions, Steyerl exposes the paradoxes within globalization, political economies, visual culture, and the status of art production. 

Leading artists, theorists, and writers exhume the dystopian and utopian futures contained within the present. 

What does art tell us about ourselves? John Berger on the politics and consolations of creativity. 

A lifetime’s encounter with artists: from prehistoric cave painting to the present. 

Exploring how neoliberalism has discovered the productive force of the psyche.

High modernism is now as far from us as antiquity was for the Renaissance. Such is the premise of Fredric Jameson’s major new work in which modernist works, this time in painting and music, are pitted against late-modernist ones (in film) as well as a variety of postmodern experiments: all of which attempt, in their different ways, to invent new forms to grasp a specific social totality. Throughout these historical periods, argues Jameson, the question of narrative persists through its multiple formal changes and metamorphoses. 

A revolutionary reimagining of the cities we live in, the air above us, and what goes on in the earth beneath our feet.

The collision of activism and contemporary art, from the Seattle protests to Occupy and beyond. 

A meditation, in words and images, on the practice of drawing, by the author of Ways of Seeing.

ALL our books are 50% off until January 1 as part of our end-of-year sale! See full details here, as well as our End of Year Highlights, Gift Guide, and our best short reads.