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Will Hobson's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Will Hobson recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Will Hobson's favorite book recommendations of all time.

One of the most important and powerful works in the literature of art, this critically acclaimed classic is now available in a boxed set edition with all the original text and illustrations.

Articulate, intimate, written with honest directness, these letters lay bare the events of van Gogh's dramatic life, providing remarkable insights into the creative process and touching revelations of his personal anguish.

The Complete Letters of Vincent van Gogh was first published by New York Graphic Society in 1958. Surely among the most distinguished books ever published,...
Recommended by Will Hobson, and 1 others.

Will HobsonA very brilliant example of somebody having someone in their lives they can communicate with. (Source)

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The World of Yesterday

Stefan Zweig's memoir, The World of Yesterday, recalls the golden age of prewar Europe - its seeming permanence, its promise and its devastating fall with the onset of two world wars. Zweig's passionate, evocative prose paints a stunning portrait of an era that danced brilliantly on the brink of extinction. It is an unusually humane account of Europe from the closing years of the 19th century through to World War II, seen through the eyes of one of the most famous writers of his era. Zweig's books (novels, biographies, essays) were translated into numerous languages, and he moved in... more
Recommended by Will Hobson, and 1 others.

Will HobsonHe celebrates how much more he’s been able to learn from his own life than his parents had been able to in theirs. It’s amazingly graceful and light. (Source)

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Kosta Alex

The Greek-American artist Kosta Alex (1925-2005) initially trained in figure sculpture in Manhattan. In 1947 he moved to Paris, where he mingled with and exhibited alongside the avant-garde artists of his day. His interest in the flattening of forms led him to create his first series of decoupage-collages in about 1950. Like many other artists of the time, he was drawn to using humble, utilitarian materials such as corrugated cardboard, packaging, newspapers, magazines, wallpaper, timetables, lists, maps, and other scraps culled from daily urban life. He integrated these elements into his...

Recommended by Will Hobson, and 1 others.

Will HobsonVictor Hugo was one of the people experimenting with inkblots, and this is the most wonderful book. (Source)

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With over thirty illustrations in color and black and white, Phantasmagoria takes readers on an intellectually exhilarating tour of ideas of spirit and soul in the modern world, illuminating key questions of imagination and cognition. Warner tells the unexpected and often disturbing story about shifts in thought about consciousness and the individual person, from the first public waxworks portraits at the end of the eighteenth century to stories of hauntings, possession, and loss of self in modern times. She probes the perceived distinctions between fantasy and deception, and uncovers a host... more
Recommended by Will Hobson, and 1 others.

Will HobsonLooks at everything from table turning to Ouija boards, spirit photographs, the irrational in the modern age, ghosts, and monsters. (Source)

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A loosely formed autobiography by Andy Warhol, told with his trademark blend of irony and detachment


In The Philosophy of Andy Warhol—which, with the subtitle "(From A to B and Back Again)," is less a memoir than a collection of riffs and reflections—he talks about love, sex, food, beauty, fame, work, money, and success; about New York, America, and his childhood in McKeesport, Pennsylvania; about his good times and bad in New York, the explosion of his career in the sixties, and his life among celebrities.
Recommended by Hal Foster, Will Hobson, and 2 others.

Hal FosterMy version of Warhol is very different from others’. So often he is seen as the artist most at ease with the iconicity of celebrities and products, and with the image-world of consumer society at large. I focus instead on how distressed his works are. They show how difficult it is to project an image and sustain a brand, no matter who you are – star, criminal or average Joe. (Source)

Will HobsonThere was something very utopian about Warhol’s images of iconic consumer objects, of which the Rorschach Test was one. (Source)

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