Book Review – Vitamin T

Mr X Stitch Book Review

Vitamin T:  Threads & Textiles in Contemporary Art 

Published by Phaidon

Written by Phaidon Editors and Jenelle Porter

Introduction

At first glace, this is rather a weighty publication – with its grey contemporary handback cover and large size (304 pages).

The publishers tell us…

Celebrating tapestry, embroidery, stitching, textiles, knitting, and knotting as used by visual artists worldwide, Vitamin is the latest in the celebrated series in which leading curators, critics, and art professionals nominate living artists for inclusion. As boundaries between art and craft have blurred, artists have increasingly embraced these materials and methods, with the resulting works being coveted by collectors and exhibited in museums worldwide. Vitamin T is a vibrant and incredibly timely survey – the first of its kind.

Lets find out if this is worth a purchase.

Who is it aimed at?

Those with a serious interest is Textiles an not simply a hobby, but a form of Contemporary Art.  For those of us who are sick of Textiles getting looked down upon and not seen as a true art form – well this is for you!

About the artist

The publishers and writers of this book have previously provided us with other similar publications, each with a specific focus – Painting was one highlight in their catalogue of books with this same layout.

Content

Rather than detailing information about the specific artists used through this tome, lets look at the publication itself as an overall art form, detailing the highlights:

The pages of Vitamin T have a certain feel to the touch. A variety of layouts makes the book visually interesting.
The pages of Vitamin T have a certain feel to the touch. A variety of layouts makes the book visually interesting.

There are 110 artists used through this tome.  Thus there will be something to appeal to us all.  Sculpture, quilting, illustrative pieces….this encyclopaedia style of book has it all.

Visually the book is engaging, the imagery is second to none.
Visually the book is engaging, the imagery is second to none.

What makes it special?

Lets begin with the front cover.  With its moth eaten vibe, we couldn’t not give it a mention.  Its cool, modern, appealing to those who may have turned aside from Textiles to favour the ‘Arts’ – it begs attention and thus elevates its subject matter.

Vitamin T front cover
Vitamin T front cover

Moving inside the publication, we are surprised with the nature of the pieces included.  This is not the run of the mill hobby like Textile art we may be used to….

See Also

The work enclosed and detailed within this book is exciting.
The work enclosed and detailed within this book is exciting. It demands closer inspection.  Is it Textiles?  Sculpture?  Mixed Media?

Photography

Many pages are illustrated with one image only - rather than text.
Many pages are illustrated with one image only – rather than text.

 

Double spread imagery makers the focus on the work over any explanation – a nice change from many textile related publications.

What is wrong with the book?

For those who are more inclined to the ‘how to’ style book or who view Textiles as a hobby over an art form, this may simply become a boring read.  You need to be interested in how Textiles can be seen in the Contemporary Art setting.

Yet, this book really is a celebration – of how we see and how others see this exciting medium, letting it have a high profile appearance due to its use within this book.

Conclusion

Using the link below, you can purchase a copy right now….its a beautiful one to have on your coffee table, to dip into and relax with…

Vitamin T:  Threads & Textiles in Contemporary Art 

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