Arty books and films for 2022

Keep an eye out for those movies and books with a touch of art history over the next few months.


Louis Wain’s electric life, dir. Will sharpe
Benedict Cumberbatch stars as eccentric British artist Louis Wain, who worked for the Illustrated News from London before making a name for himself with his drawings of anthropomorphized cats. Read ApolloThe report by Wain, who died in 1939 in a mental hospital in St Albans, here.

Kaleidoscope Cats I – VIII (1920s / 30s), Louis Wain. Bethlem Spirit Museum, London. All photos: © Bethlem Museum of the Mind / Bridgeman Images

The Remembrance Part II, dir. Joanna hogg
This sequel to Hogg’s 2019 autobiographical film sees Honor Swinton Byrne as Julie, continuing her cinematic journey to graduation (with Byrne’s real mother Tilda Swinton returning to her parenting role – and taking classes in pottery). The Wallace collection may not have the important cameo it had in the first film, but the presence of Julie’s troubled first love is still felt as she struggles to find her own artistic voice.

The Duke, dir. Roger michel
Michell’s last film before his untimely death last year is based on actual events of 1961, when Kempton Bunton – a Newcastle retiree (Jim Broadbent) – allegedly stole Wellington’s portrait of Goya from the National Gallery. An art break with heart.

Compartment n ° 6, dir. Juho kuosmanen
The ancient petroglyphs are apparently the reason why Laura (Seidi Haarla), a Finnish archeology student, ends up on a long train journey from Moscow to Murmansk, where her rude traveling companion Ljoha (Yuriy Borisov) also heads, for find work in a coal mine. Cultural and class tensions begin to dissipate as they move north of the Arctic Circle.

X-ray of a family, dir. Firouzeh Khosrovani
This Iranian director turns to family photo albums to tell the story of her parents’ marriage in a documentary on Iran’s societal and religious divisions, with the 1979 Revolution at the center of the film.

Mrs. Harris goes to Paris, dir. Anthony Fabien
Lesley Manville and Isabelle Huppert star in this new adaptation of Paul Gallico’s 1958 novel, telling the story of a widowed housekeeper in London who becomes obsessed with owning a Dior haute couture dress. Need we say more?


the exhibitionist
Charlotte mendelson
Pan macmillan
The artistic ego approaches monstrous proportions in this story of a family reunited for a weekend in the run-up to Patriarch and artist Ray Hanrahan’s first exhibition in decades.

Pure color
Sheila heti
Ellsworth Kelly’s lithograph Green (Green) from 1964 to 1965 appears on the cover of Heti’s last novel, which describes our world as a first draft “made by a great artist, who is now preparing to tear it up”.

Bacon in Moscow
James birch
Setting up an exhibition is always a perilous business, but especially when you are a young British curator trying to organize an exhibition of Francis Bacon’s work in Moscow in 1988, amid Soviet attachés and KGB honey traps. It is the memoir of a curator more fascinating than most.

The real and the romantic: English art between two world wars
Francoise Spalding
Thames and Hudson
Previous books on Roger Fry, Vanessa Bell, John Minton, Duncan Grant, Gwen Raverat, and the Pipers are an excellent place for Spalding to re-evaluate the art of the interwar period.

The history of art without men
Katy Hessel
corner stone
This book evolved from the Instagram account @greatwomenartists that curator and broadcaster Hessel launched in 2015. It includes names that have rightly received renewed or more serious attention in recent years – such as The Painter. of the Renaissance Sofonisba Anguissola – as well as many, from Latin America to Nigeria to Japan, who did not.

Novelist as a vocation
Haruki Murakami
Harvill Secker
Murakami has reworked for a wider audience a collection of essays first published for the Japanese literary magazine Monkey, and they include his thoughts on art as well as literature and music, and the links between them.

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