Library: Animal Farm

Greenwich September 14th, 2017

Learn more about the artists featured in The Brant Foundation’s current exhibition, Animal Farma group show curated by Sadie Laska.

Please contact to inquire about specific materials in The Brant Foundation’s Library, or to make an appointment to visit.


Participating Artists

Nina Chanel Abney, Rita Ackermann, Alex Bag, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Katherine Bernhardt, Lizzi Bougatsos, Joe Bradley, Sarah Braman, Bread and Puppet Theater, William N. Copley, Thronton Dial, Jason Fox, Keith Haring, Wally Hedrick, Lonnie Holley, Sadie Laska, Chris Martin, Jeanette Mundt, Laura Owens, A.R. Penck, Joyce Pensato, Carol Rama, Tyson Reeder, Peter Saul, Bill Saylor, Kenny Scharf, Julian Schnabel, Josh Smith, Agathe Snow, Spencer Sweeney, Henry Taylor, Don Van Vliet and Sue Williams.

About The Brant Foundation Library

The Brant Foundation’s library program was established in 2009 to facilitate the appreciation and understanding of contemporary art and to advance our mission of promoting arts education. As both a museum and art study center, the Foundation’s library serves as a crucial resource for students, scholars, and educators by providing access to a unique collection of hard-to-find materials. After noticing the difficulties of obtaining contemporary art publications, typically as a result of rarity or expense, the Foundation was inspired to make efforts to broaden their holdings and increase accessibility to the public.

By reaching out to the surrounding arts community for help, the Foundation has accumulated an actively growing, rich collection of contemporary art books. With the contributions from the many organizations and institutions that share our vision, the public gains access to a wider range of materials used for the scholarly study and examination of contemporary art. Housing over 1,000 volumes – from exhibition catalogs and artist monographs to art criticism texts and periodicals – the library reflects the Foundation’s collection and admiration of contemporary art. Because of the rarity and value of the materials, our library is non-circulating, but we welcome and encourage the public to make use of the study center during operating hours. Please contact to make an appointment to visit The Brant Foundation’s library.

  • Nina Chanel Abney: Royal Flush

Nina Chanel Abney: Royal Flush

Abney’s first solo museum exhibition, Royal Flush will be comprised of the artist’s large-scale paintings, along with smaller collages and watercolors. While her work has strong ties to important modernist forebears such as Robert Colescott, Stuart Davis, Romare Bearden, and Faith Ringgold, among others, its distinct and arresting visual articulation of the human condition is inherently suited to the rapid-fire and unceasing quality of the Digital Age. Her dense and colorful iconography, a skillful engagement with serious issues, and the provocative way in which she addresses them has brought this young artist increasing critical acclaim in the contemporary art world.
Royal Flush will be on display at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University from February 16 to July 16, 2017.

Contributors: Jamillah James, Natalie Y. Moore, Marshall N. Price, Richard J. Powell, Sarah Schroth

Publication of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
  • Rita Ackermann

Rita Ackermann

This lavishly illustrated volume—created in close collaboration with the artist—chronicles the entirety of her career. Bonnie Clearwater connects the artist to Eastern European art historical precedents and examines the evolution in her practice over the last twenty years. Felix Ensslin thoughtfully examines Ackermann’s work through a panoply of European theorists’ writings, from Jacques Derrida to Jacques Lacan. Harmony Korine (famed writer of Kids) contributes an imagined conversation with the artist. John Kelsey explores the artist’s use of collage and its meaning in her body of work, and Josh Smith contributes a foreword, in the form of a personal letter.

  • Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat was born in Brooklyn, New York, to a Puerto Rican mother and a Haitian father–an ethnic mix that meant young Jean-Michel was fluent in French, Spanish and English by the age of 11. In 1977, at the age of 17, Basquiat took up graffiti, inscribing the landscape of downtown Manhattan with his signature “Samo.” In 1980 he was included in the landmark group exhibition The Times Square Show; the following year, at the age of 21, Basquiat became the youngest artist ever to be invited to Documenta. By 1982, Basquiat had befriended Andy Warhol, later collaborating with him; Basquiat was much affected by Warhol’s death in 1987. He died of a heroin overdose on August 22, 1988, at the age of 27.

  • Katherine Bernhardt

Katherine Bernhardt

Katherine Bernhardt was born in Saint Louis in 1975 and currently lives in New York. She received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York and her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her first solo museum exhibition will be at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis in January 2017, followed by The Modern, Fort Worth, in April 2017.

  • Joe Bradley

Joe Bradley

Hardcover – July 25, 2017

By Joe Bradley (Artist)

American painter Joe Bradley has distinguished himself among the artists of his generation with his mutable approach to art-making. With minimal fuss, Bradley works in series, picking up and discarding styles and oscillating between abstraction and figuration as it suits him. “A retrospective of his work would look like a group show,” wrote dealer and collector Kenny Schachter. Bradley’s first large-scale North American exhibition supports this observation: he is shown moving from expressionistic canvases that record the detritus and spontaneity of the studio environment to subtly figurative send-ups of Minimalist painting, then to starkly primitivistic glyphs drawn in grease pencil on unprimed canvas, followed by modular aluminum sculptures paired with textual directives.

This richly illustrated catalog, published to accompany Bradley’s mid-career survey organized by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, presents the full range of Bradley’s unique approach to language, abstraction and the evolutions of style. Joe Bradley includes reproductions of all works in the exhibition―some 30 paintings, 8 sculptures and 30 drawings―as well as an introductory essay by exhibition organizer Cathleen Chaffee, new scholarly essays, an interview with the artist and an exhibition history.

  • Sarah Braman: April Trip

Sarah Braman: April Trip

Published in conjunction with Braman’s 2010 exhibition ‘April Trip’ at Museum 52, this book includes snapshots of the artist’s sculptures in progress and in situ, as well as intimate photos taken on family car trips.

Published by: Museum 52 and CANADA

  • Rehearsing with Gods: Photographs and Essays on the Bread & Puppet Theater

Rehearsing with Gods: Photographs and Essays on the Bread & Puppet Theater

Far more than history or documentation, they identify eight archetypes engaged repeatedly by Peter Schumann and his crew. Their book consists of parallel meditations—the texts not commenting on the photos, the photos not illustrating the texts—unified and intertwined by the chapter themes of Death, Fiend, Beast, Human, World, Gift, Bread, and Hope.

Altogether, it’s a collaboration that reflects their sixty-odd man-years of personal experience in, hidden narratives of, and speculative reflections on Peter Schumann’s projects, ever-more relevant to our times. This is a book that will engage both fans and newcomers—an inside-view of Peter Schumann’s political-artistic world.

This book was generously donated by Bread & Puppet Theater.

  • William N. Copley

William N. Copley

Hardcover – March 22, 2016

By Gwen Allen (Author), Paul Franklin (Author), Alison Gingeras (Author), Jonathan Griffin (Author), Germano Celant (Editor, Introduction), Toby Kamps (Editor, Introduction), William Copley (Artist)

William N. Copley (1919–96) was a multifaceted American artist and art-world catalyst. Creator of madcap narrative paintings, drawings and installations, Copley was a unique figure in postwar art history well known for his humorous and sarcastic imagery. Known by his nom de plume CPLY, he was a self-taught artist pushing the limits of art-world decorum, as well as a collector, gallerist and connector of some of the most important artists of the 20th century, in particular European Surrealists and Dadaists such as Max Ernst, Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp, and American Pop artists. William N. Copleyassembles works from all phases of the artist’s creation, from the Parisian years to the last period spent mostly in solitude in his home in Sugarloaf Key, Florida, tracing the development of his painterly style and continual experiments with line, color, pattern and allegory. In Paris in the early 1950s, Copley developed a unique, ribald figurative style that bucked prevailing trends toward abstraction, taking inspiration from Surrealist painting, American, cartoon and silent-movie imagery. Throughout his career, he repeatedly returned to subjects like nudes, cars and nationalism; later works reveal his abiding interest in political and psychosexual themes, surrealist visual punning and vaudevillian Americana, making Copley a link between European Surrealist and American Pop circles. Featuring approximately 250 paintings and works on paper, the volume accompanies the first comprehensive presentation of the artist’s work in an American museum, also scheduled to travel to Italy.

  • Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial

Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial

Hardcover – February 11, 2010

By Joanne Cubbs (Author), Eugene W. Metcalf (Author)

Celebrating Thorton Dial’s contributions to American art, this book surveys the career of one of our most original contemporary artists, whose epic work tackles the most compelling social and political issues of our time. Born in poverty in Alabama, Dial has lived his entire life in the American South, and his art, informed by decades of struggle as a black working-class man, reveals a unique perspective on America’s most difficult and pervasive challenges, such as its long history of race and class conflict, the war in Iraq, and the 9/11 tragedy. This monograph includes reproductions of 70 of Dial’s large-scale paintings, drawings and found object sculptures spanning twenty years of his artistic career. Drawing inspiration from the rich symbolic world of the black rural South and with no formal education, Dial has developed a truly distinctive and original style. Incorporating salvaged objects in his work-from plastic grave flowers and children’s toys to cow skulls and goat carcasses-he creates highly charged assemblages combined with turbulent fields of expressionistic painting. With commentary from historian David Driskell, cultural critic Greg Tate, and art historian Joanne Cubbs, this volume brings long-overdue recognition to Dial’s remarkable career and offers audiences an unprecedented look into the creative world of this important artist.

  • Jason Fox

Jason Fox

Paperback – May 23, 2017

By Dan Nadel (Editor), Jason Fox (Artist), Joe Bradley (Contributor)

This book presents new paintings by acclaimed New York–based artist Jason Fox (born 1964), along with sketches, source material and works on paper made between 2006 and 2016. Fox paints hybrid portraits―humanoid monsters and existential figures―often posed behind a canvas, as though in the act of their own creation.

In an interview with the artist Joe Bradley included in this volume, Fox describes his influences and subject matter, which range from comic books, rock icons and minimalism, to his dog, Duncan, and former president Barack Obama. Published on the occasion of Square Cave, the artist’s solo exhibition at Canada gallery in New York, this book provides insight into Fox’s multivalent and psychedelic studio practice.

  • Keith Haring

Keith Haring

Hardcover – September, 1997

By Elisabeth Sussman (Author), Keith Haring (Author), Whitney Museum of American Art (Corporate Author)

In 1980, mysterious chalk drawings of simple outline figures began appearing on unused advertising space in New York City’s subway stations. Combining the appeal of Disney cartoons with the sophisticated “primitivism” of such artists as Jean Dubuffet, these underground artworks were bold, humorous, accessible, subversive–and unmistakably the work of one man, Keith Haring. This is the first look back at this singular talent. 325 illustrations, 175 in color.

  • Chris Martin

Chris Martin

Paperback – July 1, 2008

By Bruce Hainley (Author), Chris Martin (Artist)

Chris Martin’s paintings are investigations in color, form and texture, ranging from bold and graphic to gestural and expressionistic. He is deeply engaged with the history of abstraction, and many of his own paintings incorporate homages to artistic influences. Reviewing the works collected in this concise exhibition catalogue, The New York Times‘ Roberta Smith wrote, “It makes sense that Mr. Martin had his first solo show in 1988. Although he rightfully counts the painters Alfred Jensen and Forrest Bess among his inspirations, his style might be called 80s mongrel; a mélange of outtakes from Julian Schnabel, Keith Haring, Elizabeth Murray and Sigmar Polke. But he takes possession of all this by infusing it with his own sense of funky materiality, quasi-psychedelic color and hallucinatory light. Mainly he knows how to make a surface come to life with a fuss so minimal that it seems like showing off.”

  • Laura Owens

Laura Owens

Hardcover – November 3, 2015

By Walead Beshty (Author), Suzanne Hudson (Author), Trinie Dalton (Author), Mark Godfrey (Author), Rachel Kushner (Author)

Since first coming into prominence in the ’90s and early 2000s, Laura Owens’s work has offered a set of wholly new and critical ideas about painting. Propelled by the conviction that her work should prompt difficult questions about the nature of paintingOwens distinguishes her work by refusing to commit to one artistic identity.

From a consideration of the Owens’s varied use of line (Suzanne Hudson), the artist’s brilliant redefinition of painterly gesture (Walead Beshty), or her mining of visual contradictions (Trinie Dalton), Owens’s formal and conceptual inventiveness is reviewed from multiple perspectives. Owens’s use of language—as a graphic element, as words to be read, or more broadly as a system of signification that she explores and ultimately upends—is attended to by Rachel Kushner and Linda Norden. Mark Godfrey traces the recent developments in the scope of Owens’s work from 2012 to now. And wonderfully pithy texts by Gavin Brown and Wendy Yao (as well as a section of Norden’s essay) bookend the volume with personally inflected musings on the artist’s gallery/studio space in Los Angeles, 356 S. Mission Road.

LAURA OWENS surveys the many facets of the artist’s work that have been responsible for her influential career, and it is the first title to critically assess the Owens’s most recent work.

  • A.R. Penck

A.R. Penck: Early Works

Essay by Annabelle Ténèze
Published by Michael Werner, 2016

Published on the occasion of the exhibition A.R. Penck: Early Works, 11 December 2015 – 20 February 2016 at Michael Werner Gallery, London and 9 June – 3 September 2016 at Michael Werner Gallery, New York.

This book was generously donated by Michael Werner Gallery. 

  • Joyce Pensato: I Killed Kenny

Joyce Pensato: I Killed Kenny

Hardcover – December 31, 2014

By Jeffrey Uslip (Author), John Yau (Author), Monica Rumsey (Editor), Joyce Pensato (Artist), Elsa Longhauser (Foreword), Ali Subotnick (Contributor)

For more than 30 years New York–based artist Joyce Pensato (born 1941) has transformed America’s most iconic cartoon characters into psychologically charged enamel paintings and charcoal drawings. Her subjects, such as Mickey Mouse, Felix the Cat, Donald and Daisy Duck, the Simpsons, Batman and South Park‘s Kyle and Stan, oscillate between comedic representation and menacing abstraction. I Killed Kenny is the first museum exhibition devoted to Pensato’s work and features the monumental wall painting “Running Mickeys,” created on-site for CAM. Presenting a selection of key paintings and works on paper spanning Pensato’s career―from being mentored by Joan Mitchell and Mercedes Matter at the New York Studio School in the 1970s to her most recent metallic painting, “Gold Batman”―this book reveals her work’s evolution.

  • The Passion According to Carol Rama

The Passion According to Carol Rama

Hardcover – August 25, 2015

By Lea Vergine (Author), Pierre Bal-Blanc (Author), Jack Halbertam (Author), Ariana Reines (Author), Paul Preciado (Editor), Anne Dressen (Editor), Teresa Grandas (Editor), Carol Rama (Artist), Maurizio Cattelan (Artist)

Ignored for decades by official art-history discourses, Italian Carol Rama (1918-2006) can be considered today to be one of the essential artists for understanding 20th-century production. Through a selection of 120 works–mostly paintings–and essays by Paul B. Preciado, Anne Dressen and Teresa Grandas, in addition to the contributions of a selection of artists, writers and musicians, this clothbound volume proposes an attempt to recognize and restore a life’s work–one markedly feminine and sexualized–still unknown but nevertheless slated to become classic.

This publication aims not only to explore the art of Carol Rama, but also to challenge the dominant narratives of art history through work that requires us to undo narratives and reformulate concepts. Almost forgotten by art history and the feminist movement, the work of Rama, stretching over seven decades, constitutes an anti-archive allowing a reconstruction of the avant-garde movements of the 20th century.

  • Peter Saul: A Retrospective

Peter Saul: A Retrospective

Hardcover – August 1, 2008

By Robert Storr (Author), Peter Saul (Artist)

Concerning his penchant for difficult or vulgar subject matter, San Francisco-born painter Peter Saul has stated, “Putting crime, war, sex, distortion and low class stuff into the picture is a way to take the decoration out of the picture–literally remove it from the dining room because no one is going to drink orange juice in the same room with it.” Saul fuses his MAD Magazine-inspired humor with a Surrealist painting style to create difficult, funny and trenchant works–what Robert Storr, who has penned an essay for this volume, refers to as “sick jokes.” Presaging Paul McCarthy and Mike Kelley and exerting noticeable influence on artists such as Barry McGee and Ed Templeton, Saul’s oeuvre is long overdue for deeper examination and this comprehensive publication provides the first complete overview of his work over the past five decades–from his epic historical canvases to his homage to Thomas Hart Benton, his lampoons of art world sacred cows and works evidencing his particular take on the existential dilemmas of the aging American male. More recent works satirizing current affairs round this volume out.

  • Kenny Scharf

Kenny Scharf

Hardcover – March 24, 2009

By Richard Marshall (Author), Ann Magnuson (Contributor), Carlo McCormick (Contributor), The Paul Kasmin Gallery (Contributor)

As one of today’s most exciting artists, Kenny Scharf rose to prominence in the New York art scene in the ’80s as part of a dynamic and influential group of artists that included Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. He has since returned to California, but he has retained the playful Pop aesthetic for which he is internationally renowned. This complete new volume covers Scharf’s illustrious career and his experiences and activities in the downtown art scene. His work is instantly recognizable, with idiosyncratic cartoon creatures popping up in the oddest of places: in paintings, on functional objects, or piled up on top of each other to form huge totem-poles. Richard Marshall helps navigate the reader across the decades of Scharf’s career. Carlo McCormick’s essay focuses on Scharf’s fanciful customized cars and installations. Ann Magnuson reminisces about Scharf’s happenings in the East Village and the club scene.

  • Julian Schnabel

Julian Schnabel

Hardcover – November 4, 2003

By Julian Schnabel (Author)

Designed by Julian Schnabel, this volume presents more than 300 of the artist’s works – many never exhibited or published before. Beginning with Schnabel’s earliest sketches and paintings from the late-1960s, the book moves on to his rise to the top of the art world of the 1980s, with works such as “Portrait of Andy Warhol” from 1982 (one of many critically acclaimed broken-plate paintings included here) and “Pope Clement of Rome” from 1987. The book then covers Schnabel’s later paintings, including the massively scaled “Big Girls” series, and work in photography, sculpture and film. More artist scrapbook than monograph, the book’s text consists of telling excerpts from Schnabel’s own interviews, essays and notes, along with works of poetry and fiction that have inspired his work.

  • Josh Smith: Fishes

Josh Smith: Fishes

Published by Xavier Hufkens

The catalogue for the first solo exhibition by New York-based artist Josh Smith at Xavier Hufkens, Brussels, the subject of both the book and show is his extensive series of paintings of fish. The paintings, colourfully playful renditions of fish that are likely based on koi, are done in thick layers of paint. Despite their simple appearance, the works carry with them multiple levels of interpretation and meaning. In her conversation with the artist, also published in the book, Anne Pontégnie remarks, “Fish are the incarnation of life, they have a symbolic value. So the paintings are not actually about fish per se.”

  • Whitney Biennial 2008: Agathe Snow

Whitney Biennial 2008: Agathe Snow

Paperback – March 28, 2008

By Henriette Huldisch (Author), Shamim M. Momin (Author)

This book accompanies the 2008 Biennial of the Whitney Museum of American Art, always a highly anticipated event in the art world. Inaugurated by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1932, the Whitney’s biennial exhibitions have received acclaim, stirred controversy, and unfailingly fostered artistic innovation and diversity. The 2008 Biennial features some 85 artists and collectives working in many media and employing a variety of methods and practices.


For more information on the Whitney Biennial 2008 and its participating artists, visit

  • Spencer Sweeney

Spencer Sweeney

Hardcover – January 26, 2016

By Alex Bag (Author), Larry Clark (Author), Abel Ferrara (Author), John Giorno (Author), Spencer Sweeney (Artist)

Painter, DJ and nightlife promoter Spencer Sweeney (born 1973) has been an indelible and essential part of New York City’s cultural landscape for almost two decades, connecting to longstanding roots in the city’s music, art and life after dark. While many mourn the loss of the NYC they love, Sweeney has never fallen out of love with his city. This huge but affordable volume is filled with the evidence: pages of fascinating interviews with fellow faithfuls such as Alex Bag, Larry Clark, Abel Ferrara, John Giorno, Mary Heilmann, Harmony Korine, Johan Kugelberg, Jim Lambie, Glenn O’Brien, Will Oldham, Elizabeth Peyton, Rob Pruitt and Tony Shafrazi; archival photos documenting the countless moments, both legendary and obscure; and of course, hundreds of Sweeney’s colorful paintings that synthesize life in New York in the second decade of the new century.

  • Henry Taylor

Henry Taylor

Hardcover – September 30, 2014

By Laura Hoptman (Author), Naima Keith (Author), Henry Taylor (Artist), Peter Eleey (Contributor)

Los Angeles-based artist Henry Taylor (born 1958) applies his brush both to canvas and to unconventional materials–suitcases, crates, cereal boxes, cigarette packs–using everyone and everything around him as source material. While Taylor drew and painted in his youth, he studied art formally only later in life, attending the California Institute of the Arts after working for ten years as a psychiatric nurse at a state hospital. This experience sharpened his interest in, and appreciation for, individuals from all economic and social backgrounds, and encouraged a passion to create an intensely empathetic style of portraiture. Published on the occasion of Taylor’s 2012 exhibition at MoMA PS1, where the artist established his New York studio for the duration of the show, the publication explores Taylor’s ambitious and deeply humanistic project to present a worldview defined by the people–extraordinary and ordinary–with whom we live.

  • Don Van Vliet: Paintings & Poems

Don Van Vliet: Paintings & Poems

Paperback – 2007


Published by Michael Werner Gallery.

This book was generously donated by Michael Werner Gallery.

  • Sue Williams

Sue Williams

Hardcover – January 26, 2016

By Johanna Burton (Author), Ruth Erickson (Author), Lionel Bovier (Editor), Sue Williams (Artist)

The first comprehensive monograph dedicated to the American artist Sue Williams (born 1954), this book follows her work from the early 1980s to her most recent paintings. Over the course of her 40-year career, Williams has made an array of artwork, from modest paintings of mostly representational scenes in a cartoonish style to large-scale abstract paintings erupting in brilliant colors. In her newest works, figuration and abstraction are mixed anew, for although the images are abstract, the beholder comes across recognizable details–individual body parts or formations reminiscent of human organs.
Williams has continuously explored and challenged the fantasies of feminism, sexuality, gender and culture in her work. Throughout her practice she has explored the ambiguous boundary between a secure place and an insecure one, between the real and the imagined, drawing the viewer into her world of provocative sexual politics.