Galleries West Online Magazine – Art Books Issue
15 December 2020 | Vol 5 No 25 | ISSN 2561-3316 © 2020
Western Canada’s art magazine since 2002


From the Editor

Each December for the last three years, Galleries West has published a special issue devoted entirely to art books. We are the only Canadian publication to track art books this way and it has become one of our most popular issues. This month, our fourth annual art books issue looks at 2020, a tough year for Canadian publishing, which is struggling with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, like so many other sectors.

For the lead feature, we scoured bookstores and online sites for art books published this year and then compiled them into a roundup of new Canadian art books. We also asked arts writers across the country to review individual books with an international focus. Yellowknife-based writer Sarah Swan chose a book by American critic Jerry Saltz, How to be an Artist. As she writes: “I’d read anything by Jerry Saltz, even a treatise on phone books or bowling balls.” Paul Gessell, a veteran arts journalist in Ottawa, opted for Young Rembrandt: A Biography, by Dutch writer Onno Blom, while Edmonton’s Agnieszka Matejko chose The Obama Portraits, which tells the story behind the official portraits in Washington, D.C. Vancouver writer John Thomson selected A Visual Protest: The Art of Banksy, while I reviewed Short Life in a Strange World: Birth to Death in 42 Panels by British writer Toby Ferris, a fabulous account of his odyssey to see every work by Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

Galleries West publishes online every second Tuesday. I encourage you to sign up for an email reminder so you don’t miss our next issue, which will ponder themes from the year just past, including the pandemic’s impact on public art galleries and how cross-cultural realities are being reflected in new ways by contemporary artists and curators.

Best wishes for the holiday season,
Portia Priegert


About Galleries West
Galleries West, an online magazine that publishes every two weeks, is a vital gateway to the visual arts, publishing timely features, previews, reviews and news stories about artists and exhibitions across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the North.

Don’t miss a single issue. Sign up here to receive a free copy of Galleries West in your inbox every second Tuesday.