A modest book that seeks to demystify art and increase the enjoyment of people visiting galleries has been such a success that its publishers, Awa Press, have produced a classy new hardback edition.
The original paperback edition of How to Look at a Painting by art writer and curator Justin Paton is now in its fourth printing. Acclaimed by critics in New Zealand internationally, the book won the Montana New Zealand Book Award for Contemporary Culture in 2006.
Auckland’s Desert Road Productions has received NZ On Air funding to adapt the book as a 12-part television series to screen on TV1 on Sunday evenings. Paton will narrate the series.
Awa Press’s publishing director, Mary Varnham, says they have been delighted by the book’s popularity – but not surprised. ‘As the Montana judges said, the quality of Justin’s writing is quite extraordinary – entertaining, exciting, moving, and above all a great read. He is right up there with the world’s best art writers.’
Currently a senior curator at Christchurch Art Gallery, Paton is no stranger to the Montanas, having been nominated no less than four times, mostly for commentary in exhibition catalogues. How to Look at a Painting is his first book for the general reader.
The new hardback edition has been designed by the much-awarded book designer Sarah Maxey. Publication date 1 September.