Filmmaker Mark Cousins explores the role that visual experience plays in our individual and collective lives. In a deeply personal new documentary, Cousins meditates on the power of looking in his own life, he guides us through the riches of the visible world, a kaleidoscope of extraordinary imagery across cultures and eras.
Here, Cousins selects the books that inspired and informedThe Story of Looking.
Rent the film here via our Modern Films screening room, and 50% of the revenue will go directly to the independent bookshops on the platform.
Mark Cousins£20.00 £19.00
The book: From great works of art to holiday photos, from cityscapes to cinema, through science and history, protest and propaganda, and the refusal to look, this book illuminates how we construct as well as receive the things we see.
"A visually compelling book about one of the first great abstract painters. She was modern, innovative and obsessive – and overlooked by art history for decades."
"A kind of bible for me. A book that weaves together so many of the things I’m passionate about – walking, self-loss, internationalism, the joys of solitude."
Gertrude Stein£9.99 £9.49
"Propulsively readable, brilliantly evocative of modernism’s early years in Paris and so, so playful! I learnt a lot about voice from this book."
"My copy of this is so well-thumbed and written on. Arnheim’s classic text on the psychology of looking de-mystified art. It was like looking under its fuselage."
"A retread through art history in the light of recent discoveries in brain science, Onians’ book shows that many of the great painters and thinkers instinctively understood neuroactivity. A must for art and visual culture teachers."
Virginia Button£15.00 £14.25
"Vivid, concise introduction to the visual ideas of one of the greatest 20th Century painters. A model of how to write about imagery."