Print Sources for Collectors

Unfortunately, the contemporary art world makes understanding art today difficult for anyone without a Ph.D. The writing about art tends to be obtuse, convoluted, and unintelligible. All of the following magazines have reviews many of which are unreadable. Do NOT be intimidated if you do not understand art writing. No one does. However, the pictures are great and can help to provide you with a better understanding of not only what is out there but also what you like. 

Magazines

Art News Magazine
Great source for reviews and market information.

Art in America
Another great source for reviews, and artists' profiles.

Art Forum Magazine
Often clotted/dense writing, but great pictures. Covers all aspects of the avant-garde art world.

Art & Auction Magazine
The best source of up-to-minute news and gossip in the world of art and auctions. Moreover, has great coverage of the-ever-evolving internet art world. 

Books

The Art Market

Discovering Art
Jeanne Frank, New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1997. A wonderful guide for learning about art, written by a knowledgeable straight shooter.

American Visions: The Epic History of Art in America
Robert Hughes: Alfred A. Knopf, New York
A 635 page "entertaining and insightful contemplation" of the epic history of American art.

Living with Art 5th Edition
Rita Gilbert, McGraw Hill, 1998
An exploration that begins with practical explanations of art terms and techniques. A historical section details ancient through contemporary art.

Art Market Guide
Published annually by Richard Polsky; Worth Magazine calls it "a cross between a tip sheet and an art appreciation guide".

Learning to Look at Paintings
Mary Acton: Routledge, 1997. Deals with key terms like composition, space, line, form and visual meaning. The author analyzes works by Picasso and Rothko, among others, and uses her analyses as teaching tools.

The Art Biz: The Covert World of Collectors, Dealers, Auction Houses, Museums, and Critics
Alice Goldfarb Marquis, Chicago: Contemporary Books, 1991 - Filled with information on the inner workings of the art boom in the 80's.

Inside New York's Art World
Barbaralee Diamonstein. New York: Rizzoli, 1979 

General Art History (Just some of the best)

The New York School: A Cultural Reckoning
Dore Ashton, New York: Penguin Books, 1979

Origins of Modern Sculpture: Pioneers and Premises
Albert E. Elsen, New York:George Baziller, 1974

Art of the Postmodern Era
Irving Sandler, New York: Harper and Row, 1978

The History of Impressionism
4th Ed. Rev., John Rewald, New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1973