Skip to main content

It’s that time of year! The moment when we gather to vote on the Best of 2022 in several categories, including books, movies, fashion trends and more. In this edition of the Best of 2022, we share our picks for the best art, design and fashion coffee table books of 2022, including new works about notable women artists and their artworks.

What are the best coffee table books of 2022?

We love art books. In fact, of all the different kinds of books we love to read, art books are almost certainly our favorite to own. After all, they are a little like two-dimensional museums – if museums were small enough to sit on our coffee tables, ready for the hands of our curious houseguests. They can be so physically stunning, that they are almost always worth collecting.

Our picks for the best art, design and fashion coffee table books of 2022, including new works about notable women artists and their artworks.

Our picks for the best art, design and fashion coffee table books of 2022, including new works about notable women artists and their artworks.

And now that we’re approaching the end of 2022, we are ready with a list of our favorites from this year. Here are ten art books you don’t want to miss.

10 best art, design and fashion and coffee table books of 2022

1. Art is Life: Icons and Iconoclasts, Visionaries and Vigilantes, and Flashes of Hope in the Night by Jerry Saltz

When it comes to the world of art, there are few figures who loom as large as Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Jerry Saltz. In his new book, Saltz delivers an account of the last two decades – of the art, of course, but also of the circumstances surrounding that art. He writes about artists, public figures, historical moments, and even his own life, and in doing so, creates what is perhaps one of the most significant books of the century so far. If you’re struggling to make sense of the recent past, perhaps art – and Saltz’s account of art – will offer you a helpful lens through which to better understand it

best art coffee table books 2022.BUY NOW: $27.00.

2. Nadine Ijewere: Our Own Selves by Nadine Ijewere and Lynette Nylander

Known for her vibrant, eye-catching photographs, London artist Nadine Ijewere was the first Black woman photographer to shoot a cover of Vogue. This book is the first dedicated to her subversive photographs, all of which work to challenge what the viewer sees as traditionally beautiful. As well as her editorial work – for Vogue, Hermes, Valentino, Stella McCartney, and others – the book also includes other photographs from her career, such as her series capturing Jamaican women’s hairstyles throughout multiple generations.

best art coffee table books 2022

BUY NOW: $38.53.

3. Artists: Their Lives and Works by DK and Ross King

Art books can add complexity to an artist’s work by contributing background information that provides additional context and depth to the images themselves. And that is the explicit mission of Artists: Their Lives and Works, a book that presents artists’ biographies alongside reproductions of their work. As you travel through time – from 1500 to the present – you’ll see the way that the stories of the artists themselves help to add significance to what you see in their glorious creations. You’ll also learn the historic context of larger art movements, and come away with a better understanding of art history.

best art coffee table books 2022

BUY NOW: $28.80.

4. African Art Now: 50 Pioneers Defining African Art for the Twenty-First Century by Osei Bonsu

In this new book, curator Osei Bonsu presents profiles of fifty leading figures in contemporary African art. Experience reproductions of works from both well-known and emerging artists, which different greatly in style and expression, and which come together help to create a survey of African art today. Featuring works by Amoako Boafo, Bronwyn Katz, Tunji Adeniyi-Jones, and many others.

best art coffee table books 2022BUY NOW: $54.18.

5. Wild Things Are Happening: The Art of Maurice Sendak by Maurice Sendak and Jonathan Weinberg

As well as including the iconic images that made him famous, this new book takes steps to illuminate the creative process of beloved picture book artist Maurice Sendak. The most comprehensive survey of his work to date, the book includes never-before-seen sketches and storyboards, as well as interviews with collaborators, and text that helps to place his work in cultural context. Also included is an essay by Thomas Crow, tracing the legacy of Where the Wild Things art coffee table books 2022 BUY NOW: $44.50.

6. Louis Vuitton: Virgil Abloh

Released in September of this year, this book is a tribute to visionary fashion designer Virgil Abloh. The volume presents more than three hundred illustrations of Abloh’s work for Louis Vuitton, as well as the words of those closest to him – such as Kid Cudi, Naomi Campbell, Kendall Jenner, and others. And with its eye-catching silk cover – featuring a cartoon of Abloh’s spring-summer 2021 show – this would be the perfect book for any coffee table.

BUY NOW: $120.00.

7. Farah Al Qasimi: Hello Future

From May of this year, this book presents a survey of Al Qasimi’s work so far. Her photography focuses on the Persian Gulf states, looking at postcolonial power structures and the effect they have on gender dynamics, aesthetics, and so much more. As well as a wonderful art book to add to your collection, this is the perfect introduction to the artist’s work. BUY NOW: $60.67.

8. Great Women Painters by Phaidon Editors

Featuring three hundred women painters across five hundred years, this ambitious new release reaches to include both history’s most iconic names and today’s emerging ones. Get lost in the works of Georgie O’Keeffe, Frida Kahlo, Yayoi Kusama… and 297 others, and follow as the medium of painting develops over more than five centuries.

BUY NOW: $51.34.

9. Ruth Asawa: Citizen of the Universe by Emma Ridgeway

In this new release, readers find an introduction to the world of American sculptor Ruth Asawa, who is one of the most important figures of modern art. Released in tandem with the artist’s first public exhibition in Europe, the book looks at Asawa’s signature hanging sculptures, as well as her understanding of herself as a “citizen of the universe.” With a focus on the years between 1945 and 1980 – a formative chapter in the artist’s life – the book presents an understanding of both Asawa’s life and her powerful creations.

BUY NOW: $37.94.

10. Friends to Keep in Art and Life by Nicole Tersigni

This cheeky art book is one that might also make a good gift for the holidays. Nicole Tersigni combines classical paintings with a manifesto on female friendship, honoring the special – and ridiculous – things that bring women together. After seeing how relatable these paintings are – thanks to Tersgini’s quippy captions –  you may be able to find new meaning in them, and new meaning in your friendships as well.

BUY NOW: $14.95.

What are the 10 best art and coffee table books of 2022?

Those are our picks for the best art, design and fashion coffee table books of 2022, including new works about notable women artists and their artworks. What’s on your list for the best of the year, dear reader?

Abbie Martin Greenbaum

Abbie Martin Greenbaum is a writer, reader, and pop culture connoisseur, who loves storytelling, coffee, and dessert. Her work has also appeared in Playbill.