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Afterall is a research and publishing organization based in London. Since 1999 Afterall has produced a semiannual journal featuring the work of artists and the effect of their work on wider culture and political debate. In 2006 Afterall initiated a new project to present further research into the social and theoretical context of contemporary art practice. The concept of Afterall Books was simple but unprecedented: take one work of art by one artist and produce an essential critical guide to it. Together, these beautifully illustrated and well-produced books constitute a growing library of insights and analyses into the ideas, methods and intentions of contemporary artists.

Bliz-aard Ball Sale

Drawing on unpublished documents and oral histories, an illustrated examination of an iconic artwork of an artist who has made a lifework of tactical evasion.


An illustrated exploration of Girlfriends (1965/66), one of Sigmar Polke’s important early paintings.

Picture for Women

Examining a work that marked the emergence of photography as an art made for the gallery wall instead of the printed page.

Night Sea

A close examination of Agnes Martin’s grid painting in luminous blue and gold.

Warhol Marilyn

An illustrated examination of a work—a Warhol that isn’t by Warhol—that embodies a shift in attitudes about artistic authorship and originality.

The Little Screens

An illustrated examination of an early photo-essay by Lee Friedlander that shows television screens broadcasting eerily glowing images into unoccupied rooms.

Educational Complex

An illustrated examination of a 1995 work by Mike Kelley that marked a significant change in his work.

Deleuze Monument

An illustrated examination of one of Hirschhorn’s “precarious” monuments, now dismantled.

The Studio

An illustrated examination of Philip Guston’s comic and complex painting The Studio.

Dropout Piece

An examination of Lee Lozano’s greatest experiment in art and endurance—a major work of art that might not exist at all.


An examination of the complex and subtle world on display in Rodney Graham’s film of an LSD-inflected bicycle ride.

Block-Experiments in Cosmococa—Program in Progress

An illustrated study that casts a new light on Oiticica’s most important work of “quasi-cinema” on its fortieth anniversary.


The first sustained examination of a canonical and widely exhibited work by a leading artist of the former Yugoslavia.

Infinity Mirror Room - Phalli’s Field

A study of Kusama’s era-defining work, a “sublime, miraculous field of phalluses,” against the background of abstraction, eroticism, sexuality, and softness.

Kunsthalle Bern 1992

An examination of a major 1992 installation by a pioneer of site-specific experimentation.

Rock My Religion

An illustrated exploration of a groundbreaking work and its connections to New York’s art and music scenes of the 1980s.

The Bowery in two inadequate descriptive systems

The first sustained critical examination of a work by Martha Rosler that bridged the concerns of conceptual art with those of political documentary.

Swingeing London 67 (f)

An illustrated study of Richard Hamilton’s famous Pop art painting of Mick Jagger and art dealer Robert Fraser in handcuffs.

One Ball Total Equilibrium Tank

An examination of a work that captures the spirit of the 1980s--commodification, seduction, and political inactivity.

Conical Intersect

A landmark work by Gordon Matta-Clark, examined as an “act of communication” about sustainability and the public role of art.

Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman

A critical examination of Dara Birnbaum’s action-packed and riveting video of Wonder Woman’s transformations.


An art project that spread AIDS consciousness like a virus, examined by an artist-activist.

A Line Made by Walking

An illustrated study of a work that marks the transition from minimalism to a new mode of practice encompassing conceptual art, land art, and performance art.

Étant donnés

Duchamp’s famous last artwork, seen not as a summation of his work but as an invitation to endless interpretation.

Au Naturel

Does art have a sex? A study of Sarah Lucas’s famous assemblage of objects that suggest male and female body parts.

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