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The Globe Books 2013 gift guide: 5 books for art lovers

Art and Queer Culture, by Catherine Lord and Richard Meyer

Vitamin D2: New Perspectives in Drawing

Phaidon, 352 pages, $69.95

Do you fancy yourself a drawer? Well, step right up and be prepared to be humbled. Phaidon's essential Vitamin series, which surveys specific artistic disciplines, delivers this astounding assessment of the state of the drafted line, packing work from 115 artists from around the world into an anthology by turns strange, moving, breathtaking and perplexing.

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Christopher Pratt: Six Decades

By Tom Smart

Firefly, 176 pages, $60

Finally, the book Newfoundland's Christopher Pratt, one of Canada's most prominent painters and printmakers, deserves. A large-format retrospective covering the artist's entire career, this edition features well over 100 of Pratt's works, with warm and appreciative accompanying text by curator Tom Smart.

Art and Queer Culture

By Catherine Lord and Richard Meyer

Phaidon, 412 pages, $75

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This ambitious survey of 125 years of queer art seeks to establish a comprehensive record of a big, sprawling field. In large part, it succeeds, creating a tapestry as varied and surprising as you'd expect. And thanks to its exquisite design, it's a piece of art itself.

Marcel Dzama: Sower of Discord

By Marcel Dzama

Abrams, 288 pages, $75

Dzama has become one of the most internationally celebrated Canadians, but not by sacrificing any of his fundamental weirdness: He remains a visionary trickster equally capable of befuddling us and blowing us away. This beautiful book brings together much of his work alongside essays, an interview and three Dzama-inspired short stories by Dave Eggers because hey, why not?

The Libertine: The Art of Love in Eighteenth-Century Paris

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Edited by Michel Delon

Abbeville Press, 496 pages, $125

Lethargy, big rosy bottoms, simpering maidens, acres of silk: These were the ingredients for the brand of titillation that prevailed in 18th-century France. Full-colour pictures are accompanied by fiction excerpts from the same era that describe the life of a voluptuary. Marvel at a world where leisure was fetishized in a way we can't imagine today.

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