Alexandra Munroe’s writings have been translated into Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and Farsi.

Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World

By Alexandra Munroe with Philip Tinari and Hou Hanru, 2017
Published by the Guggenheim Museum Publications, New York

Published on the occasion of the largest exhibition of contemporary art from China ever mounted in North America, Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World explores recent experimental art from 1989 to 2008, arguably the most transformative period of modern Chinese and recent world history. Featuring over 150 iconic and lesser-known artworks by more than 70 artists and collectives, this catalogue offers an interpretative survey of Chinese experimental art framed by the geopolitical dynamics attending the end of the Cold War, the spread of globalization, and the rise of China. Critical essays explore how Chinese artists have been both agents and skeptics of China’s arrival as a global presence, while an extensive entry section offers detailed analysis on works made in a broad range of experimental mediums, including film and video, ink, installation, Land art and performance, as well as painting and photography. An appendix includes a selected history of contemporary art exhibitions in China, artist biographies, and a bibliography.

Featured artists and collectives include Ai Weiwei, Big Tail Elephant Group, Cai Guo-Qiang, Cao Fei, Chen Zhen, Gu Dexin, Huang Yong Ping, Kan Xuan, Libreria Borges, Liu Xiaodong, New Measurement Group, Qiu Zhijie, Shen Yuan, Yu Hong, Xu Bing, and Zhang Peili. An appendix includes a selected history of contemporary art exhibitions in China, artist biographies, and a bibliography.

Edited by Alexandra Munroe with Philip Tinari and Hou Hanru

With contributions by Jane DeBevoise, Katherine Grube, Lu Mingjun, Stephanie H. Tung, Anthony Yung, and Xiaorui Zhu-Nowell


Gutai: Splendid Playground

By Ming Tiampo and Alexandra Munroe, 2013
Published by the Guggenheim Museum, New York

With contributions by Pedro Erber, Katō Mizuho, Alexandra Munroe, Judith Rodenbeck, Hirai Shōichi, Ming Tiampo, Reiko Tomii, and Midori Yoshimoto along with Lyn Hsieh and Nakajima Izumi as well as archival material from the Gutai group

The Gutai Art Association (active 1954–72) was the most influential artistic collective in postwar Japan and among the most important international avant-garde movements of the 1950s and ’60s. Founded by Yoshihara Jirō in Ashiya, near Osaka, the group spanned two generations, totaling 59 artists over its 18-year history. Against the backdrop of Japan’s World War II militarism and defeat, the American Occupation, and Japan’s postwar reconstruction as a democratic state on the world stage, Gutai’s radical experiments broke through borders between painting and performance, object and process, and between art, the ordinary public, and everyday life. Gutai: Splendid Playground demonstrates Gutai’s range of bold and innovative creativity; examines its aesthetic strategies in the cultural, social, and political context of postwar Japan; and aims to further establish Gutai in an expanded, transnational history and critical discourse on modern art. ISBN: 978-0-89207-489-1


Lee Ufan: Marking Infinity

By Alexandra Munroe, 2011
Published by the Guggenheim Museum, New York

With contributions by Alexandra Munroe, Akira Tatehata, U-hwan Yi, and Mika Yoshitake

The first North American museum retrospective devoted to artist, philosopher, and poet Lee Ufan, Lee Ufan: Marking Infinity charts Lee’s creation of a visual, conceptual, and theoretical language that has radicalized and expanded the possibilities for sculpture and painting. Deeply versed in modern philosophy, Lee is an influential writer on aesthetics and contemporary art and is recognized as the key theorist of Mono-ha, an antiformalist, materials-based art movement that developed in Tokyo in the late 1960s. This richly illustrated catalogue features the artist’s most iconic sculptures, paintings, and works on paper from the 1960s to the present and an anthology of the artist’s writings, including seminal essays on contemporary art published here in English for the first time. This volume also includes a scholarly essay by Alexandra Munroe; a meditation on Lee’s poetics by Tatehata Akira, poet, critic, and President, Kyoto City University of the Arts; and a narrative chronology of the artist’s life and work compiled by Tokyo-based scholar Mika Yoshitake. ISBN: 978-0-89207-418-1


The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860 –1989

By Alexandra Munroe, 2009
Published by the Guggenheim Museum, New York

With contributions by D. Scott Atkinson, Vivien Greene, Harry Harootunian, Richard King, Alexandra Munroe, Ikuyo Nakagawa, David W. Patterson, Kathleen Pyne, J. Thomas Rimer, Kristine Stiles, and Bert Winther-Tamaki

The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860–1989 illuminates the dynamic and complex impact of Asian art, literary texts, and philosophical concepts on American artistic practices from the late 19th century through the present. Released to accompany a major survey at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, The Third Mind traces how the classical arts of India, China, and Japan and the systems of Hindu, Taoist, Tantric Buddhist, and Zen Buddhist thought that were collectively admired as “the East” were known, reconstructed, and transformed by American cultural, intellectual, and political forces. ISBN: 978-0-89207-383-2


Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want to Believe

Published by the Guggenheim Museum, New York

With contributions by David Joselit, Miwon Kwon, Alexandra Munroe, and Wang Hui

Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want to Believe accompanies the most comprehensive exhibition to date of the innovative body of work by Chinese-born artist Cai Guo-Qiang—best known for his spectacular artworks using gunpowder. It presents a chronological and thematic survey that charts the artist’s creation of a distinctive visual and conceptual language across four mediums: drawing made from gunpowder fuses and explosive powders laid on paper and ignited; explosion events, documented by videos, photographs, and preparatory drawings; large-scale installations; and social projects, wherein the artist works with local communities to create an art event or exhibitions site, documented by photographs. Featuring works from the 1980s to the present, this volume illuminates Cai’s significant formal and conceptual contributions to contemporary international art practices and social activism. Generously illustrated with more than 230 images, this volume includes essays by Alexandra Munroe, David Joselit, Miwon Kwon, and Wang Hui—along with 54 documented plate entries. It is the defining scholarly publication of the artist thus far. ISBN: 978-0-89207-371-9


Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture

Edited by Takashi Murakami

Published by Yale University Press, New Haven and London

Includes Alexandra Munroe’s essay, “Introducing Little Boy,” and contributions by Tom Eccles, Midori Matsui, Toshio Okada and Kaiichiro Morikami, Noi Sawaragi, Katy Siegel, and Reiko Tomii

Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture is a the companion catalogue to the exhibition Little Boy, curated by artist Takashi Murakami. The 448-page hardcover book interprets the complex intuitive twist of postwar Japanese art while defining its high-spirited and naturally buoyant escape from human tragedy and the events of World War II. Murakami also coins the term “superflat” to chronicle the two-dimensional aspect of manga (comics) and anime (animated television and cinema). He argues how the international boom in pop media influenced Japanese fine art as well as the social implications of superflat with regard to the true impact of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 on Japanese art and culture. “Little Boy” is the code name for one of the atomic bombs that devastated Japan. Pictured at left: Alexandra’s personal copy, inscribed by Takashi Murakami.  ISBN: 0-300-10285-2


The Art of Mu Xin: Landscape Paintings and Prison Notes

Published by Yale University Press, New Haven and London

With contributions by Richard Barnhart, Jonathan Hay, Wu Hung, Toming Jun Liu, and Alexandra Munroe

Mu Xin was one of the leading expatriate artist-intellectuals of our time. A formidable figure in the cultural and intellectual history of Chinese modernism, Mu Xin was admired for his unique synthesis of Chinese and Western aesthetic sensibilities. This beautifully illustrated catalogue focuses on a group of 33 landscape paintings that Mu Xin painted in 1978–79, in the immediate aftermath of the Cultural Revolution. Prior to this catalogue, many of these works had never been exhibited or published in the West. In addition, the book features Mu Xin’s Prison Notes, some 66 calligraphic sheets that were written when the artist was in solitary confinement in China in 1972. This catalogue accompanied an exhibition co-organized by the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, and the David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago in 2001–02. ISBN: 0-300-09075-7


YES Yoko Ono

Published by Harry N. Abrams, New York

With contributions by Bruce Altschuler, Jon Hendricks, and Alexandra Munroe

YES Yoko Ono accompanies the first major museum retrospective of the work of this pioneering artist. In her prolific 40-year career, Ono has embraced a wide range of mediums, defying traditional boundaries and creating revolutionary forms of music, film, and the visual arts since the 1960s, when she emerged as an avant-garde force in New York, Tokyo, and London. This richly illustrated volume is the first comprehensive art book devoted to her challenging and influential work. It includes essays by eminent international scholars and critics that not only explore Ono’s life and career, including her contributions to the Fluxus movement and Conceptual art, but also enrich our understanding of her complex role as visual artist, filmmaker, poet, composer, performance artist, activist, and rock star. An anthology of Ono’s writings and an illustrated chronology further mark this book as the most extensive survey ever published on the art and life of Yoko Ono. The book includes a CD with new music by Yoko Ono, performed by Ono, her son Sean Lennon, and others. ISBN: 0-8109-4587-8


Daido Moriyama: Stray Dog

By Sandra S. Phillips, Alexandra Munroe, and Daido Moriyama, 1999

Published by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Distributed Art Publishers, New York

This volume is a crucial overview of an artist whose pioneering work prefigures much current cutting-edge photography.  ISBN: 0-918471-50-8


Japanese Art After 1945: Scream Against the Sky

Published by Harry N. Abrams, New York

With contributions by Alexandra Munroe, Nam June Paik, and Arata Isozaki.

Focusing on key art movements and artists’ groups that defined postwar art and discourse, this history charts the intellectual, aesthetic, and stylistic developments of avant-garde art in postwar Japan. In addition to introductory essays by video artist Nam June Paik and architect Arata Isozaki, it features an anthology of selected writings and artists’ statements dating from 1945, a glossary, an extensive bibliography, compiled by Reiko Tomii. This publication was published on the occasion of a 1994–95 touring exhibition at Yokohama Museum of Art; Guggenheim Museum SoHo, New York; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. ISBN: 0-8109-2593-1


Alternative Visions: Liu Dan and Hiromitsu Morimoto

Published by Takashimaya Co., Ltd, New York and Tokyo

Alternative Visions: Hiromitsu Morimoto / Liu Dan accompanied the inaugural show of the Gallery at Takashimaya, New York. It features an essay on Morimoto by Tadayasu Sakai, director of the Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura, Japan, and an essay on Liu Dan by Alexandra Munroe, independent curator.


Yayoi Kusama: A Retrospective

Edited by Bhupendra Karia, 1989

Published by the Center for International Contemporary Arts, New York

With an essay by Alexandra Munroe and appendices compiled by Reiko Tomii

Yayoi Kusama: A Retrospective was the first comprehensive art-historical study on Kusama when it appeared in 1989 as the catalogue to the artist’s first major exhibition in the West, curated by Alexandra Munroe. ISBN: 0-9623764-0-X