Vitamin P2: New Perspectives in Painting

The first volume of Vitamin P, published in 2002, inaugurated a vibrant period for painting. Since its publication, a whole new generation of painters has emerged, some inspired by the artists who appeared in that book, others taking cues from new sources.  Vitamin P2: New Perspectives in Painting introduces this new wave of painters to the world.

The vast medium of painting continues to be a central pillar of artistic practice, and Vitamin P2 presents the outstanding artists who are currently engaging with and pushing the boundaries of the medium. Over 80 international critics, artists and curators have nominated the 115 artists who have made a fresh, unique or innovative contribution to recent painting. All of the artists in Vitamin P2 have recently emerged onto the international scene, and none appeared in the first Vitamin P.

An introduction by Barry Schwabsky, who also wrote the introduction for Vitamin P, provides a broad overview of recent developments in the medium while also looking towards its future.


  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (October 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071486160X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714861609
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 1.8 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
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8 thoughts on “Vitamin P2: New Perspectives in Painting”

  1. A non-mint copy of the original Vitamin P is always in my painting studio – sticky tabs sticking out the top and side, binding repaired with gaff tape and, because the artist names were so small (6 font?) and written in red, I rewrote all 114 artist names five times larger with an extra fine sharpie. (I am near sited, but not blind). I love Phaidon Publishing, but at times it seems that production decisions are ludicrous – trying to be cute?

    The number one improvement in Vitamin P2 is I can READ the artist’s names and the bios. As with the previous edition, the artist bios are succinct and interestingly include information about technique and materials. It is an impressive venture to hire 40 different writers. In Vitamin P each monograph was broken into 1) about the artwork 2) about the artist, which I like. P2 is not in the same form.

    I find the choice of represented artists to be inclusive, broad (nationality, gender, age, etc.), and fascinating. A rich list of nominators indeed! And the reproduction of paintings, as in Vitamin P, is top notch.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in contemporary painting. It feels very NOW. Off to properly abuse P2……..

  2. The Phaidon’s Vitamin P book was really a great book. This (new) Vitamin P2 does perfectly complements the first one, the selection of artists is very well done. Congratulations to the authors of the book, they did an excellent job. 5 stars and definitely A MUST HAVE!

    There were few changes in relation to the first book that helped improve the presentation of the book. (The hardcover, the size of the prints are enlarged as well as improved the quality of them).
    As for the selection of artists, there are several very pleasant surprises (for example the presence of Michael Borremans, Matthias Weischer or Dana Schutz, just to name a few). Similarly, the variety of selected works demonstrate a high level. It really is worth studying the work of each of the artists included in this (second and hopefully not last) Vitamin P.

    Thanks Amazon. Thanks Phaidon for your nice books.

  3. Very good book for those interested in painting to see what’s currently being done with paint and process from a huge variety of artists. The reproduction of the works is crisp and there are plenty of them. A must have for those new to exploring with paint and process. Phaidon Press is a great publisher of art books.

  4. I saw the book about three weeks ago at my favorite Princeton Book Store. It was selling for full price which is about $40 and I wrote down the name to see later if I could get it on Amazon which I did with a seller for about $25. Being an artist myself, I always like to stay current with whats going on either nationally or internationally artistically as I am still working my way into the art world at a late stage in life. I thought the work was kind of cool and interesting and thought it could be inspirational as well as comparative and liked it at the book store but after I got it, I looked through it a few times and felt really unimpressed with the work and actually starting feeling sad about art. Most of the paintings were very greyed down, lots of black and whitish feelings, depressed. Others were too bright and too primary colored for me. I actually ended up giving the book to a friend for her birthday.

  5. This is a great compilation.. easily better than Vitamin P1. The spotlight this time around has been on a lot of very fresh artists with previously little exposure, so it’s a good look at some work you might have missed.

  6. The book itself is a work of art. I don’t Think Vitamin P2 will have as big of an impact as Vitamin P because VP2 doesn’t seem more progressive than VP. I enjoy reading about the painters in VP2, and I think it’s important to continue to seek out new painters, but I don’t feel as inspired by VP2 as I did by VP. It could be that I wasn’t as familiar with contemporary painters when I discovered VP and thus had a greater impact on me personally, or it could be that my sense that VP2 feels a little on the safe side — whereas VP appeared to include artists who’s process and content seemed a little more challenging and involved more risk taking, which in turn felt fresh — is a fair assessment. I’m glad I purchased VP2 but I’m still more inspired by VP.

  7. Hmmm, disappointed in this book. Many pieces I wouldn’t consider painting and the majority of them are strange. Now I like contemporary work so don’t get me wrong. I paint abstracts and non-objective pieces, am pretty up on new and upcoming artists and read the art magazines but I really don’t like this book much. The first one was much better.

  8. Inspiring,and amazing. For everyone that loves painting, this book is filled with fresh views that will certainly inspire. A book to peruse over and over.

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