Deborah Rosenthal, Consulting Editor for the series, is a New York painter and writer on art, and recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Critic's Grant. She is Professor of Fine Arts in the School of Fine and Performing Arts of Rider University.

Like every other artist and writer on art I know, I have a precious collection of crumbling, yellowing old books and magazines about art on my bookshelf. And like my friends, I've hoped to see these talismanic texts back in print. In May 2012, I started the Artists & Art series for Arcade Publishing in New York—to reissue books by and about art and artists that deserve to be in print again; and to publish some texts that had never been collected before. With Walter Richard Sickert's A Free House! Or the Artist As Craftsman, just out, the series has its second publication this year.

What you read when you're young often has a magical lifelong hold on you—and the first book I thought of for this series was one that was passed from young painter to young painter in a kind of artistic samizdat, some thirty-five years ago when we were all getting MFAs. Jean Hélion's They Shall Not Have Me, which came out this year from Arcade, is a thrilling account of his experiences as a POW in Nazi prison camps in World War II. A book with the absence of freedom at its core—about a time without art—it resonates today, with young artists and everyone interested in art and politics, as it did when it was an American bestseller in 1943. It's a "a one-of-a-kind classic," according to John Ashbery, a longtime fan of the book and the artist.

Readers who meet Walter Richard Sickert in our new edition of his writings in A Free House! may feel they are discovering an enormous critical mind they hadn't known before. A real painter's painter, Sickert was also a riot of a writer, a maverick who championed the traditional craft of painting. When you open this book, Sickert's personality fairly roars back at you. The book is chockablock with names of artists we know—Whistler, Manet, Pissarro, Gauguin. And his world was a richly literary milieu as well. Our new edition brings back into print a real literary find—the belletrist Osbert Sitwell's introductory memoir of the artist, peopled by Arnold Bennett, Aldous Huxley, Oscar Wilde, and Frank Harris, among others.

Next in print are two books by the art historian Erwin Rosenthal. The Changing Concept of Reality in Art and Contemporary Art in the Light of History are short books with a broad and assured range. Rosenthal, a debonair and moving writer, mixes it all up in a sort of marvelous monologue taking us from Spanish illuminated manuscripts of the l0th century to Bridget Riley and Mallarmé.

And in spring 2013, another maverick, the artist and writer Wolfgang Paalen: we'll publish his Form and Sense, chosen in 1945 by Robert Motherwell as the first in his Problems of Contemporary Art series for Wittenborn. A somewhat mysterious figure, Paalen is brought to life and placed in the 40s scene by the Surrealism scholar Martica Sawin's new introduction.

In 2014—the series will publish Jean Hélion's English-language essays on art, never collected before in book form.

The Artists & Art series is eclectic, freewheeling, and—a bit like Sickert's free house—belongs to no ideology or ism. The books are ones that I know artists are eager to have in their hands again, but that have as much to say to a general audience that is curious about the enduring life of art.

—Deborah Rosenthal      

Artists & Art Series
Arcade Publishing
An imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36 Street
New York, New York  10018