I often buy catalogues for exhibitions that I´ve found particularly good or informative. I don´t spend as much time as I should at the exhibition itself, and like to have the catalogue to refer back to if a thought comes to mind or a question arises after I´ve left the exhibition. The Masculinities: Liberation Through Photography Exhibition Catalogue gets my vote for best catalogue of season. It´s beautiful, with a hard cover that´s a work of art in itself: The essays y Alona Pardo, Chris Haywood, Edwin Coomasuru, Tim Clark, Jonathan D. Katz and Ekow Eshun are excellent, and really expand and deepen the scope of the exhibition.
The catalogue has a whole section on the categories that frame the exhibition itself: Disrupting the Archetype; Male Order: Power, Patriarchy and Space; Too Close to Home: Families and Fatherhood. Queering Masculinity, Reclaiming the Black Body, and Women on Men: Reversing the Male Gaze.
As you can see above, the catalogue not only contains a bibliography and exhaustive image credits but also excellent biographies of the artists and a very handy glossary of terms. Too many catalogues are overly focussed on exploring with greater depth the interests of the curator(s). This one does this whilst keeping the focus on enhancing the understanding of the visitor/viewer/ reader. I highly recommend.
I loved the Masculinities exhibition at the Barbican but also love and understand this piece byJason Farago, which finds all kinds of fault with it