NEW BOOKS BLOG

Click on the image for more information and to purchase

Forthcoming Books Seen This Week 4 September 2015

Graphic Design

                “Graphic design is all about telling stories, but visual stories.” Lance Wyman. This monograph is the first major publication devoted to Lance Wyman’s entire output. It showcases the achievements of a long and productive career, from his early work for General Motors, through his iconic designs for the Mexico 68 Olympics, to the Minnesota Zoo and his more recent projects. Lance Wyman will go down in history for his Mexico 68 designs, but he has also completed commissions for a huge variety of other projects. Many of these have been designed for the general public, and exist in the lived environments of cities and institutions. Wyman says, “I like the contextual part of working in an environment, whether it be urban or institutional or transportation. I think that’s where my best work is.

                The nineteenth century saw a complete transformation of the practice and reputation of surgery. Crucial Interventions follows its increasingly optimistic evolution, drawing from the very best examples of rare surgical textbooks with a focus on the extraordinary visual materials of the mid-nineteenth century. Unnerving and graphic, yet beautifully rendered, these fascinating illustrations include step-by-step surgical techniques paired with medical instruments and painted depictions of operations in progress. Arranged for the layman from head to toe, and accompanied by an authoritative, eloquent and inspiring narrative from medical historian Richard Barnett, author of 2014 bestseller The Sick Rose, Crucial Interventions is a unique and captivating book on one of the world's most mysterious and macabre professions, and promises to be another success.

 

Architecture

                Frenetic. Pulsating. Disorienting.  Japan’s contemporary culture is constantly in flux, with a host of new architectural practices ushering in an era of continuous experimentation. Featuring more than 400 houses - one per page, one image per house - Jutaku: Japanese Houses is a fast-paced, shock to the system that shines a Harajuku–bright neon light on the sheer volume, variety and novelty of contemporary Japanese residential architecture. Featuring the work of many of Japan’s most famous architects including Shigeru Ban, Sou Fujimoto, Toyo Ito, Kengo Kuma, Jun Igarishi, Shuhei Endo and dozens of up and coming or as yet unknown young architects, Jutaku is organized geographically, speeding readers on a bullet train journey across Japan’s architectural landscape.

 

Photography

                Photography Is Magic is a critical publication that surveys the practices of over eighty artists, all of whom are engaged with experimental approaches to photographic ideas, set within the contemporary image environment, framed by Web 2.0. The book contains a substantial essay by Charlotte Cotton and statements from all the contributing artists. The over three hundred image sequence represents the scope of photographic possibilities at play within contemporary creative practices. From Michele Abeles and Walead Beshty to Daniel Gordon and Matt Lipps, Cotton has selected artists who are consciously reframing photographic practices in the post-Internet age. Photography Is Magic provides an engaging physical experience - designed by Harsh Patel - for younger photo aficionados, students, and anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of contemporary photography.

 

Fashion

                Charismatic, compelling and trendsetting, 69 of the world’s most influential and creative men presented by cult style-bible Fantastic Man. Gert Jonkers & Jop van Bennekom are the creators and editors of men's menswear and lifestyle magazine Fantastic Man. Jonkers and Van Bennekom met each other in 1997 working on Blvd, a sophisticated Dutch cultural and lifestyle magazine. The pair collaborated on a gay culture magazine, Butt, in 2001, which had immediate impact. The two then turned to Fantastic Man and continued their success with The Gentlewoman and a magazine for the fashion brand COS.

                A celebration of the work of legendary fashion stylist Grace Coddington during her first 30 years at Vogue UK and US. First published in 2002, the reissue of this 408-page monograph of work by the legendary fashion stylist Grace Coddington is also a showcase for some of the greatest photographs ever published in British and American Vogue. It includes forewords by American Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour and designer Karl Lagerfeld as well as personal anecdotes and insider stories of working with photographers Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn, Bruce Weber, Steven Meisel and Mario Testino and fashion-world personalities such as Naomi Campbell, Jerry Hall, Linda Evangelista and Manolo Blahnik.

 

_______________

Forthcoming Books Seen This Week 28 August 2015

Art

                   Known widely as a Catholic nun with an avant-garde flair, Corita Kent (1918–1986) has a personal legacy that has tended to overshadow her extensive career as an artist. This handsomely illustrated catalogue places Kent in her rightful position among the foremost figures of pop art, such as Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha, and Roy Lichtenstein. Although Kent has been largely excluded from the academic and critical discourses surrounding 1960s American art, this publication re-evaluates her importance and highlights how her work questioned and expanded the boundaries of the pop art movement. Four essays and nearly 90 catalogue entries pull together a variety of topics—art history, religion, politics, linguistics, race, gender, mass media, and advertising—that influenced Kent’s life and work during the 1960s. Eminent pop scholars delve into the relationship between her art and that of her contemporaries, and explore how her art both responded to and advanced the changes in modern-day Catholicism stemming from Vatican II. More than 200 vibrant images showcase Kent’s ingenious screenprints, which often combine handwritten text and commercial imagery. Offering an unparalleled, rigorous study of an artist who has been largely overlooked, this book is an important contribution to scholarship as well as a fascinating presentation of Kent and her work to a wider audience.

                  Exploring the relationship between public art and its role within urban regeneration, this new title by graphic designer and artist Scott King brings together a series of works inspired by government ideologies in post-industrial Britain. Works include Long Live Death, in which the artist places Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North atop Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, London, A Balloon for Britain, a series of photographs in which King imagines the current Conservative government offering him millions of pounds to devise a scheme that would regenerate Britain’s ten poorest towns and cities, as well as Infinite Monument, an ongoing sculpture based on Superstudio’s seminal Il Monumento Continuo from 1969, a gridded superstructure that covers the surface of the entire planet.

                  Andy Warhol (1928–1987) and Robert Mapplethorpe (1946–1989) are well known for significant work in portraiture and self-portraiture that challenged gender roles and notions of femininity, masculinity, and androgyny. This exciting and original book is the first to consider the two artists together, examining the powerful portraits they created during the vibrant and tumultuous era bookended by the Stonewall riots and the AIDS crisis. Several important bodies of work are featured, including Warhol’s Ladies and Gentlemen series of drag queen portraits and his collaboration with Christopher Makos on Altered Image, in which Warhol was photographed in makeup and wigs, and Mapplethorpe’s photographs of Patti Smith and of female body builder Lisa Lyon. These are explored alongside numerous other paintings, photographs, and films that demonstrate the artists’ engagement with gender, identity, beauty, performance, and sexuality, including their own self-portraits and portraits of one another Essays trace the convergences and divergences of Warhol and Mapplethorpe’s work, and examine the historical context of the artists’ projects as well as their lasting impact on contemporary art and queer culture. Firsthand accounts by the artists’ collaborators and subjects reveal details into the making and exhibition of some of the works presented here. With an illustrated timeline highlighting key moments in the artists’ careers, and more than 90 color plates of their arresting pictures, this book provides a fascinating study of two of the most compelling figures in 20th-century art.

 

Graphic Design

                   This A to Z survey of typographic design by leading typographers A2/SW/HK showcases over 100 carefully selected contemporary designers, including the best examples of their current work, and also features an introduction by Rick Poynor. Featured designers include M/M (Paris), David Pearson, Philippe Apeloig, Anthony Burrill, Marion Deuchars and Non Format, among others. There are also essays by acclaimed design writers Emily King, Paul Shaw, Monika Parrinder and Colin Davies that explore the past and future of type design. This book will encourage and inspire the next generation of designers as well as provide a sourcebook for seasoned designers and educators.

 

Design

                  Featuring 60 recipes, each introduced with an insightful historical anecdote and accompanying image sourced from original Soviet recipe books. As the Soviet Union struggled along the path to Communism, food supplies were often sporadic and shortages commonplace. Day to day living was hard, both the authorities and their citizens had to apply every ounce of ingenuity to maximize often inadequate resources. The stories and recipes contained here reflect these turbulent times: from basic subsistence meals consumed by the average citizen (okroshka), to the extravagant banquets held by the political elite (suckling pig with buckwheat), and a scattering of classics (beef stroganoff) in between.

                  Adolf Hitler’s makeover from rabble-rouser to statesman coincided with a series of dramatic home renovations he undertook during the mid-1930s. This provocative book exposes the dictator’s preoccupation with his private persona, which was shaped by the aesthetic and ideological management of his domestic architecture. Hitler’s bachelor life stirred rumors, and the Nazi regime relied on the dictator’s three dwellings—the Old Chancellery in Berlin, his apartment in Munich, and the Berghof, his mountain home on the Obersalzberg—to foster the myth of the Führer as a morally upstanding and refined man. Author Despina Stratigakos also reveals the previously untold story of Hitler’s interior designer, Gerdy Troost, through newly discovered archival sources. At the height of the Third Reich, media outlets around the world showcased Hitler’s homes to audiences eager for behind-the-scenes stories. After the war, fascination with Hitler’s domestic life continued as soldiers and journalists searched his dwellings for insights into his psychology. The book’s rich illustrations, many previously unpublished, offer readers a rare glimpse into the decisions involved in the making of Hitler’s homes and into the sheer power of the propaganda that influenced how the world saw him.

                  Coinciding with the new edition of the bestseller Designing Design, Kenya Hara's latest book, Ex-formation, searches for the beginning of design in the unknown. For Kenya Hara, design begins with comprehension of the unknown. In contrast to "information," "exformation" describes how little we really know and thus becomes the starting point for any type of design. Based on a range of projects the book describes what "exformation" can look like in design practice and how this concept alters ur classic understanding of information design. Following the path embarked on in Designing Design (2007) and its successor, White (2010), Ex-formation continues to explore the void, absence, and indeterminacy in contemporary design.           

 

Photography

                   Alec Soth’s reputation as one of the leading lights of contemporary photographic practice is largely predicated on the books he has published. This unusual catalogue accompanies a touring exhibition which uses the four major bodies of work which Soth has published as books since 2004 as the structural basis for both a mid-career retrospective and an investigation of Soth’s prescient understanding of the various and distinct applications of photography as a tool for storytelling across diverse media. The title of the exhibition comes from Walt Whitman’s poem Song of Myself [1855] and references both the pages of his books gathered for consideration and the notion that his work is also a story about Soth himself. Soth's meteoric rise to international acclaim began with his first book, Sleeping by the Mississippi, published by Steidl in 2004. The book has sold through numerous print runs and has long been out-of-print. It embodies not only a moment in which a new and original voice emerged with an unusual ability to transpose subtle and highly personal stories of local American life, but also marked a significant early event in the photo-book publishing boom we are currently experiencing. The success of his two subsequent volumes, Niagara [2006] and Broken Manual [2010], combined with the hugely influential exploration of self-publishing under his Little Brown Mushroom imprint, have all reinforced Soth’s position as a master of the book form. The recent success of Songbook [2015] has seen a return to the mainstream of book publishing.

                   Photographer Christopher Herwig has covered more than 30,000 km by car, bike, bus and taxi in 14 former Soviet countries discovering and documenting these unexpected treasures of modern art. From the shores of the Black Sea to the endless Kazakh steppe, these extraordinary bus stops show the range of public art from the Soviet era and give a rare glimpse into the creative minds of the time. The book represents the most comprehensive and diverse collection of Soviet bus stop design ever assembled from: Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Abkhazia, Georgia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Belarus. With a foreword by writer, critic and television presenter Jonathan Meades.

 

Theory

                   Renowned poet and conceptual artist Kenneth Goldsmith collects a massive assortment of quotations about New York City in the twentieth century. This kaleidoscopic montage from hundreds of sources is a literary adoration of New York as the capital of the world, and was inspired by Walter Benjamin’s unfinished masterpiece, The Arcades Project, a compendium of quotations about nineteenth-century Paris. Goldsmith brings together an immense archive of quotations about modern New York from novels, histories, newspapers, memoirs, letters, advertisements and more unlikely sources, all organized into lyrical and philosophical categories. The result is a magisterial and poetic history of New York in the twentieth century, and an extraordinary, one-of-a-kind book of experimental literature.

                   Bad New Days examines the evolution of art and criticism in Western Europe and North America over the last twenty-five years, exploring their dynamic relation to the general condition of emergency instilled by neoliberalism and the war on terror. Considering the work of artists such as Thomas Hirschhorn, Tacita Dean, and Isa Genzken, and the writing of thinkers like Jacques Rancière, Bruno Latour, and Giorgio Agamben, Hal Foster shows the ways in which art has anticipated this condition, at times resisting the collapse of the social contract or gesturing toward its repair; at other times burlesquing it. Against the claim that art making has become so heterogeneous as to defy historical analysis, Foster argues that the critic must still articulate a clear account of the contemporary in all its complexity. To that end, he offers several paradigms for the art of recent years, which he terms “abject,” “archival,” “mimetic,” and “precarious.

Forthcoming Books Seen This Week 22 May 2014

Theory
                  Since the decidedly bleak beginning of the twenty-first century, art practice has become increasingly politicized. Yet, few sustained defenses of the avant-garde have been put forward. Revolutionary Time and the Avant-Garde is the first book of its kind to look at the legacy of the avant-garde in relation to the deepening crisis of capitalist non-reproduction. An invigorating revitalization of the Frankfurt School legacy, Roberts’s book is unique in its penetrating definition and defense of the avant-garde idea, providing a refined conceptual set of tools that critically engages with the most advanced art theorists of our day, such as Hal Foster, Andrew Benjamin, Alain Badiou, Jacques Rancière, Paolo Virno, Claire Bishop, Michael Hardt, and Toni Negri.

 

Art
                  Artists have utilized walking as an autonomous form of art, a subject in their work, and as social practice since the early 20th century. Today walking continues to offer a salient means for artists to challenge social, political, and economic orders through a radical remapping of civic space. Walking Sculpture 1967–2015 is an engaging and original book, in which Lexi Lee Sullivan traces the history of walking as an aesthetic action from the Dadaists to contemporary ramblers. Titled after Michelangelo Pistoletto’s performance Walking Sculpture, the catalogue features 50 colour illustrations ranging from photographs of Yvonne Rainer’s street actions to Francis Alÿs’s fantastical processions, poems by Cole Swensen, and a new project by artist Helen Mirra, who produces poetic meditations on landscape, ecology, and locomotion. Sculpture, film, video, photography, and performance converge to address the multi-disciplinary practice of ambulation through the cityscape and the countryside. For those who hike; march in fundraisers, protests, or parades; walk the dog; stroll in the park; or commute daily, this catalogue will invite new thought into basic human movement.
                 László Moholy-Nagy became notorious for the declarations he made about the end of painting, encouraging artists to exchange brush, pigment, and canvas for camera, film, and searchlight. Even as he made these radical claims, he painted throughout his career. The practice of painting enabled Moholy-Nagy to imagine generative relationships between art and technology, and to describe the shape that future possibilities might take. Joyce Tsai illuminates the evolution of painting’s role for Moholy-Nagy through key periods in his career: at the German Bauhaus in the 1920s, in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom in the early 1930s, and as director of the New Bauhaus in Chicago in the last decade of his life. The book also includes an introduction to the history, qualities, and significance of plastic materials that Moholy-Nagy used over the course of his career, and an essay on how his project of shaping habitable space in his art and writing resonated with artists and industrial designers in the 1960s and 1970s.

 

Graphic Design
                  The period between the First and Second World Wars is well known for the flowering of German culture. With Berlin as its epicentre, the period was replete with advanced science, passionate politics, and ground-breaking literature, philosophy and art. Amid the fervour of intellectual and creative activity, German publishers produced some of the most outstanding book designs in modern history. Book Covers of the Weimar Republic assembles 1,000 of the most striking examples from publishing of this period. Based on the remarkable collection of Jurgen Holstein and his rare collectible Blickfang, it combines an unparalleled catalogue of dust jackets and bindings with Holstein's introduction to Weimar publishing and profiles of key publishing figures of the time. Expert essays discuss the aesthetic and cultural context of the period. From children's books to novels in translation, bold designs for political literature to minimalist artist monographs, this is a dazzling line-up of typography, illustration, and graphic design at its most energetic and daring. Part reference compendium, part vintage visual feast for the eyes, this very particular cultural history is above all a celebration of the ambition, inventiveness and beauty of the book.
                  Modernist aesthetics in architecture, art and product design are familiar to many of the creatively inclined. In soaring glass structures or minimalist canvases we recognize a time of vast technological advance which affirmed the power of human beings to reshape their environment and to break, radically, from the conventions or constraints of the past. Less well-known, but no less fascinating, is the distillation of Modernism in logo design. With the creation of clean visual concepts, graphic designers sought to move away from the mystique they identified with the commercial artist, and to counterbalance an increasingly complicated world with clarity. Logo Modernism authored by Jens Müller, brings together approximately 6,000 trademarks, focused on the period 1940–1980, to examine how Modernist attitudes and imperatives gave birth to corporate identity. Ranging from media outfits to retail giants, airlines to art galleries, this sweeping survey of the logo is organized into three design-orientated chapters: Geometric, Effect, and Typographic. Each chapter is then sub-divided into form and style led sections such as alphabet, overlay, dots and squares. Alongside this comprehensive catalogue resource, the book features an introduction from Jens Müller on the history of logos, and an essay by R. Roger Remington on Modernism and Graphic Design. Eight designer profiles and eight instructive case studies are also included, with a detailed look at the life and work of such luminaries as Paul Rand, Yusaku Kamekura, and Anton Stankowski, and at such significant projects as Fiat, The Daiei, Inc., and the Mexico Olympic Games of 1968. An unrivalled, encyclopaedic resource for graphic designers, advertisers, and branding specialists, Logo Modernism is equally fascinating to anyone interested in social, cultural and corporate history, and in the sheer persuasive power of image and form.

 

Design

                  “You voluntarily assume the risk of serious injury or death by attending”
100 miles from the gambling town of Reno, in the wilderness of northern Nevada, lies a vast, hostile plain known as the Black Rock Desert. The region has been an empty and windswept dry lake bed for most of the past 10,000 years. Except, that is, for one brief week at the end of the summer, when a temporary city rises out of the barren clay. This is the Burning Man festival, one of the most remarkable gatherings on the planet. Baked by the sun, and blinded by dust, the event acquires different meanings for different people: temporary community, spiritual adventure, performance stage, desert rave, social experiment. It’s also the incubator of some of the most pure site-specific outdoor art ever made. A mechanized fire-breathing octopus. A towering wooden temple 15 meters tall. And the eponymous Man himself—a skeletal sculpture set ablaze at the festival’s conclusion. In their sun-scorched desert location, these huge installations and happenings exist for no clearer purpose than because someone wanted to express something. Participatory, collective, and often designed to last only for the festival duration, their value resides far beyond the ego, commerce and power play of common cultural output. This book assembles fifteen years of Burning Man images from writer and photographer NK Guy. Epic, awe-inspiring, even reality-shifting, the pictures are a testimony to one of the most uninhibited and expressive centres of our time.

 

Photography
                  From the banks of the ancient Ganges River to the glamor of Beverley Hills, from living saints to Hollywood celebrities, Michael O'Neill's quest to capture the essence of yoga spans time, space, and peoples. His stunning images in Yoga: The Architecture of Peace celebrate how the age-old discipline of asanas has developed into a modern global community of 30 million practitioners, united in physical, spiritual, and mindful practice. A yoga instructor in his own right, O’Neill’s own knowledge of yoga informs and inspires his stunning photography of the intricate positions, the rituals, the festivals, the meditations, and the symbols of yoga. He photographs some of the most important yogis of our time including Eddie Stern, Rodney Yee, Dharma Singh Khalsa, B.K.S. Iyengar, as well as those famed for integrating yoga into their high-profile lives, such as Christy Turlington and Sting and Trudie Styler. The images are accompanied by illuminating captions and insightful essays from leading yogis H.H. Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji and Eddie Stern, who together discuss the history of yoga, its dissemination into popular culture, and its health and healing capacities as a way of life.

_______________

Forthcoming Books Seen This Week 24 April 2015

Art

                Go to reception and ask for Sara in red felt tip by Holly Pester. Using anecdote as a method to generate a collection of poetry, critical fictions and literary fragments this book performs a response to the history and function of the Women’s Art Library. The stories segue through the archive of personal correspondence, artists’ slides and administrative papers, as well as a poster archive documenting exhibitions, parties and activism in 1980s Feminist art movements. Anecdotal, gossiped and mistreated histories form aberrant narratives as a result of an inverted mode of archival research.

                Portland has been shaped and hollowed out over centuries by convicts and quarrymen to provide stone for some of London’s best-known buildings – one million square feet of Portland stone is said to have been quarried for St Paul’s Cathedral alone. Katrina Palmer has undertaken her own excavations into this elemental island, marked by unsettling absences, deviant goings-on and a writer who has gone missing. End Matter accounts for the loss of Portland's stone, through the mysterious work of The Loss Adjusters, based on Portland, and responsible for accounting and balancing the material and historical shifts of the island’s being. Reporting these losses in the form of reports, their work overlaps, and becomes disrupted by, the presence of a writer and her production of unreliable narratives set in the tunnels, paths and hollowed out quarries of the island, and presented – like the stone itself – as absences from the narrative; end matter, whose body is missing.

                In the early 2000s, Saul Leiter came to the fore as one of the most accomplished and surprising colour photographers of the 20th century. Books were published, films made and exhibitions launched. While it was never a secret, few of those who are familiar with Leiter's photography are aware that over the years he created, in his own unhurried way, a yet-to-be appreciated and equally formidable body of paintings and painted photographs. As the first ever publication dedicated to this largely unknown part of Leiter's oeuvre, Painted Nudes offers a selection of more than 70 painted photographs - intimate, brilliantly coloured pieces that marry Leiter's two artistic passions. Produced over the course of four decades, these fiercely expressive nudes are a testament to Leiter's intuitive sense of colour and composition, and showcase a great 20th century artist at his resplendent best. Painted Nudes seeks not only to celebrate, but to illuminate this unique body of work by juxtaposing the painted nudes with a selection of quotes from works of literature. Taking its cue from Leiter's own work, the book straddles the boundaries between genres, inviting readers to discover their connections and resonances. Lush, evocative and associative, Painted Nudes is as stimulating to the eye as it is for the mind.

                Since the 1970s Raymond Pettibon has created a vocabulary of symbols that reappear consistently if enigmatically across his oeuvre. These range from baseball players, vixens, light bulbs and railway trains to the cartoon character Gumby and infamous murderer Charles Manson. But the most poetic and revealing of Pettibon's symbols may be the surfer, the solitary longboarder challenging a massive wave. In his "surfer paintings," viewers ride along with a counterculture existentialist hero who perhaps is the artist's nearest proxy. Almost all of the works included in this volume depict an ocean roiling with chaotic swells, accompanied by nonsequiturs, quotations and bits of poetry in the artist's handwriting. Among these works are early small-scale, monochrome India ink paintings; numerous paintings from the 1990s when the artist introduced color to his work; and a group of rare, large-scale paintings.

 

 

Design

                Jasper Morrison has the ability to bestow things with a distinctive style. His signature style is evident in many of the everyday objects that surround us. His repertoire of essential designs is characterised by simplicity yet complexity, as well as a sense of poetry and humour. Morrison works on a global scale and is one of the most influential product designers in the world today. A Book of Things is a collection of products and projects across the broad spectrum of his activities and demonstrates the continuity of his interests and methods, which he describes in succinct texts. Following on from Everything but the Walls, A Book of Things is a continuation of Morrison’s intense examination of the world of things that accompany our lives and shape our environment.

 

_______________

 

Forthcoming Books Seen This Week 17 April 2015

Architecture

                 Chandigarh, built in the 1950s to a scheme by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret with their team of international and Indian architects, until the present day is regarded an icon of modernist urban design. Austrian artist Werner Feiersinger has recently travelled to the legendary capital of India’s federal state Punjab. Inspired by Ernst Scheidegger’s book Chandigarh 1956, he has put together a vast pictorial account of the city’s famous architecture today. This new book features some 300 of Feiersinger’s photographs. With the keen eye of a sculptor, he shows the expressive sculptural qualities of the buildings. He captures the place’s vivid atmosphere and virtuosity and illustrates its continuous topicality. This artistic approach clearly distinguishes this book from previous publications on Chandigarh, most of which are of merely documentary character. The essay by Austrian architect Andreas Vass reflects on Chandigarh’s history, its architectural qualities, and its future development.

                Japanese houses today have to contend with unique factors that condition their design, from tiny plots in crowded urban contexts to ever-present seismic threats. These challenges encourage their architects to explore alternating ideas of stability and ephemerality in various ways, resulting in spaces that are as fascinating as they are idiosyncratic. Their formal innovation and attention to materials, technology and measures to coax in light and air while maintaining domestic privacy make them cutting-edge residences that suggest new ways of being at home. Contemporary Japanese architecture has emerged as a substantial force on the international scene ever since Kenzo Tange won the Pritzker Prize in 1987. This overview of 50 recent houses powerfully demonstrates Japans enduring commitment to design innovation.

                This provocative book argues that it is high time the practice of architecture moved away from the ego-fuelled grand visions of starchitects to a networked, collaborative, inclusive model inspired by 21st-century trends such as crowd-sourcing, open access and mass customization. But how can collaborative design avoid becoming design-by-committee? Carlo Ratti and Matthew Claudel deftly navigate this and other vital questions, considering along the way the applications of open-source architecture not only conceptually, but also in practice. Open Source Architecture is a rallying cry to students and open-minded professionals seeking new perspectives on a profession that the authors passionately believe to be moribund.

 

Photography

                Leipzig-born photographer Margret Hoppe is a promising new voice in European photographic art. This new book features her series Après une Architecture, a photographic perspective of Le Corbusier’s architecture that refers to his concept of a modern architecture laid-out in the book Vers une architecture (Toward an Architecture) of 1923. Hoppe’s images show Le Corbusier’s use of exposed concrete, the clarity of his geometric shapes and the emblematic polychrome surfaces as symbols of his buildings. She investigates what remains today of these visions of architectural modernism, now that its legacy in many cases is adored as a monument rather than actually used and appreciated as a functional piece of architecture. The photographic image transforms the buildings into signs of a highly pictorial and sculptural aesthetic, enabling manifold views at Le Corbusier’s work in the present day. The book also presents a selection of Hoppe’s photographs of international modernist buildings, alongside two essays and a conversation with the artist. It is published to coincide with a solo exhibition at the Museum der bildenden Künste in Leipzig.

                In his second book for Rizzoli, Ryan McGinley focuses on the work that he has become best known for since he first rose to prominence ten years ago: the summer road trips. Since the earliest days of his unparalleled career, every summer McGinley has gathered up a group of thirty college-age kids, rented a bus, and set out on a cross-country trip. These trips—now legendary among the artist’s large coterie of friends and collaborators and the art world at large—and the photographs created during them have established him as the most consequential photographer of his generation. In the photos, McGinley documents the summertime explorations and exploits of a group of twentysomethings but also renders something much more fleeting and ineffable: the freedom and abandon of youth. Whether hiking on peat-covered mountains, swimming in crystalline lakes, rolling around in vast fields of tall grass, or squatting in derelict countryside barns, the artist’s photographs of young, naked bodies in pastoral scenes have been his signature, and his triumph has been his ability to evoke innocence and nostalgia with flashes of sexual brio. McGinley’s work has continued to deliver on the promise it made nearly a decade ago—that he is the most influential and important chronicler of his generation.

 

 

Art

                In 1960, Eberhard Fischer had the opportunity to accompany his father, the art ethnologist Hans Himmelheber, on a major expedition to West Africa. He was actually only meant to film the Dan mask carvers as they worked, as well as their festive performances. Yet the strong personalities of these sculptors impressed the young man deeply and he began to document their life stories, record their artistic work methods in detail, and also to collect their works. The biographies and many of the photographs shown in the book of four mask carvers from the Liberian hinterland are unique in the study of African art, as masks are carved in secret in many of these cultures. Until recently, the works were recognized by art ethnologists and collectors, but rarely the people who created them. The new book presents Fischer’s essay, originally published in German in 1963, for the first time in English. For the new edition the text is supplemented by additional images and an epilog. A DVD with the historic film recordings of the artists at work rounds out the book.

                The act of drawing has long been considered the foundation of an artistic education, and the life class essential to the formation of an artists style and technique. Yet in the contemporary art world drawing is increasingly regarded as a medium in its own right, and the figure as a subject for ongoing exploration well beyond the sketchbook. Drawing People is a thoughtful and beautifully illustrated survey of the most compelling and inventive drawings of the human form being produced today. An introduction places the medium of drawing in its historical context, discussing its intersection with photography, painting, collage and illustration. Five chapters Body, Self, Personal Lives, Social Reality and Fictions include short introductions outlining each theme, followed by commentaries on individual artists exploring their style, ideas and techniques, accompanied by finely reproduced images of their recent work.

                Over the course of a career that spanned fifty years, Agnes Martins austere, serene work anticipated and helped to define Minimalism, even as she battled psychological crises and carved out a solitary existence in the American Southwest. I paint with my back to the world, she claimed; when she died at ninety-two, in Taos, New Mexico, it is said she had not read a newspaper in half a century. Nancy Princenthal tells her whole story chronologically from Martins birth in Saskatchewan and her early years as an artist, living in derelict Manhattan shipping lofts as neighbour to Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly and others of their ilk; to the seven years she stopped painting, just as her career was taking off; the months she spent roaming the country in a pick-up truck; and her last thirty years, in Taos, in an adobe house she built with her own hands. Nancy Princenthal has written the essential Agnes Martin biography; a must-read for anyone interested in abstract painting or the history of women artists in America.

 

Graphic Design

                Here is a an overview of the exceptional work produced and championed by over fifty of the leading illustrators, printmakers and designers from the sphere of independent, print-based design. People of Print is split into three sections: Part 1 features essays by journalist Andrew Losowsky; Danielle Pender, curator at KK Outlet; and Lawrence Zeegen, Professor of Illustration at University of the Arts London. It includes interviews with Heretic, a London-based illustration and screen-printing studio, and Jeremy Leslie, Creative Director at magCulture; and a site visit to St Cuthberts Mill, a paper manufacturer in Somerset. Part 2 consists of profiles on such creatives as Brazilian illustrators Bicicleta Sem Freio, Melbourne-based screen-printers Dangerfork, Portland-based letterpress KeeganMeegan & Co., and New York-based design firm Sagmeister & Walsh. Part 3, the Directory, lists a wide selection of print-based websites.

 

Design

                The international touring exhibition Die gute Form was conceived by Max Bill on behalf of the Swiss Werkbund and was shown for the first time in 1949 at the Basel Mustermesse trade fair. The exhibition consisted of 80 display panels, designed by Bill, presenting a selection of consumer goods from all over the world, chosen by Bill as examples of good design. The show caused some upset in Switzerland and fuelled heated debates abroad. But it also exerted a wide-reaching influence – for example, upon the way in which consumer goods were perceived. This publication documents Bill’s initiative in reproductions of the original display panels and layout plans for the venues visited by the exhibition, and places Die gute Form in a theoretical context that considers its reception and impact within the history of design.

_______________

Forthcoming Books Seen This Week 27 March 2015

Architecture

                  The retro-futuristic epoch is one of the most visually spectacular in architecture's history. The utopian buildings of the 1960s and 1970s never go out of style. This book compiles radical ideas and visionary structures. The notion of utopia proves as diverse as it does universal. From exuberant master plans to singular architectural expressions, the rise of the utopian architectural movement in the 1960s and 1970s represents a critical shift in ideology away from mid-century traditionalism. This period shakes off the conformity and conventions of the 1950s in favour of a more experimental post-war agenda. Marked by ground-breaking reinterpretations of both the single family house as well as more large scale developments, the embrace of utopian and generally progressive thinking mirrored the cultural revolution of the times. These daring, charming, futuristic, and hopeful designs were not isolated to a particular part of the world. Visionary voices longing for a fresh approach to architecture began appearing across France, Japan, the United States, and beyond.

                 The life of urban nomads places new demands on cities, buildings, residences, and working spaces. This book presents temporary architecture, flexible room and furniture concepts, and the fitting tools for a generation that feels at home in every corner of the globe. Today’s internet generation no longer needs a home. It is mobile. It works six months in a shared office in Berlin, spends the summer in a caravan in Chile, and shows up just in time for the next project at a temporary desk for a client in New York. Growing up with the internet and digital tools means living and working differently. Aside from a functioning wireless connection and good coffee, web developers, designers, musicians, journalists, and other creative entrepreneurs need, above all, inspiration, new ideas, contacts, and international exchange. So they travel from one co-working space to the next, alternating countries and continents, as well as accommodation, friends, and cultures. The New Nomads documents this trend, in particular showing the architecture, interior design, modular furniture, and multi-functional tools that this nomadic generation has developed for its own specific needs. Divided office floors with flexible uses, temporary living and working spaces that move with the nomads, multi-functional objects that are at once chair and storage space, table and bed, or cupboard and desk are all featured in the book. The necessary infrastructure is not hidden away but becomes the distinguishing design feature. Compactness and functionality meet a high standard for aesthetics, sustainability, and material.

 

Photography

                Landscape in my Mind is a pictorial journey through the landscapes of current art photography. The exhibition covers the whole gamut of current positions in international landscape photography from Hamish Fulton to Andreas Gursky. Always a network of connections between man and nature landscape presents itself as a mental projection level of the perception of our surroundings – both close and distant. The works of art function as 'distorted' mirrors of perceived reality; they are not pure documentations produced at the click of a camera but hybrid tableaus between fiction and abstraction, metaphors of the view of the world and beyond. Typically, the photographs are 'pictures painted with the camera' in large format, which exude the self-confidence of New Photography. Blurring effects and compositional qualities enhance the tableau’s painterly and pictorial value. Consequently, artists such as Elger Esser or Jörg Sasse, for example, see themselves more as 'picture composers' rather than photographers. Rather than the objective perception of landscape as found in say Thomas Struth, these images elicit emotions in the observer, including feelings of being overwhelmed, melancholy, disquiet and dread.              

 

 

Theory

                What is the function of style today? If the 1970s were defined by Stop curating! And think what curating is all about. This book starts from this simple premise: thinking the activity of curating. To do that, it distinguishes between 'curating' and 'the curatorial'. If 'curating' is a gamut of professional practices for setting up exhibitions, then 'the curatorial' explores what takes place on the stage set up, both intentionally and unintentionally, by the curator. It therefore refers not to the staging of an event, but to the event of knowledge itself. In order to start thinking about curating, this book takes a new approach to the topic. Instead of relying on conventional art historical narratives (for example, identifying the moments when artistic and curatorial practices merged or when the global curator-author was first identified), this book puts forward a multiplicity of perspectives that go from the anecdotal to the theoretical and from the personal to the philosophical. These perspectives allow for a fresh reflection on curating, one in which, suddenly, curating becomes an activity that implicates us all (artists, curators, and viewers), not just as passive recipients, but as active members. As such, The Curatorial is a book without compromise: it asks us to think again, fight against sweeping art historical generalizations, the sedimentation of ideas and the draw of the sound bite. Curating will not stop, but at least with this book it can begin to allow itself to be challenged by some of the most complex and ethics-driven thought of our times.

                By the time Umberto Eco published his best-selling novel The Name of the Rose, he was one of Italy’s most celebrated intellectuals, a distinguished academic and the author of influential works on semiotics. Some years before that, in 1977, Eco published a little book for his students, How to Write a Thesis, in which he offered useful advice on all the steps involved in researching and writing a thesis—from choosing a topic to organizing a work schedule to writing the final draft. Now in its twenty-third edition in Italy and translated into seventeen languages, How to Write a Thesis has become a classic. Remarkably, this is its first, long overdue publication in English. Eco’s approach is anything but dry and academic. He not only offers practical advice but also considers larger questions about the value of the thesis-writing exercise. How to Write a Thesis is unlike any other writing manual. It reads like a novel. It is opinionated. It is frequently irreverent, sometimes polemical, and often hilarious. Eco advises students how to avoid “thesis neurosis” and he answers the important question “Must You Read Books?” He reminds students “You are not Proust” and “Write everything that comes into your head, but only in the first draft.” Of course, there was no Internet in 1977, but Eco’s index card research system offers important lessons about critical thinking and information curating for students of today who may be burdened by Big Data.

                The Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s documents a tectonic change in the way women portray themselves in art. Historically, women were depicted as a projection of male fantasies, prejudices, and relationships. However in the 1970s, for the first time, female artists began collectively to investigate visual representations of their own selves. They studied their own bodies and created the prospect of determined feminine identities. Editor Gabriele Schor explores the Feminist Avant-Garde to emphasize the role that these artists played for the last four decades. The works are provocative, radical, poetic, ironic, angry, cynical and heartfelt. The artists shared a collective consciousness that reassessed, and even rejected, what came before, turning to new ways of expression in the fields of photography, performance, film, and video. The collection SAMMLUNG VERBUND founded in 2004 in Vienna focuses on the feminist art movement of the 1970s as one of the main areas and is with 500 works the largest collection with this emphasis. Included are works by Eleanor Antin, Cindy Sherman, Ana Mendieta, Nil Yalter, Ketty La Rocca, Birgit Jürgenssen, Renate Bertlmann, Francesca Woodman and others. This important book emphasizes the accomplishments of women artists who have made a name for themselves while encouraging the young generation.

 

Art

                The Enjoyment of Photography presents a broad selection of Josephine Pryde's work from 1990 to 2014. In photographic works that encompass the full range of the medium's historical and current genres, styles, and techniques, but also through sculpture and writing, the Berlin- and London-based artist (*1967) offers incisive, often ironic, and provocative commentary on the values, hierarchies, and economies subtending the field of contemporary art against the backdrop of larger societal shifts. Estranging the familiar or conversely expressing the common in a radically unforeseen manner, Pryde's ingenuous choice of subject matter, unusual formal solutions and surprising juxtapositions continue to capture international exhibition audiences. Prefaced by art historian André Rottmann, the volume features new essays by scholar Rhea Anastas and artist/critic Melanie Gilligan that insightfully survey Pryde's work over the last two decades, providing in-depth discussions of the artist's continuous engagements with photographic imagery, visual culture, social and artistic conventions, as well as political issues associated with feminism (among other concerns). An illustrated exhibition chronology and detailed bibliography provides further information on the artist's career.

 

_______________

Forthcoming Books Seen This Week 13 March 2015

Graphic Design

                A must for letterpress enthusiasts and graphic designers, this is a covetable showcase of Alan Kitching’s fount collection. Each page has been carefully created by Alan Kitching in collaboration with Angus Hyland, making this book a work of typographic art in its own right. Presented as an A to Z, the individual letters are divided by full alphabets, giving the reader access to a large range of founts to reference in their own work.

 

Photography

                Roland Fischer’s Façades are spectacular photographic pictures: a visual grammar of architectural structures, an alphabet of abstract forms full of art-historical references. Roland Fischer (b. 1958), whose work is exhibited worldwide in important museums, lives and works in Munich and Beijing. Since the 1990s the artist has been photographing the exteriors of buildings, of banks, corporate headquarters and museums in the metropolises of the world, including Beijing, Tokyo, Shanghai, New York, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Osaka, Boston, Brasilia, Los Angeles, Paris, São Paulo, Singapore, Dallas, Madrid, Washington, Mexico City, Chicago, Toronto, Chongqing and Montreal. The results of this breathtaking project form an unusual series of some 100 façades: a vocabulary of global architecture, an inventory of city landmarks. The structures and colours of the contemporary metropolitan universe are transformed into pictures that resemble abstract paintings.

                James Mollison’s photo projects are defined by smart, original concepts applied to serious social and environmental themes. For his latest book, Playground, Mollison photographs children at play in their school playgrounds, inspired by memories of his own childhood and interested in how we all learn to negotiate relationships and our place in the world through play. For each picture, Mollison sets up his camera during school break time, making multiple frames and then composing each final photograph from several scenes, in which he finds revealing “play” narratives. With photographs from rich and poor schools, in countries including Argentina, Bhutan, Bolivia, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Nepal, Norway, Sierra Leone, the United Kingdom, and the U.S., Mollison also provides access for readers of all ages to issues of global diversity and inequality.

                Since the publication of Richard Misrach’s best-selling and critically acclaimed publication On the Beach, he has continued to photograph at the same location, building a body of work that has been exhibited as On the Beach 2.0—a reference to the technological and optical developments that have made the intensely detailed, exquisitely rendered depictions possible. The Mysterious Opacity of Other Beings focuses less on the abstraction of water, sand, and mote-sized figures, instead honing in on the gestures and expressions of bathers adrift in the ocean, at play or in poses ranging from relaxation to transcendence.

                For a German football enthusiast like Juergen Teller, summer 2014 couldn’t have been any better. The German national team—not guest of honor in Teller’s work since Nackig auf dem Fussballplatz (Steidl, 2004)—won the World Cup in Brazil, and Teller was there every step of the way. Siegerflieger (literally “the victors’ plane,” the affectionate name given to the German team’s customized jumbo) unfolds in typical diary-like Teller fashion: we see him enjoying a bratwurst or two, a casual round of chess with the family in his hometown of Bubenreuth, and perhaps one drink too many with his students from the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg. Yet Teller’s obsession for football (also shared by his son Ed, the covert star of this book) remains center stage, be he watching the final live on TV or welcoming home the triumphant team at the Brandenburg Gate. Teller even went so far as to immortalize the German victory in his very first tattoo, a natural step for football fanatics. For the rest of us, we have the exuberant, testosterone-charged Siegerflieger to enjoy.

                In the last decade there has been a major reappraisal of the role and status of the photobook within the history of photography. Newly revised histories of photography as recorded via the photo- book have added enormously to our understanding of the medium’s culture, particularly in places that are often marginalized, such as Latin America and Africa. However, until now, only a handful of Chinese books have made it onto historians’ short lists. Yet China has a fascinating history of photobook publishing, and The Chinese Photobook will reveal for the first time the richness and diversity of this heritage. This deluxe, lavishly produced volume is based on a col- lection compiled by Martin Parr and Beijing- and London-based Dutch photographer team WassinkLundgren. And while the collection was inspired initially by Parr’s interest in pro- paganda books and in finding key works of socialist realist photography from the early days of the Communist Party and the Cultural Revolution era, the selection of books includes key volumes published as early as 1900, as well as contemporary volumes by emerging Chinese photographers.

                Mickalene Thomas is best known for her large-scale, multi-textured and rhinestone-bedecked paintings of domestic interiors and portraits. However, the Brooklyn-based artist has also identified the photographic image as an important touchstone for her work, both as source material and as a medium for creating work. In an interview in the catalog for her solo show at the Brooklyn Museum last year, Thomas described photography as something that “defines [her] practice. It provides a connection between all the works.” As a student at Yale, she took classes with photographer David Hilliard, who encouraged her to photograph herself and her mother—an experience that Thomas sees as an important pivot point for her as an artist.

 

Fashion

                Following the success of I Just Arrived in Paris THE FLOW is the second book in the continuing collaboration between Juergen Teller and Nicolas Ghesquière, artistic director of Louis Vuitton. On 1 October 2014 Teller photographed Ghesquière’s Spring-Summer 2015 collection for the house, and the resulting book is a fluid mix of fashion photos in Teller’s inimitable guileless style and images of Paris shot while boating down the Seine. This combination of portraiture, still-life and landscape photography mirrors the eclectic influences and materials which Ghesquière synthesizes in his collections—a bold, unconventional flow whereby innovation unceasingly rejuvenates tradition.

 

_______________

Forthcoming Books Seen This Week 6 March 2015

Art

                 The Petrified Forest National Park in Northeast Arizona protects one of the largest deposits of petrified wood in the world. Despite stern warnings, visitors remove several tons of petrified wood from the park each year, often returning these rocks by mail (sometimes years later), accompanied by a "conscience letter." These letters often include stories of misfortune attributed directly to their theft: car troubles, cats with cancer, deaths of family members, etc. Some writers hope that by returning these stolen rocks, good fortune will return to their lives, while others simply apologize or ask forgiveness. "They are beautiful," reads one letter, "but I can't enjoy them. They weigh like a ton of bricks on my conscience. Sorry…" Bad Luck, Hot Rocks documents this ongoing phenomenon, combining a series of original photographs of these otherworldly "bad luck rocks" with dozens of facsimiles of intimate, oddly entertaining letters from the Park's archives.

 

Design

                It is not easy to translate into English the Italian word autoprogettazione. Literally it means auto = self and progettazione = design. But the term ‘self-design’ is misleading since the word ‘design’ to the general public now signifies a series of superficially decorative objects. By the word autoprogettazione Mari means an exercise to be carried out individually to improve one’s personal understanding of the sincerity behind the project. To make this possible you are guided through an archetypal and very simple technique. Therefore the end product, although usable, is only important because of its educational value. A project for making easy-to-assemble furniture using rough boards and nails. An elementary technique to teach anyone to look at present production with a critical eye. The first edition of the book was compiled by the Duchamp Centre and printe for the exhibition at the Galleria Milano in 1974.

 

Photography

                Tones of Dirt and Bone: Mike Brodie. The images in Tones of Dirt and Bone were made between 2004 and 2006, with a Polaroid camera and Time Zero film. Brodie used the characteristics and limitations inherent to this type of camera and film to his advantage. The portraits he made are further enhanced by the peculiar colour palette of the film. Due to the restriction of manual focus and expensive film, that came only ten sheets to a box, each image feels deliberate and precious.

                Photographer Friso Spoelstra has visited numerous traditional folk festivals in sixteen different European countries during the past ten years and recorded the traditions in his photos. Devils & Angels brings these stories together and shows individuality as well as surprising similarities between the various different cultures of ever-growing Europe.

                Three iconic series of photographs by Juergen Teller. Woo (2013) was made after the exhibition of the same name at the ICA, London, in 2013. Debunking the status of both art and fashion photography, the works were all placed on the same level, assembled to form wallpaper covering o ne room of the art centre. This combination of images was like a pin board of family pics, a tangled retrospective of his work as fashion photographer and artist. For this series, Teller has isolated certain parts of this wallpaper, once again changing the way we look at the images: the representation of a representation of a representation. Another series, Masculin (2013), has never been shown before. It was made after Teller visited the exhibition Masculin/Masculin at the Musée d'Orsay (2013), which featured one of his self-portraits. The images answer each other, with each photo from the Orsay exhibition being echoed by a Teller self-portrait. The latter show the artist in a gym, dressed in shorts and trainers and doing exercise, hefting barbells and sweating profusely in poses that evoke nudes in classical painting and sculpture, humorously and self-mockingly recalling all the effort—and grotesqueness—that lies behind attainment of those ideal muscular bodies. The last series of photographs, Irene im Wald (2012), is undoubtedly the most intimate and personal of the three. These small-format photos follow Irene, Juergen's mother, on a walk through the forest of Erlangen, a place familiar to him since childhood. Evoking the balmy mood of an afternoon with the family, each image expresses the photographer's tender vision of his mother, seen in the forest on a sunny winter's day. The words accompanying the images are like voice-overs, the voice of the photographer and also the walker, as the rhythm of walking engenders an introspective mood.

               

Theory

                  The Shape of Evidence examines the role and use of visual documents in contemporary art, looking at artworks in which the document is valued not only as a source of information but also as a distinctive visual and critical form. It contends that for artists who use film, photography or written sources, adopting formats derived from specific professional, industrial, scientific of or commercial contexts, the document offers a way to develop a critical reflection around issues of representation, knowledge production, art and its history. The book invites viewers to reflect upon the production and interpretation of seemingly straightforward images, and proposes that some artists can show us through their practice how to turn these deceptively simple images inside out. It addresses several issues that are key both in art and in general culture today: the role of the museum and the archive, the role of documents and the trust that is placed in them, the circulation of such images and the historical genealogies that can be drawn in relation to images. Its uniqueness, however, also derives from its method: it is based on a close reading of a select number of works of art (e.g. Christopher Williams, Fiona Tan, Jean-Luc Moulène), which makes it approachable and engaging with the reader (the book will be illustrated). It is through looking at a select number of artworks that the reader is led to consider greater issues concerning visual documents. Moreover, the book is unique in its interdisciplinary approach: while being about contemporary art it discusses objects and ideas drawn from a wide spectrum of areas including literature, history, photography history, scientific representation, surrealism, conceptual art, commercial photography and so forth. Ultimately the book invites viewers to reflect upon the production and interpretation of seemingly straightforward images, and proposes that some artists can show us through their practice how to turn these deceptively simple images inside out.

_______________

Forthcoming Books Seen This Week 27 February 2015

Theory

                  Recounting art dealer Karsten Schubert’s recuperation from major surgery in the famous Claridge’s Hotel in London, this idiosyncratic novel interweaves reality with fantasy. Room 225–6 follows the author-character ‘The Protagonist’ around London’s Mayfair as he hosts endless art world gatherings, tea parties for twenty and visits a multitude of local galleries and stores. Incorporating multi-layered voices and devices, the distinctive narrative introduces the reader to a memorable host of characters – from the ‘The Political Prisoner’ to ‘The Little Mondrian’ – in a tale filled with humour of observation and incident. Bringing to life this frightening yet extraordinary period in one man’s life, it is at once honest, satirical, idiotic and bold.

 

Art

                  Accompanying a major traveling exhibition, this first-ever survey of the rarely seen notebooks of Basquiat features the artist’s handwritten notes, poems, and drawings, along with related works on paper and large-scale paintings. With no formal training, Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–1988) succeeded in developing a new and expressive style to become one of the most influential artists in the postmodern revival of figurative during the 1980s. In a series of notebooks from the early to mid-1980s, never before exhibited, Basquiat combined text and images reflecting his engagement with the countercultures of graffiti and hip-hop in New York City, as well as pop culture and world events. Filled with handwritten texts, poems, pictograms, and drawings, many of them iconic images that recur throughout his artwork—teepees, crowns, skeleton-like silhouettes, and grimacing masks—and these notebooks reveal much about the artist’s creative process and the importance of the written word in his aesthetic. With over 150 notebook pages and numerous drawings and paintings, this important book sheds new light on Basquiat’s career and his critical place in contemporary art history.

                  Shit and Die is an editorial project by Maurizio Cattelan, Myriam Ben Salah and Marta Papini, published as part of the homonymous exhibition in Torino (November 6th 2014 - January 11th 2015). The publication is not a mere comment on the exhibition; it could be seen as an extension of it, a missing room. As the show, it is conceived as the most subjective, obsessive and irrationally non exhaustive composition. Several local stories, unpublished archival material, exclusive contributions by artists and theorists incorporate into a consistent and unique narration through seven deadly chapters that readers can comprehend as a whole tale. The list of artists on show is composed of established names from the international art scene as well as emerging artists, including among others: Davide Balula, Guy Ben Ner, George Condo, Martin Creed, Stelios Faitakis, Rokni and Ramin Haerizadeh, Petrit Halilaj, Dorothy Iannone, Yan Pei Ming, Aldo Mondino, Carol Rama, Roman Signer, Alexandre Singh, Jim Shaw, Andra Ursuta, Francesco Vezzoli, Jakub Julian Ziolkowski, Carlo Mollino. The list of contributors to the publication comprehends the artists included in the show and artists and theorists specifically invited for the publication.

 

Graphic Design

                This book is an investigation into the design and history of British magazines over the past 170 years. It identifies turning points and new directions in one of the most sensitive barometers of mass-market design taste, from the advent of two periodicals - Punch and the Illustrated London News - that changed publishing fundamentally, through to the beginnings of digital distribution. A magazine flourishes or folds according to its audience's response to its look and feel - sometimes more so than its written content - and this study of a developing history encompasses discussion of graphic design, typography, photography and innovative print technology. It explores why magazines have looked how they do. Published with full access to the National Art Library's unparalleled archive of periodicals, British Magazine Design is a definitive history.

 

Design

                Nas on language, Cat Power on looking inward, Spike Jonze on loving what you do, and Kim Gordon on feeling the flow. These are just a few of the indie stars and surprising insights collected in this gorgeous book by Huck magazine. Since launching in 2006, Huck has been at the vanguard of London's thriving independent publishing scene and has grown into an internationally distributed bi-monthly, with editions available on newsstands in 20 countries worldwide. Bringing together the best insights from over 60 of the most inspiring people Huck has spoken to over the years—along with exclusive photography and art that has come to embody Huck's distinct aesthetic—this book presents a diverse range of truths, creative wisdom, and life lessons from those who paddle against the flow.

 

Architecture

                  Despite the ever-growing sophistication of synthetic and digital tools, it's the natural world that captures the imaginations of today's vanguard designers. By looking to nature as a teacher rather than simply as a source for raw materials, pioneers in the emerging biomimicry movement are developing design methods and materials to create intelligent buildings that emulate life itself. In Hypernatural architecture and material experts Blaine Brownell and Marc Swackhamer present an international collection of forty-two case studies that illustrate astonishing new applications possible in this rapidly growing field, from Echoviren, a botanical pavilion that was designed to wilt into its surrounding redwood forest in Northern California, to the MIT Media Lab's Silk Pavilion, constructed by the threads of silkworms as they passed over scaffolding. Together, these projects show that by looking to nature, design can be a tool that makes our built environment more efficient, sustainable, and, most of all, livable.   

 

Photography

                A celebration of the eclectic and daring personal style of the actress and contemporary fashion icon Chloë Sevigny—famous for looking cool without looking like she’s trying. Chloë Sevigny has been a muse in the downtown creative scene for over three decades, beginning in the early ’90s when she modeled for Sassy, appeared in a Sonic Youth music video, and then starred in the controversial independent movie Kids (1995). Her quirky and avant-garde fashion sense was quickly noticed by indie magazines and the world’s top photographers. Since then, she has starred in dozens of films and television series, in addition to starting a fashion label with the trendy global boutique Opening Ceremony. This volume is a deeply personal illustrated chronicle of the evolution of Sevigny’s unique style throughout her career: from a teenage skater girl to award-winning film actress and fashion designer. The book includes early personal photos of Chloë taken by her high school friends; film stills; modeling appearances for brands such as Miu Miu and Chloé; magazine editorials for Purple, i-D, and The Face by top photographers such as Mark Borthwick, Terry Richardson, and Juergen Teller; and homages by artists such as Elizabeth Peyton and Karen Kilimnik. Additionally, Sevigny shares some of her treasured personal memorabilia, such as casting fliers, Polaroids, zines, and pages from her day planners. This volume will appeal to the legions of global Chloë fans and fashion industry followers, as well as a mainstream audience who will find this book an inspirational style bible.      

 

Fashion

                'Fashion is a big bubble, and sometimes I feel like popping it. 'Alexander McQueen, 2009. This definitive publication on Alexander McQueen (1969 - 2010) invites you into the creative mind of one of Britain's most brilliant, daring and provocative designers. Accompanying the V&A's landmark exhibition Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, this comprehensive catalogue features 28 ground-breaking essays from expert fashion commentators and cultural scholars which examine the richness and complexity of McQueen s visionary fashion. The publication includes over 440 striking images, from intimate backstage portraits and editorials by leading fashion photographers to previously unpublished sketches and research boards from the McQueen archive. At the centre of the book is a Cabinet of Curiosities gatefold with a specially commissioned photo shoot that showcases McQueen s breath-taking attention to detail. The book closes with an encyclopaedic survey of all of McQueen's London collections, from his 1992 MA graduate collection to his final collection, posthumously presented in March 2010.

                “For the third instalment in our collaboration with TOILETPAPER for our advertising campaigns, we worked with Maurizio, Micol and Pierpaolo to take people on a mysterious journey to an unfamiliar world. A place where the ordinary is slightly distorted, mirrors lead to other dimensions and the strange and beautiful coexist in singular harmony. We love that David Lynch’s (the inspiration for our collections) skewed and somewhat disruptive sense of storytelling seamlessly fits with how the TOILETPAPER approach image making and the final results speak for themselves. Needless to say we’re delighted with the outcome and hope everyone else enjoys the images as much as we do.” Carol Lim & Humberto Leon.

                   Pradasphere is not about the past; it is a snapshot of a single moment: now. In this comprehensive collection of Prada's work, Pradasphere llustrates the house's unique place in contemporary culture and explores the outside forces that shape its vision. From Prada's origins and the clothing, accessories and films made to the creative input of collaborators and the insights drawn from disciplines such as art, film and architecture, this book shows Prada's unique vision and wide influence. Pradasphere is more than a collection of Prada ephemera; it's an exploration of the way Prada uses design to explore ideas about the world. Through clothing, film, architecture, and more, Prada shows that design is about the joy of working and creative exploration and how that spirit finds its way into all that is made.

 

_______________

Forthcoming Books Seen This Week 13 February 2015

Fashion

                For centuries, China’s export arts—jade, silks, porcelains, and, more recently, cinema—have fuelled Western fantasies of an exotic East and served as enduring sources of inspiration for fashion. This stunning publication explores the influence of Chinese aesthetics on designers, including Giorgio Armani, Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld, Ralph Lauren, Alexander McQueen, and Yves Saint Laurent. Drawing upon Chinese decorative arts, cinema, and costume—notably imperial court robes, the close-fitting cheongsam, and the unisex Mao suit—their designs are fantastical pastiches of anachronistic motifs. As in the game of “telephone,” the process of cultural translation transforms the source material into ingeniously original fashions that are products solely of the designers’ imaginations. In a similar way, contemporary Chinese film directors render fanciful, highly stylized evocations of various epochs in China’s history—demonstrating that China’s imagery is equally seductive to artists in the East and further inspiring today’s designers. Juxtaposing modern fashions and film stills with their forebears in fine and decorative arts and historical dress, this book reveals the rich and ongoing creative dialogue between East and West, past and present.

                 This fascinating publication is the first to examine side by side the careers and work of two of the biggest names in 20th-century fashion, Yves Saint Laurent (1936–2008) and Halston (1932–1990). Their designs—chic, sexy, and glamorous—came to exemplify the 1970s, a singular and dynamic era in fashion history. Inspired by menswear, foreign cultures, and wide-ranging historical periods, and employing new fabrics, YSL and Halston together crafted a new and distinctly modern way of dressing. Moreover, although their output differed and they were based on different continents, the two designers shared many career parallels. A visual timeline of the designers’ lives illustrates how their rises and falls, from the 1950s to their respective struggles in the 1980s, were surprisingly in sync. Engaging passages by Patricia Mears and Emma McClendon discuss the social, cultural, and economic factors that influenced both designers, and their subsequent impact on fashion—including the rise of the star designer as personality, the cult of celebrity, and the creation of the fashion conglomerate. The authors also address the importance of colour, cutting-edge materials, innovative construction techniques, accessories, and perfume to both designers’ aesthetics. Remarkable photographs of the designers and their garments round out this essential volume on two figures who made an indelible mark on fashion history.

 

Theory

                 “Cities, like cats, will reveal themselves at night,” wrote the poet Rupert Brooke. Before the age of electricity, the nighttime city was a very different place to the one we know today – home to the lost, the vagrant and the noctambulant. Matthew Beaumont recounts an alternative history of London by focusing on those of its denizens who surface on the streets when the sun’s down. If nightwalking is a matter of “going astray” in the streets of the metropolis after dark, then nightwalkers represent some of the most suggestive and revealing guides to the neglected and forgotten aspects of the city." In this brilliant work of literary investigation, Beaumont shines a light on the shadowy perambulations of poets, novelists and thinkers: Chaucer and Shakespeare; William Blake and his ecstatic peregrinations and the feverish ramblings of opium addict Thomas De Quincey; and, among the lamp-lit literary throng, the supreme nightwalker Charles Dickens. We discover how the nocturnal city has inspired some and served as a balm or narcotic to others. In each case, the city is revealed as a place divided between work and pleasure, the affluent and the indigent, where the entitled and the desperate jostle in the streets.

                 In Molecular Red, McKenzie Wark looks for ways to think, and perhaps even combat, the philosophical foundations of the Anthropocene. Throughout the great upheavals of the past 300 years, the carbon economy has been predominant. It was at the centre of both the Soviet and the American empires and, as a result, both are doomed to fail. "Out of the ruins of this devastated, desert landscape, we must salvage what might help us understand the future. Thus Wark revisits the work of Alexander Bogdanov – Lenin’s rival – and the great Proletkult writer and engineer Andrey Platonov. In this reading, the Soviet experiment emerges from the past as an allegory for our time."Moving toward the present, in the midst of Empire’s fall, Wark reads Donna Haraway’s cyborg critique and science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson’s Martian utopia as powerful resources for grasping the world that the climate change has wrought. Wark proposes an alternative realism, where hope can be found amongst what remains and endures.

 

Graphic Design

                The designer Bernd Kuchenbeiser loves books – some because of their content, some because of their appearance. His library expands constantly and not only for professional reasons; there are plenty of volumes he loves to have on his shelves simply because he finds them such beautifully designed objects. A "good book" and whatever it is that makes a book beautiful are not easy to define – the details of a design may well suit one book to perfection, but be very much out of place with another publication. A good book never wants to be left on the shelf – it needs to be read, examined, discussed, and it was with all of this in mind that the author launched his Website "A Good Book", where publications of many different genres are presented as if in an intimate diary, and discussed not only in terms of their content, but also in the context of their creative design, or the pleasures to be had from holding and examining them. He was quick to notice how many of these fine books had a simple design combination of black text on a white background. This observation is why 61 books with black type on white cover came into being as an "analogue" selection from the website: each book here is presented with the cover, a bibliography and a short text, anecdote, or even a quotation to initiate discussion. Much care, effort and affection was lavished on compiling and designing a reader – this is an anthology which of course also references the black and white thematic focus.  61 books with black type on white cover is available in two sizes: a small reader in paperback format or as a large display volume with the covers in the original dimensions.

 

Design

                  An Eames Anthology collects for the first time the writings of the esteemed American architects and designers Charles and Ray Eames, illuminating their marriage and professional partnership of fifty years. More than 120 primary-source documents and 200 illustrations highlight iconic projects such as the Case Study Houses and the molded plywood chair, as well as their work for major corporations as both designers (Herman Miller, Vitra) and consultants (IBM, Polaroid). Previously unpublished materials appear alongside published writings by and about the Eameses and their work, lending new insight into their creative process. Correspondence with such luminaries as Richard Neutra and Eero Saarinen provides a personal glimpse into the advance of modernity in mid-century America.

 

Architecture

                  Born in Tanzania, David Adjaye is rapidly emerging as a major international figure in architecture and design—and this stunning catalogue serves only to cement his role as one of the most important architects of our time. His expanding portfolio of important civic architecture, public buildings, and urban planning commissions spans Europe, the United States, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. He transforms complex ideas and concepts into approachable and innovative structures that respond to the geographical, ecological, technological, engineering, economic, and cultural systems that shape the practice of global architecture. The publication of this compendium of work and essays coincides with the scheduled opening of Adjaye’s National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Adjaye’s completed work in the United States includes the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, a pair of public libraries in D.C., and several private residences. He is also known for his collaborations with artists, most recently with the British painter Chris Ofili. Following an introduction by Zoë Ryan, Adjaye writes on his current and future work, with subsequent essays by an extraordinary cadre of architectural scholars on Adjaye’s master plans and urban planning, transnational architecture, monuments and memorials, and, finally, the forthcoming museum in D.C. Portfolios of Adjaye’s work thread throughout this comprehensive volume.   

 

Photography

                The first comprehensive study of the contemporary Scandinavian photography scene produced in collaboration with MELK, the book documents the shift in Scandinavian photography away from a documentary practice and towards a fine- art discourse. Since the late 1980s Scandinavian photography has evolved into an internationally recognised art scene, with the past two decades seeing a transition from traditional photo-journalistic practice towards a fine-art discourse. Focusing on the last ten years, New Scandinavian Photography highlights the work produced by a diverse range of artists who are exploring and manipulating the use of photography in their practices and explores photography as a medium through academic texts and interviews, addressing the technical and material properties of photography in the context of fine art and pan-media practice with a focus on the exhibition room as well as printed matter. Through critical examination and personal interviews, the book showcases established names in the photographic art scene such as Asger Carlsen and Emil Salto, along with emerging talents that include Marten Lange and Marthe Elise Stramund. A key focus is upon artist’s use of photography as a medium, along with their methods of presentation, from the white cube gallery space to intimate printed matter.

                From its beginnings, photography has been shaped by the desire to understand and explore the essence of the medium. Light, Paper, Process features the work of seven artists—Alison Rossiter, Marco Breuer, James Welling, Lisa Oppenheim, Chris McCaw, John Chiara, and Matthew Brandt—who investigate the possibilities of analogue photography by finding innovative, surprising, and sometimes controversial ways to push light-sensitive photographic papers and chemical processing beyond their limits. A panoply of practices emerges in the work of these artists. Some customize cameras with special lenses or produce images on paper without a camera or film. Others load paper, rather than film, in the camera or create contact-printing with sources of light other than the enlarger, while still others use expired photographic papers and extraneous materials, such as dust and sweat, selected to match the particular subject of the photograph. All of the artists share a willingness to embrace accident and chance. Trial and error contribute to an understanding of the materials and their potential, as do the attitudes of underlying curiosity and inventive interrogation. The act of making each image is like a performance, with only the photographer present. The results are stunning.

 

_______________