NEW BOOKS BLOG

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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.

 

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