Recent art picks for April

Cutting edge art, old and new – my personal pick for April: Skull style!

Syndetics book coverThe art of not making : the new artist/artisan relationship / Michael Petry.
“Artist-author Petry’s book challenges readers with the dynamic definition of art as a confrontation between conceptual and material constructs. Prefaced with a historical introduction to Marcel Duchamp, the book is organized, ironically, by materials: “Glass,” “Metal,” “Stone,” “Textiles,” and “Other Materials.” Each section presents brief historical context and a selection of relevant artists’ work. Included are artworks by Ai Weiwei, Louise Bourgeois, Grayson Perry, and Chris Burden, among others. Brilliant images accompany detailed captions that connect to the theme of “unmade” conceptual making. Encompassing definitions of craft, art, and design, this volume offers both thematic breadth and specific examples.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCharacters : cultural stories revealed through typography / Stephen Banham ; foreword by Rick Poynor.
“Type and signage surround us. They are part of our daily lives and the history of whichever city we happen to live in. Whether old or new, each sign has a story to tell. In Characters, Stephen Banham has meticulously researched the signage and typography of a city to present an exuberant collection of quirky, poignant and often funny stories. They range from how a callout to mend a burnt fuse on a neon sign led to the discovery of over 100 musical instruments hidden away in a train station tower for 50 years to the sign that had to be removed for eliciting illegal gambling. From architecture and advertising to cultural history and much more, Characters is a book that will appeal to historians, designers and typophiles alike.” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

Syndetics book coverThe last Pre-Raphaelite : Edward Burne-Jones and the Victorian imagination / Fiona MacCarthy.
“This detailed, engaging, and thoroughly researched biography is the most recent work on the English Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones. Versed in the artistic culture of Victorian England, respected biographer MacCarthy (William Morris: A Life for Our Time) covers Burne-Jones’s life from his early days in Oxford to his ascent as a respected artist. She explores his relationships with contemporaries such as fellow Pre-Raphaelite Dante Gabriel Rossetti and especially Arts and Crafts designer William Morris-Burne-Jones collaborated with Morris’s interior design firm, Morris & Company, on numerous stained glass windows, tapestries, and illustrations for books.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPicasso to Warhol : fourteen modern masters / Jodi Hauptman ; with essays by Samantha Friedman and Michael Rooks.
“Published in conjunction with a presentation of masterworks from The Museum of Modern Art, New York, at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, this volume highlights the work of 14 masters of twentieth-century art: Constantin Brancusi, Alexander Calder, Giorgio de Chirico, Marcel Duchamp, Jasper Johns, Fernand Léger, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Romare Bearden, Louise Bourgeois and Andy Warhol.” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

Syndetics book coverRock, paper, scissors : the work of Julien Vallée / [by Julien Vallée ; words by Eve Duhamel and Julien Vallée with Daniel Canty].
“Julien Vallée is a virtuoso at melding a variety of analog and digital design techniques into fascinating images and magically arranged spaces. Whether moving or static, the young Canadian’s incomparable visuals explore the relative roles of the computer and handmade processes in design. Vallée works in a wide range of fields, including art direction, motion graphics, print design, and art installation as well as video and design for the television industry.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSkull style : skulls in contemporary art and design / curated by Patrice Farameh.
“SKULL STYLE is a beautifully designed book presents not only one of the most ancient symbols used in the history of mankind but how it is utilized in the most surprising and modern way today. Formerly an emblem of evil and mortality, the skull has been transformed into an avant-garde design element used in the most cutting-edge art, chic interiors and vanguard style of the moment. Whether embellished on costly T-shirts, woven on limited edition chairs, and even encrusted with diamonds sold at an art auction for $100 million, the skull is no longer just a daunting memento of our frail mortality but a contemporary figure of fashion.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)