Recent art picks for July

Klimt, Michelangelo & the Renaissance portrait + 3 fabulous new graphic arts books.

Syndetics book coverThe lady in gold : the extraordinary tale of Gustav Klimt’s masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer / Anne-Marie O’Connor.
Shares the events that shaped the creation of the painter’s most famous portrait, covering such topics as the story of the salon hostess who was his model, contributing factors in turn-of-the-century Vienna, and the painting’s fate.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMichelangelo : a tormented life / Antonio Forcellino ; translated by Allan Cameron.
“This major new biography recounts the extraordinary life of one of the most creative figures in Western culture, weaving together the multiple threads of Michelangelo’s life and times with a brilliant analysis of his greatest works.The author retraces Michelangelo’s journey from Florence to Rome, explores his changing religious views and examines the politics of patronage in Renaissance Italy. Drawing on Michelangelo’s memoirs and personal correspondence, the author paints a portrait of a deeply contradictory man whose work was infused with a sensuality of which he chose to deprive himself. Book jacket.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Renaissance portrait : from Donatello to Bellini / edited by Keith Christiansen and Stefan Weppelmann ; essays by Patricia Rubin … [et al.].
“The Renaissance Portrait, which accompanies a landmark exhibition at the Bode-Museum, Berlin, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, provides new research and insight into the early history of portraiture in Italy, examining in detail how its major art centers—Florence, the princely courts, and Venice—saw the rapid development of portraiture as closely linked to Renaissance society and politics, ideas of the individual, and concepts of beauty. Essays by leading scholars provide a thorough introduction to Renaissance portraiture, while individual catalogue entries illustrate and extensively discuss more than 160 magnificent examples of painting, drawing, manuscript illumination, sculpture, and medallic portraiture by such artists as Donatello, Filippo Lippi, Botticelli, Verrocchio, Ghirlandaio, Pisanello, Mantegna, Antonello da Messina, and Giovanni Bellini. With abundant style and visual ingenuity, these masters transformed the plain facts of observation into something beautiful to behold.” – (adapted from Amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverTypography, referenced : a comprehensive visual guide to the language, history, and practice of typography / Allan Haley … [et al.].
“In short, Typography, Referenced is the ultimate source of typographic information and inspiration, documenting and chronicling the full scope of essential typographic knowledge and design from the beginnings of moveable type to the present “golden age” of typography.” – (adapted from Amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverEchoes of the future : rational graphic design & illustration / [edited by Robert Klanten & Hendrik Hellige].
“Today’s young graphic designers and illustrators are increasingly taking their visual cues from classic modernism, letterpress printing, and other design styles of the past and using them in their current work. They are not copying them, but rather, they are synthesizing them to create a new aesthetic that emanates quality, timelessness, and sustainability. It is only when confronted with genuine examples from the past that one realizes how clearly different the contemporary work is. Echoes of the Future presents the further evolution of this style trend. The book features recent graphic design and illustration that is deliberately created with a limited palette of forms and colors, which makes the work seem older than it is. The aspiration to visual longevity contrasts sharply with the rapidly shifting styles of previous years that seemed out-of-date almost immediately. Especially in these times of economic uncertainty, more and more brands, products, and businesses are using designs that promote the impression of stability.
Echoes of the Future is a stunning compilation of outstanding work inspired by a collective visual memory that is as contemporary as it is timeless.” – (adapted from Amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverBob Gill, so far.
“The definitive work of one of the most important and innovative designers/illustrators/teachers of his generation. Written and designed by Bob Gill. “The only way to tell which jobs Gill designed yesterday and which ones were designed years ago, is to look at the date. Styles come and go, but his ideas and teaching philosophy are timeless. That’s why Bob Gill is one of the heroes that got me and so many others into graphic design in the first place.” – (adapted from Amazon.com description)