Arts eNewsletter for September

September is finally here, so technically speaking spring has officially started.   I’m not sure if the weather has caught up with the news yet!

While its still cooler outside, take some time out to catch up on the libraries new selection of Arts books.  My picks would be Modern Vintage Illustration and Baby Times – enjoy!

Library News

Art

A new biography of Titian, Lucian Freud portraits & British artists’ studios + surf & vintage graphics and NY street art

Syndetics book coverLucian Freud : portraits / [introduction and essay by] Sarah Howgate ; with [an essay and interviews by] Michael Auping ; and [a memoir by] John Richardson.
“‘Everything is autobiographical and everything is a portrait, even if it’s only a chair.’ Portraits were central to the work of Lucian Freud. Working only from life, the artist claimed ‘I could never put anything into a picture that wasn’t actually there in front of me.’ Lucian Freud Portraits surveys his portraits and figure paintings from across his long career. Drawing together the finest portraits from public and private collections around the world, the book explores Freud’s stylistic development and technical virtuosity. A series of previously unpublished interviews conducted by Michael Auping between May 2009 and January 2011 reveal the artist’s thoughts on the complex relationship between artist and sitter, the particular challenges of painting nudes and self-portraits, and his views on other painters he admired” – (adapted from Amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverSanctuary : Britain’s artists and their studios / editor/interviews, Hossein Amirsadeghi ; executive editor, Maryam Homayoun Eisler ; contributors, Iwona Blazwick, Richard Cork, Tom Morton ; photography, Robin Friend.
“”Sanctuary: British Artists and their Studios” gives a rare and privileged insight to the studios and inspirations of nearly 120 of Britains greatest living artists working today, both in Britain and abroad. Sanctuary’s stellar cast of artists encompasses many different ways of thinking about and making art. This lavish, large-format book brims with specially commissioned photographs portraits, images at work, places of inspiration and incisive interviews: the artists open their minds as much as their studio doors. The book is full of insights, revelations and thoughts on the modern art world and contemporary art practice, giving a vivid sense of what it means to be an artist at work today.” – (adapted from Amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverSurf graphics / introduction by Jim Phillips ; compiled by Yahya El-Droubie ; text by Ian C. Parliament.
“From vintage surf art to the latest designs, this collection is filled with brilliant color, energy, and vibe. It features the top 30 artists working on the surf graphic scene, each with a detailed biography, as well as the same eye-popping production values of Kustom Graphics and Kustom Graphics II. Of course, there are plenty of California artists making their marks on the surf art scene, including Shawn Dickinson (Palmdale), Damian Fulton (Los Angeles), Tom “Big Toe” Laura (Irvine), Jim Phillips (Santa Cruz), Rick Rietveld (Newport Beach), and Keith Weesner (Thousand Oaks). Brad Parker lives in Hawaii, while Thor splits his time between California and Hawaii. Pat Grant and Marty Schneider are among Australian artists on the scene, while European artists include PG Artworks (Sweden), Mik Baro (Spain), and Thorsten Hasenkamm (Germany).” – (adapted from Amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverModern vintage Illustration / Martin Dawber ; [foreword by Stephen Bayley].
“Past is prologue in this stunning survey of vintage-inspired illustrations that employ classic styles of artistic expression for up-to-date effects. Organized by historical or cultural period, the book features hundreds of modern retro images, including pieces that incorporate the geometric beauty of Art Deco, the bold architectural lines of Soviet constructivist posters, and the graphic design of Blue Note’s record sleeves. There are new perspectives on photorealism, comic art, and punk, as well. Hundreds of artists have contributed to this witty, exciting, and international collection.” – (adapted from Amazon.com description)

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Craft

Welcome to this month’s selection of irresistible knitting, sewing and needle-felting books. Satisfy your creative urge, experiment with new ideas and learn great techniques through the numerous step-by-step instructions and tips. Have Fun!

Syndetics book coverAround the world in knitted socks : 26 inspired designs / Stephanie van der Linden.
“International sock knitting sensation Stephanie van der Linden shares an irresistible collection of 26 original designs inspired by global knitting traditions. In Around the World in Knitted Socks, you’ll travel through world cultures by foot and try your hand at new patterns and techniques. Using stitch motifs and colours, knitting techniques and construction details, the socks blend regional knitting traditions with Stephanie’s unique design flair. Drawing inspiration from signature local textiles such as Turkish kilim carpets, Japanese sashiko embroidery, Belgian lace, American quilts, and Scottish argyle tartan, each pattern is distinctly tied to both country and culture. You’ll also learn traditional knitting techniques including Estonian and Latvian braids, Norwegian stranded knitting, and Austrian twisted-stitch designs.” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

Syndetics book coverKnitting the perfect fit : essential fully fashioned shaping techniques for designer results / Melissa Leapman.
“This is the first book that delves deeply into easily mastered techniques that can be used to adapt and customise any project. Knitting the Perfect Fit is an invaluable guide for anyone interested in learning and perfecting shaping details in their knitting. Acclaimed designer and teacher Melissa Leapman distills one of her most in-demand workshops into an authoritative guide that will help knitters understand how designer details and shaping actually work. From a variety of necklines and arm details to different trompe l’oeil shaping techniques that offer a more slimming and flattering look to any garment no matter your body type. Each technique is thoroughly explained with tips and exercised and then showcased in 21 appealing projects that allow knitters to practise their new skills.” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

Syndetics book coverBaby times : 24 handmade treasures for baby & mom : quilts, soft toys, gifts / Abbey Lane Quilts.
“Everything the modern baby needs (and mommy too) for party time, playtime, quiet time, or go time. Stitch up some of these imaginative and practical designs, and the days will be a little easier for both mom and baby. Marcea Owen and Janice Liljenquist, founders of Abbey Lane Quilts, bring you 24 projects including quilts, bibs, diaper bags, soft toys, and so much more, using fresh, modern fabrics. Choose from a variety of unique colorways, embellishments, and skill levels. Get creative with coordinating projects to make great gift sets—get more “oohs” and “aahs” at every baby shower!.” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

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Design

These recent picks focus on the design that literally surrounds us every day. Several of these titles examine the ways architecture has adapted to the current economic and environmentally aware times and show how these restrictions can result in great design.

Syndetics book coverThe architecture electric / Jared Kennard, Tyson Schmidt, Nathan Horne.
“The Architecture Electric records central Wellington electrical substations photographically to highlight and showcase these overlooked utilitarian buildings. Hiding at the end of the street, under office towers, in carparking blocks, or next to your garage at home, these vital links in the electrical infrastructure are often camouflaged and ignored as there is no human occupancy. Architectural styles reflect the era they were built and the attitude of the day with proudly displayed pediments, ornate trimmings or brutalist precast concrete form, yet all tend to be painted green to blend into the background.” – (adapted from Unity Books summary)

Syndetics book coverDid you mean to do that? : Malcolm Walker architectural cartoons / edited by John Walsh ; foreword by Louis Hellman ; afterword by Gerald Melling.
“This long-awaited book covers twenty-five years of cartoons from New Zealand’s leading architectural cartoonist – Malcolm Walker: a chronicle of styles, ambitions and happy collaborations. Follow the career development of those perennial architectural contenders, Turbo Floss and Dollop, watch the Crass Corporation shape a city, and enjoy the vicarious pleasure of dealing with Council planning consent officers. Learn the secrets of design and the truth about clients and builders. See architects at work and play and in the psychiatrist’s chair. Observe the untiring quest for jobs, fame and a refill at the annual awards dinner. Discover what inspires architects, and find out what they’d like for Christmas. All this, and more, in a book for anyone who has ever wanted to ask; ‘Did you mean to do that?’.” – (adapted from Fishpond summary)

Syndetics book coverOrigami architecture : papercraft models of the world’s most famous buildings / Yee.
“The incredible splendors of some of the worlds’ most recognized architectural feats are brought to life within the pages of Origami Architecture. With this book, some card stock paper, and a hobby knife, anyone can build spectacular re-creations of the most famous buildings in the world. It gives instructions and templates for 16 buildings, including the Parthenon, the White House, the Eiffel Tower, the Chrysler building, and the Forbidden City. There are over 900 photographs detailing the cutting and assembling of the pieces, most without using glue or tape. Once the structure is attached to the base not only will does it look amazing, but it can be folded up and taken anywhere.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Classical Music

These Classical music picks highlight one-act operas, some young singing talent, and some Kiwi singing talent. Plenty to read and listen to this month!

Syndetics book coverVerdi and/or Wagner : two men, two worlds, two centuries / Peter Conrad
“This is the first book to compare these two composers and cultural heroes, both of whom were born in 1813 and achieved huge national and international renown in their lifetimes. Yet not only did they never meet, but the differences between them—in music, culture, environment, significance, and legacy—were profound.” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

Syndetics book coverI heard you singing : my life with Ramon Opie / Corinne Bridge-Opie ; foreword by Donald Munro
“I Heard You Singing is the story of two New Zealand singers, Corinne Bridge and Ramon Opie, and their efforts to forge professional careers in a country which generally respects its sports stars far more than anyone in the arts…” – (adapted from Publisher’s summary)

Image courtesy of AmazonDream with me / Jackie Evancho
“Produced by David Foster, Jackie Evancho’s Dream With Me fulfills the promise of O Holy Night, Jackie’s major label debut, a seasonal collection which became 2010’s #1 best-selling debut recording with sales exceeding 1 million units. Dream with Me features a repertoire of classical arias and pop classics handpicked to suit Jackie’s angelic voice. Her range is so great that she ably shifts from the Disney classic “When You Wish Upon A Star” to Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma.” Other highlights include two extraordinary superstar duets showcasing the young vocalist performing with music legend Barbra Streisand and international phenomenon Susan Boyle.” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

Image courtesy of AmazonDie Walküre [sound recording] / Wagner
“… The recording’s additional dimension is that the music leaps out from the speakers and into your mind’s eye making Wagner’s mythological world of the Valkyrie into something quite tangible. I had goose bumps from the start to the finish, while listening to the recording, especially ends of act 1 and 2. The rapturous applause at the end of each act and at the conclusion of the opera, says it all. People (including myself) were giving standing ovations all around and all levels of the wonderful concert hall, at the end of each of the 3 sections.” – (adapted from Amazon.com review)

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