New Art Picks for August

With something to offer for everyone this selection zig-zags between pop and cult culture, modernism and minimalism, to advice for practising artists. If you haven’t encountered artists Mark Wallinger or Nick Cave’s work (the artist not the singer) I suggest you seek them out. Mark Wallinger is first in this line up and Re:purposed further down the line features Nick Cave’s work. Curiosity and the lure of materiality makes Magnificent Obsessions (on the objects artists are drawn to collect) is fascinating read and well worth picking up.

Syndetics book coverMark Wallinger / Sally O’Reilly.
“Painter, sculptor, and video artist Mark Wallinger has created some of the most intelligent and irreverent work of the last 25 years. Winner of the Turner Prize in 2007, Wallinger is well known for his 50-meter sculpture of a white horse standing in the English countryside and a multipart work, Labyrinth , made for the 150th anniversary of the London Underground. Like all titles in this series, the book has 100 color illustrations and a new interview with the artist.” (Adapted syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHigh art: public art on the High Line
“High Art surveys the first five years of art on the High Line, the unique elevated park in New York City created through the repurposing of an abandoned railway line. Since 2009, when the High Line was opened to the public, nineteen million visitors have been witness to more than 100 public art projects animating the grounds of this unique “park in the sky.”  The High Line is steadily broadening the audience for contemporary art while pushing the boundaries of traditional public art programs.” (Adapted syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAgnes Martin: her life and art
“Over the course of a career that spanned fifty years, Agnes Martin’s austere, serene work anticipated and helped to define Minimalism. “I paint with my back to the world,” she says both at the beginning and at the conclusion of a documentary filmed when she was in her late eighties. No substantial critical monograph exists on this acclaimed artist; who was championed by critics as diverse in their approaches as Lucy Lippard, Lawrence Alloway, and Rosalind Krauss.  Agnes Martin is essential reading for anyone interested in abstract art or the history of women artists in America.” (Adapted syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUnexpected art : serendipitous installations, site-specific works, and surprising interventions / Jenny Moussa Spring, Florentijn Hofman, Christian L. Frock. (Overdrive E-Book)
“Graffiti made from cake icing, man-made clouds floating indoors, a luminous moon resting on water. Collected here are dozens of jaw-dropping artworks – site-specific installations, extraordinary sculptures, and groundbreaking interventions in public spaces – that reveal the exciting things that happen when contemporary artists play with the idea of place.” (Adapted syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPainting Beyond Pollock
“Painting Beyond Pollock is a captivating account of the history of European and American painting from the mid20th century onwards. Art historian and critic Morgan Falconer presents an extensively researched piece of writing that explains why painting has surged in popularity since Jackson Pollock and the Abstract Expressionists began painting in the late 1940s-early 1950s.”  (Adapted syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRe:purposed / by Matthew McLendon.
“What is ‘garbage’? ‘Trash’? ‘Rubbish’? More than a hundred years after Marcel Duchamp changed the course of Western art by re-focusing our view of ‘found objects’, artists today continue to explore ‘refuse’ and its many uses and meanings in contemporary art. Each theme is a potent reminder of our close connection to the materials we use to create and facilitate our lives. In the deft hands of these artists, those connections are far from severed when these materials are discarded.” (Adapted syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverListening to stone: the art and life of Isamu Noguchi
“Throughout the twentieth century, Isamu Noguchi was a vital figure in modern art. From interlocking wooden sculptures to massive steel monuments to the elegant Akari lamps, Noguchi became a master of what he called the “sculpturing of space” constantly striving to “take the essence of nature and distill it.” Herrera locates Noguchi in his friendships with such artists as Buckminster Fuller and Arshile Gorky, and in his affairs with women including Frida Kahlo and Anna Matta Clark. Listening to Stone is a moving portrait of an artist compulsively driven to reinvent himself as he searched for his own “essence of sculpture.”” (Adapted syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverFrida Kahlo and Diego Rivera : Mexican Modern Art
“Few artists have captured the public’s imagination with the force of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Icons respectively of surrealism and the Mural Movement, their work reflected their immersion in indigenous Mexican culture while looking ahead to progressive ideals and wielding a defining influence on Mexican Modernism.Set in the broader context of the Mexican modernist movement, Kahlo’s and Rivera’s pieces are accompanied by works by such other masters as José Clemente Orozco, Rufino Tamayo, and Leonora Carrington.” (Adapted syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPulp Macabre : The Art of Lee Brown Coye’s Final and Darkest Era
“No other artist working in mid-century pulp fiction created work as twisted as Lee Brown Coye. By the 1970s, after surviving a life-threatening illness, Coye would outdo himself, creating lurid illustrations exclusive to rare privately published books and fanzines. Pulp Macabre showcases Coye’s final and darkest era, containing some of the most passionately ghoulish artwork ever made.” (Adapted syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMagnificent obsessions : the artist as collector / editorial coordination, Lincoln Dexter.
“This unique and revealing book probes the aesthetic and psychological dimensions of collecting and shows how objects can influence and reflect their owners’ work.  A lead essay examines the reasons why artists collect, attempting to understand the relationship between the objects artists amass and the works they make, and contributions by or on each of the artists reflect on the personal significance of collecting habits.” (Adapted syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAn Artist Friendship : An Artist Friendship
“The catalogue brings together the paintings, watercolours, drawings, handcrafts, objects, and documents of August Macke and Franz Marc, demonstrating their influence on one another’s work. The friendship between Marc (1880-1916) and Macke (1887-1914) was of vital importance to both painters, and defined their work.  Despite conceptual and cultural-political differences, a deep mutual affection characterised their joint undertakings.” (Adapted syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSee Hear Yoko
“See Hear Yoko is a visual portrait of an icon of contemporary American cultural history, from her days with John Lennon through to the present. Rock Photographer Bob Gruen has selected more than three hundred classic color and black-and-white photographs–accompanied by text of Yoko’s insights gleaned from Denberg’s many hours of interviews–to illuminate the intimate story of Yoko Ono. Lavish and beautiful, See Hear Yoko brings into focus an extraordinary woman, and one of the most memorable periods in modern history.” (Adapted syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverArt before breakfast : a zillion ways to be more creative, no matter how busy you are / by Danny Gregory.
“This unique guide serves up a hearty helping of inspiration for aspiring artists who want to draw and paint but just can’t seem to find time in the day. Packed with practical instructions on techniques and materials there are also strategies for making work that’s exciting, unintimidating, and fulfilling.  Art Before Breakfast teaches readers how to develop a creative habit and lead a richer life through making art.” (Adapted syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDrawing and painting : materials and techniques for contemporary artists / [Kate Wilson]
“Bursting with practical techniques, engaging artist profiles and inspirational galleries, Drawing & Painting combines an authoritative category killer approach with a contemporary aesthetic guaranteed to appeal to all artists.” (Adapted syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMāori art : history, architecture, landscape and theory / Rangihiroa Panoho ; with photographs by Mark Adams & Haruhiko Sameshima.
“This book presents a unique focus on Maori art by exploring the connection between the traditional and contemporary, and the place of Maori art within an international context. Maori Art provides a framework for looking at Maori art in a new way and fills a gap in Maori art history – while there are myriad surveys of Maori art there is currently very little critical writing on Maori art and artists.”(Adapted syndetics summary)