Art connections – New Art Books in September

This month’s selection showcases a whole world of art, from great Maori sculptor Fred Graham to French painters and children’s book illustrators. We visit spiritual sculpture in Polynesia, street artists across the globe and one of the great paradoxes of Australian art.

Syndetics book coverFred Graham : creator of forms : te tohunga auaha / Maria de Jong with Fred Graham ; photographs by Geoff Dale.
“Māori sculptor Fred Graham is a leading figure in New Zealand’s art world … This rich retrospective reveals the stories behind Graham’s life – from his early career as an art teacher to his emergence as a revered figure within the contemporary Māori art movement.” (Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverThe language of mixed-media sculpture / Jac Scott.
“Both a survey and a lavish celebration of contemporary approaches to sculptures that are formed from more than one material, this book profiles the discipline in all its expanded forms, and recognizes sculpture in the 21st century not as something solid and static, but rather as a fluid interface in material, time, and space. It reveals the inspirations, influences, and creative journeys of more than 30 contemporary artists, and explains the practical processes and raw materials they use.” (Adapted from

Syndetics book coverShow me a story! : why picture books matter : conversations with 21 of the world’s most celebrated illustrators / compiled and edited by Leonard S. Marcus ; with a foreword by David Wiesner.
“In his introduction to this collection of 21 interviews with renowned children’s illustrators, Marcus reveals his impetus for embarking on the project: a mad quest for the vital thread that links an artist’s life story to the stories and images for which he or she is known. To do this he often starts where all things start; in childhood.” (Adapted from Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverIn Montmartre : Picasso, Matisse and modernism in Paris 1900-1910 / Sue Roe. 
“Montmartre, the hillside district of northern Paris, lay at the heart of an emerging modernism at the turn of the 20th century. Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, André Derain, Gertrude Stein, Marcel Proust, and other famous modernists lived, worked, and congregated within its neighbourhood cafes, bars, and studios. Roe painstakingly depicts Montmartre’s cultural and political history.” (Adapted from Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverMiró : the experience of seeing : late works, 1963-1981 / Carmen Fernández Aparicio, Belén Gálan Martín, Charles Palermo, Pere Portabella, Jesús Carrillo.
“This book details Miro’s antagonistic relationship with the Franco regime; his strong sense of being Catalan; his differences from surrealism, and his relationships with Marcel Duchamp. It is generously and well illustrated, particularly for the sculpture. It should bring Miro to the forefront of 20th-century art.” (Adapted from Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverPro Hart : life & legacy / Gavin Fry.
“Pro Hart was without doubt a most enigmatic figure in Australian art. Can one be described as being ‘without a doubt the greatest artist in our nation’s history’, yet also be considered a ‘parish pump incompetent’, meretricious and a charlatan? That is the paradox of Pro Hart. To be an artist turning over more than one million dollars a year, yet fly beneath the radar of serious art. How did that situation arise and what it does it say about Australia?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAtua : sacred gods from Polynesia / Michael Gunn.
“The Polynesian concept of atua ― of gods, figurative objects and associated beliefs ― developed over thousands of years and spread throughout the region. Sculptures of ancestral gods connected the Polynesians with Te Po, the supernatural world, giving them strength and sacred knowledge. The superb examples of sculpture illustrated in this volume provide an island-by-island insight into this rich and intriguing heritage.” (Adapted from Amazon Summary)

Syndetics book coverStreet art/today : the 50 most influential street artists today / texts, Elise Luong, Bjørn Van Poucke.
“Street art is more than artistically acknowledged graffiti. This book highlights this new art form in all its facets, beyond the cliches. From installation art to socially critical tags to photo realistic mural paintings: street art exists in all forms and sizes. This book maps the genre and investigates new tendencies such as ecological street art, the naive wave, and trompe l’oeil.” (Adapted from Syndetics Summary)