Keep Calm and Carry On: New art books

Bomberg

In our most recent art picks we invite you to “keep calm and carry on” appreciating art. Whether your interests lie in 20th century artists such as David Bomberg and Mark Dion, instructional books, recounts of the influences of art or evolutionary tales of Manga through comics, cartoons and animation, or a WW2 slogan, we have quite the selection for you.

Book Jacket for: Keep calm and carry on : the truth behind the posterKeep calm and carry on : the truth behind the poster / Lewis, Bex
“‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ has become one of the most recognizable slogans of the twenty-first century. But where is it from and why has it resonated so strongly with the modern British public? This book reveals the truth behind the now infamous poster, tracing its origins to the Second World War, when it was created to allay public panic in the event of a German invasion. Later seized upon as an encouragement in the economic crisis, ‘Keep Calm’ went on to become arguably the most successful meme in history.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: Draw your weaponsDraw your weapons / Sentilles, Sarah
“A literary collage with hope at its core, Sentilles tells the true stories of Howard, a conscientious objector during World War II, and Miles, a former prison guard at Abu Ghraib, and in the process she challenges conventional thinking about how war is waged, witnessed, and resisted. The pacifist and the soldier both create art in response to war. Asking questions such as, what impact can one person have? And how should we respond to violence when it feels like it can’t be stopped?” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: BombergBomberg / MacDougall, Sarah
“This monograph on the influential 20th-century British artist David Bomberg (1890-1957) accompanies a major new exhibition curated by the authors. A comprehensive account, providing an informed and accessible overview of Bomberg’s career and achievements, combining a biographical narrative with an analytical and interpretative approach. Including new material relating to Bomberg’s Jewish background and sumptuous illustrations.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: Mangasia : the definitive guide to Asian comicsMangasia : the definitive guide to Asian comics / Gravett, Paul
“An exhaustive and visually engaging account, Mangasia charts the evolution of manga from its roots in late nineteenth-century Japan through the many and varied forms of comics, cartoons and animation created throughout Asia for more than one hundred years. With infographics, maps, timelines, and reproductions from all across Asia, this book is the first to explain the significance of key themes, the meanings of embodied myths and the connections between various manga traditions.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: In celebration of Cecil Collins : visionary artist and educatorIn celebration of Cecil Collins : visionary artist and educator
“Cecil Collins is arguably one of the greatest English visionary artists since Blake and Palmer. With emblematic figures such as the Fool, and the Sibyl in extraordinary landscapes, Collins portrayed an original and inspiring philosophy of life. Recognized as belonging to the Neo-Romantic movement of poetical art, his dedication to depicting his mystic understanding made his work highly distinctive.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: Mark Dion : misadventures of a 21st-century naturalistMark Dion : misadventures of a 21st-century naturalist / Erickson, Ruth
“Part of a generation of artists expanding institutional critique in the 1990s, Dion adopted the methods of the archaeologist or the natural history museum, juxtaposing natural objects, taxidermy, books, and more to reorganize the natural and the manmade in poetic, witty ways. Generously illustrated, this publication introduces new insights and features more than seventy-five artworks.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: Ann Blockley's watercolour workshop : projects and interpretations.Ann Blockley’s watercolour workshop : projects and interpretations./ Blockley, A 
“Artist Ann Blockley is renowned for her innovative approach to watercolour painting. Her highly anticipated new book provides a series of workshops demonstrating how to push the boundaries of watercolour, using key techniques to develop your own work and take your paintings to the next level. Her beautiful and inspirational artworks demonstrate how different interpretations of a subject might take an unexpected or unusual direction, and how to make the most of these opportunities.” (Adapted from fishpond.co.nz)

Book Jacket for: Wanted : the search for the modernist murals of E. Mervyn TaylorWanted : the search for the modernist murals of E. Mervyn Taylor
“The detective hunt for some of this country’s most important and beautiful murals. Mervyn Taylor was one of the most celebrated New Zealand artists of the 1930s to 1960s. He was highly connected to modernism and nationalism as it was expressed in the New Zealand art and literature of the period. This fascinating and beautiful book, bursting with archival material, details the detective hunt for his murals and tells the stories of their creation.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: The art of buying art : how to evaluate and buy art like a professional collectorThe art of buying art : how to evaluate and buy art like a professional collector / Bamberger, Alan S.
“This classic, since its original publication in 1990, has been revised to bring it completely up to date and make it internationally relevant. It now includes information on the internet (researching and buying directly from artists), global art fairs and the contemporary art world. Without a doubt the best and most readily understandable book on how to buy, sell, price, evaluate, appraise and collect artworks for any art buyer, not just collectors no previous knowledge of art or the art business is necessary.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Cats, dogs, teabowls and other things that influence artists

Influence and inspiration, are fickle topics to understand even to the best of us, but perhaps none more so than the artistic community. The stories behind art and the artists who created them, what inspires artists and who they inspire in turn, are some of the greatest hidden stories of our time. So in our most recent picks we invite you to look closer at art, at muses, at what inspires, what what influences, and yes, at cats, dogs and Teabowls.

Syndetics book coverCats in art / Desmond Morris.
“The cat, that most graceful, stubborn, and agile of animals,has been a favorite subject of artists the world over from prehistory to the modern day.In his latest book, Desmond Morris tells the compelling story of cats in art. He explores feline art in its many forms, tracing its history from ancient rock paintings to the depiction of cats in cartoons. The result is a beautifully illustrated book that will delight anyone with a Kitty, Max, or Tigger in their life.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA dog a day / Sally Muir.
“It all began with a Facebook post in 2013: ‘My name is Sally Muir and this is a new gallery where I will add a dog drawing/painting every day, adding up to a massive 365 day dogfest.’ As the page grew in popularity, so did Sally’s dog portraits, leading to commissions, exhibitions at prominent galleries, and events. Drawing on artworks from the site, A Dog A Day is a lovingly curated collection and celebration of dogs, perfect for all dog lovers.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe teabowl : East & West / Bonnie Kemske.
“Revered for its associations of its past and its connotations of sophistication and simplicity, the teabowl enjoys an elevated status. Here Bonnie Kemske looks at the form as a whole, considering the history and ideas behind the original tea ceremony, how it moved into contemporary ceramics, and the way it is used today. This book is wide in scope, thorough in detail, and essential reading for anyone involved in making or using these tactile objects.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInside the Freud Museums : history, memory and site-responsive art / Joanne Morra. “Sigmund Freud spent the final year of his life in London, surrounded by all his possessions, in exile from the Nazis. The long-term home and workspace he left behind in Vienna became a seemingly empty space. Now museums, both of these spaces resonate powerfully. Taking us on a journey through the ‘site-responsive’ artworks, Joanne Morra offers a fresh experience of the history and practice of psychoanalysis, of museums and contemporary art.” (AdaptedSyndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe long dream of waking : new perspectives on Len Lye / edited by Paul Brobbel, Wystan Curnow and Roger Horrocks. “Recognized internationally as one of the twentieth century’s great modernist innovators, New Zealand artist Len Lye is most famous for his avant-garde experimental films and for his astonishing and playful kinetic sculptures.  In this collection of essays, writers from New Zealand and overseas consider Lye’s assured place in modern art from a variety of fascinating and thought-provoking angles. ” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe art of Lent : a painting a day from Ash Wednesday to Easter / Sister Wendy Beckett. This delightful book describes and interprets a series of paintings for each day of Lent. Artists often address subjects that our culture seeks to avoid, and Sister Wendy’s brilliant and perceptive reflections will help you to read these paintings with a more discerning eye and encounter deeper levels of spiritual meaning than may at first appear. (Amazon Summary)

Syndetics book coverGordon Walters : new vision / commissioning editor, Zara Stanhope ; curators, Lucy Hammonds, Laurence Simmons and Julia Waite ; managing editor, Clare McIntosh.
“One of New Zealand’s most influential artists, in a practice spanning 50 years, he explored the seemingly infinite potential of a limited set of geometric forms to create art of increasing refinement. Here we see the first complete picture of the artist’s extensive body of work, offering readers new perspectives on the evolution of Walters’ rigorous abstraction.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverModern art in detail : 75 masterpieces / Susie Hodge.
“Great works of art cannot be fully understood in a single encounter. Modern Art in Detail: 75 Masterpieces spotlights the finer points that even connoisseurs may miss. From the late 19th century to the modern day, it treats each piece on its own merits, but it also views each as part of a tradition, which sees artists pass a baton down through the ages. Moreover, it charts the shift from the supremacy of artistic technique to the dominance of the idea or concept behind the object created.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Art Recent Picks for February 2014

For February, a festival of fabulous new art books:-

Syndetics book coverContemporary art in the United Kingdom / [edited by Black Dog Publishing ; contributors, Nicolas Bourriaud … [et al.]].
“The fifth title in Black Dog Publishing’s Artworld series, Contemporary Art in the United Kingdom showcases the wealth of contemporary art being produced in the United Kingdom today. Diverse in content and style, Contemporary Art in the United Kingdom features work from artists including, Gavin Turk, Tracey Emin, Fiona Banner, Bob and Roberta Smith, Chris Ofili and Mark Quinn, alongside the work of emerging British artists today. Exploring the phenomenon of the YBA, looking at pre and post-YBA; alongside the growing influence of art fairs such as Frieze and prizes such as the Turner Prize; Contemporary Art in the United Kingdom provides a comprehensive a complexion of the contemporary art scene from all four corners of the British Isles.” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverNature morte : contemporary artists reinvigorate the still-life tradition / Michael Petry.
“Current twists on the still life reflect the tradition’s ongoing obsession with death in this survey featuring the work of John Currin, Renata Hegyi, Gabriel Orozco, Cy Twombly, and many others. For Petry (Installation Art in the New Millennium), director of London’s Museum of Contemporary Art, these images are considered nature morte (“dead nature”), as exemplified by the volume’s amusing lenticular cover of an exploding floral arrangement. After discussing the “mortal edge” present in the past five centuries of the still life, Petry traces broad historical changes alongside artistic developments, with selected contemporary works organized into chapters dedicated to “Flora,” “Food,” “House and Home,” “Fauna,” and “Death.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEl Greco : life and work – a new history / Fernando Marías; [translated from the Spanish by Paul Edson and Sander Berg].
“Domenikos Theotokopoulos, known to us as El Greco, was one of the seminal figures of the Spanish Golden Age. This magnificent volume, published to mark the four hundredth anniversary of the artist’s death, features superb new photographs of recently cleaned and restored paintings, revealing hitherto unknown facets of his art. He was a painter not only of religious subjects but also of idiosyncratic portraits executed in his own uniquely dramatic and expressionistic style.” (abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWalk the line : the art of drawing / Marc Valli & Ana Ibarra.
“Drawing has always been a fundamental skill and good drawing skills allowed artists to grasp the reality around them. At the turn of the millennium, however, the general impression was that with the wide availability of computers, scanners, digital cameras and image software, drawing would dwindle into a marginal activity. In fact, the opposite happened: the enthusiasm for digital imagery died down and the ability to draw has become a treasured skill. In the art world, attitudes to drawing have also changed. Drawing became a way of making a statement as an artist, of showing masterly skill something that up to then had been most commonly associated with painting. After centuries in the shadow of its more illustrious fine art relatives, drawing started to be appreciated for its own sake, as an art discipline, an end in itself, an art form.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverQueen: art & image
“This publication, in association with the National Portrait Gallery in London, follows the reign of Queen Elizabeth II documented in photographs and portraits by some of the most important 20th century artists.” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverArt of D*Face: one man and his dog
“D*Face has been a leading figure in urban art for well over a decade. A contemporary of Banksy, he was at the forefront of the urban art movement, and has had a constant presence throughout its meteoric rise into popular culture. This long-awaited monograph shows the development of his career as an artist to date, encompassing his continuing street work, and the path that led him from the early beginnings of the street art genre to multiple sell-out solo exhibitions around the world. Containing previously unseen images of his working process and studio, as well as firsthand anecdotes, and the stories behind his extraordinary work, the book provides an insider’s view of one of Britain’s most important urban artists.” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Art recent picks April 2013

Autumn art books, April 2013 : new glossy and gorgeous ones to grace your coffee table:-

Syndetics book coverFlorence at the dawn of the Renaissance : painting and illumination, 1300-1350 / edited by Christine Sciacca.
“Florence and the Renaissance have become virtually synonymous, bringing to mind names like Dante, Giotto, Petrarch, Boccaccio, and many others whose creativity thrived during a time of unprecedented prosperity, urban expansion, and intellectual innovation. With more than 200 illustrations, Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance reveals the full complexity and enduring beauty of the art of this period, including panel paintings, illuminated manuscripts, and stained glass panels. The book considers not only the work of Giotto and other influential artists, including Bernardo Daddi, Taddeo Gaddi, and Pacino di Bonaguida, but also that of the larger community of illuminators and panel painters who collectively contributed to Florence’s artistic legacy… ” (abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLate Raphael / edited by Tom Henry and Paul Joannides.
“From 1513 until his death in 1520, Raphael experienced an intense period of activity, producing a rich variety of work, from the frescoes for the Vatican Stanze to the series of tapestries on the Acts of the Apostles. Published to accompany an exhibition of 90 works at the Museo del Prado, the book’s contributors examine the great variety of the work of Raphael and his two most important pupils, Giulio Romano and Gianfrancesco Penni… (abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMidnight to the boom : painting in India after independence : from the Peabody Essex Museum’s Herwitz Collection / Susan S. Bean ; with Homi K. Bhabha … [et al.].
“At midnight on August 15, 1947, India declared its independence from British rule. India’s anticolonial movement-synonymous with Mohandas Gandhi, peaceful resistance, and civil disobedience-is celebrated here, but the book also reveals the movement’s dark side, namely, the coinciding partition into India and Pakistan, remembered for its violent riots and upwards of a million deaths. Editor Bean (curator, South Asian & Korean art, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA) explores how these transformative moments brought political, social, and economic change to India and Indian artists, particularly painters, who responded by experimenting with content, style, and new artistic techniques… (abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMurakami : ego.
“A comprehensive volume overseen by the artist himself on one of the most renowned living artists today, Takashi Murakami. Takashi Murakami is celebrated the world over for his deft blurring of high and low art. In this volume, accompanying a major exhibition of his work and the first in the Middle East, readers are immersed in the unique way Murakami channels the ecstasy and anxiety of contemporary culture.Conceived by the artist as a self-portrait in the guise of a cartoon, Murakami Ego illuminates the role of the artist as a cipher and critic of pop phenomena as well as a mirror of global networks of consumerism, interpretation, and exchange…” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverAnimation sketchbooks / Laura Heit.
“”Animation Sketchbooks” presents the private notebooks, sketches and doodles of over 50 of the worlds most inventive, innovative and admired contemporary animators. From left-field satire to hit childrens TV series, from short animations for websites to full-scale, internationally distributed films, a wide array of creative work is represented in depth in this fascinating volume. (from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverPush print : 30+ artists explore the boundaries of printmaking / curated by Cranky Pressman, Jamie & Keith Berger.
“PUSH Print” is a visual feast that will inspire anyone interested in art, intriguing personalities and innovative ideas. You can survey the work of 30+ contemporary printmakers – from world-renowned names to exciting up-and-comers – each with their own take on letterpress, screen printing, woodcutting, lithography and etching, as well as multimedia and digital approaches to print. Featuring a vibrant Q & A section with the Cranky Pressman jurors, plus sumptuous full-colour images of the artists’ work, this gorgeous volume is a fascinating survey on printmaking today. (Syndetics summary)

Recent art picks March 2013

Fabulous art books for autumn reading : including a very large and beautiful new book on Klimt:-

Syndetics book coverManet : portraying life.
“Depicting the Paris of his day, Edouard Manet (1832-1883) captured the nineteenth-century urban experience, legitimizing ‘modern life’ as an artistic subject. His detached, frank mode of looking and his subversive handling of both paint and subject-matter shocked his contemporaries, and eventually established his reputation as the father of modern painting. This remarkable book explores Manet’s portraiture, a significant yet often neglected aspect of his work, including examples from throughout his career…”–P. [2] of cover.

Syndetics book coverGustav Klimt : the complete paintings / Tobias G. Natter (ed.) ; directed and produced by Benedikt Taschen.
“[This] publication … places particular emphasis upon the voices of Klimt’s contemporaries via a series of essays examining reactions to his work throughout his career. Subjects range from Klimt’s portrayal of women to his adoption of landscape painting in the second half of his life. The cliché that Gustav Klimt was a man of few words who rarely put pen to paper is vehemently dispelled: no less than 231 letters, cards, writings and other documents—all known Klimt correspondence—are included in this monograph. This wealth of archival material, assembled here for the first time on such a scale, represents a major contribution to Klimt scholarship” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverInventing abstraction, 1910-1925 : how a radical idea changed modern art / [organized by] Leah Dickerman ; with contributions by Matthew Affron … [et al.].
“In 1912, in several European cities, a handful of artists–Vasily Kandinsky, Frantisek Kupka, Francis Picabia and Robert Delaunay–presented the first abstract pictures to the public. Inventing Abstraction, published to accompany an exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, celebrates the centennial of this bold new type of artwork. It traces the development of abstraction as it moved through a network of modern artists, from Marsden Hartley and Marcel Duchamp to Piet Mondrian and Kazimir Malevich, sweeping across nations and across media…” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverAn illustrated journey : inspiration from the private art journals of traveling artists, illustrators and designers / Danny Gregory.
Collects excerpts from the personal travel journal sketchbooks of forty-three artists, illustrators, and designers.

Syndetics book coverLiving with art / Mark Getlein.
“Living with Art’s approach to art appreciation supports students’ acquisition of the essential skills of the course. Mark Getlein’s vivid narrative, in concert with McGraw-Hill’s powerful adaptive learning program LearnSmart within CONNECT Art, helps students understand, analyze, and appreciate the ways art work communicates to us in our visual world. In doing so, Living with Art provides the foundation for a life-long appreciation of art, as well as critical thinking skills that will benefit students far beyond the classroom into their chosen careers” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverM to M of M/M (Paris) / Emily King.
A 528-page monograph presenting for the first time twenty years of works by M/M (Paris), one of the most emblematic and influential design practices and art partnerships of the twenty-first century… Published to mark their twentieth anniversary, this is the definitive monograph. It records hundreds of their mind-blowing projects, each represented in illustrations and photographs and arranged alphabetically from ‘M’ to ‘M’.
(abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe progress of love / edited by Kristina van Dyke, Bisi Silva ; with contributions by Elias K. Bongmba, Francesca Consagra, Banning Eyre.
“Published in concert with a collaborative project between the Menil Collection in Houston, Lagos’s Centre for Contemporary Arts, and the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in St. Louis, Mo., this beautifully designed book gathers the work of 30 artists from Africa and the African diaspora to examine the virtues, complexities, and challenges of love. Accompanying essays discuss the difficulty of talking about love in a translational context, the effect of globalization on local identity and custom, the importance of performance in African culture, and the way artists address loss, romantic or otherwise…” (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved” (Publisher Weekly)

Art recent picks for February 2013

From Impressionism (and fashion) to Damien Hirst : new art books for February 2013:-

Syndetics book coverArt of the 20th century / Ruhrberg … [et al.] ; edited by Ingo F. Walther.
“The quintessential roundup of art from 1900-2000.
Who could possibly have forecast on New Year’s Eve 1899 that, one hundred years later, painting and sculpture would be only options, not prerequisites? The term “art” has been defined and redefined so many times over the last 100 years that it has gained entirely new social, political, and technological meanings. Ranging across the full spectrum of disciplines available, including photography and new media, and thematically chaptered to highlight relationships between works and movements, this readable and encyclopaedic masterwork does just what it says on the cover. Whether you want Surrealism or Land Art, Fluxus or Bauhaus, this is your be-all, end-all guide to art of the 20th century. An undertaking as immensely ambitious as this one deserves to be owned by everyone.” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverDamien Hirst / edited by Ann Gallagher ; with contributions by Ann Gallagher … [et al.].
“Born in Bristol in the UK in 1965, Damien Hirst is one of the most controversial and highly regarded artists of his generation. This illustrated survey is a fitting tribute to Hirst’s ground-breaking achievements”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverImpressionism, fashion & modernity / edited by Gloria Groom, with contributions by Heidi Brevik-Zender … [et al.].
“This volume is the first to explore fashion as a critical aspect of modernity, one that paralleled and many times converged with the development of Impressionism, starting in the 1860s and continuing through the next two decades, when fashion attracted the foremost writers and artists of the day. Although fashionable subjects have been depicted throughout history, for many artists and writers, including Charles Baudelaire, Sté́phane Mallarmé, Émile Zola, Gustave Caillebotte, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, fashion became integral to the search for new literary and visual expression.”–Book jacket. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSalvador Dalí : the making of an artist / Catherine Grenier ; [translated from the French by David Radzinowicz].
“This extensive volume uncovers Dali’s influences, artistic development, and legacy, offering unprecedented access inside the world of the man behind the mustache. Through astute analysis of Dali’s work and how the events of his time converged with his drive to become a legend, this volume examines one of the most significant contributors to twentieth-century art… The author offers insight into this undisputed genius, charting Dali’s progression as an artist and controversial public figure, and demonstrating his influence on contemporary artists such as Warhol, Koons, and Murakami.” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverAppetite for design: eat me : product. packaging. art. branding. interior / edited & produced by viction:workshop ltd..
“In addition to the highly competitive realm of food packaging design, the book also features a symphony of recent art creations, social events, identity projects, restaurant designs, culinary implements and products inspired by food. The substantial showcase is complemented by fascinating insights in their forewords and case studies given by experts, entrepreneurs and practitioners, each distinct with regards to their experience in product, packaging, image-making, branding and spatial design”–Publisher’s web site.(Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverColour : a workshop for artists and designers / David Hornung.
“This book demystifies its subject for professionals and students alike. It inspires confidence in colour’s application to graphic design, illustration, painting, textile art, and textile design. In addition to covering the fundamentals of colour theory, the author provides assignments that guide the student through a variety of colour experiences, moving logically from basic structural concepts to experiments with colour applications. Concepts and terminology are always linked with supporting visuals. The book is generously illustrated with examples drawn from the rich, multicultural history of art and design. Colour charts and studies, created by students themselves, round out the range of illustrations. The book also includes an extensive, fully illustrated glossary of colour terms…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Art recent picks

The impossible museum, and other intriguing new art books for September 2012:

Syndetics book coverArt of the Andes : from Chavín to Inca / Rebecca Stone.
“This wide-ranging survey has established itself as the best single volume introduction to Andean art and architecture, and is an essential guide to pre-Columbian Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia for the general reader, student, traveler, and artist alike. Describing the strikingly varied artistic achievements of the Chavín, Paracas, Moche, Nasca, Chimu, and Inca cultures, among others, Rebecca Stone has rewritten and expanded the text throughout, touching on many of the recent discoveries and advances in the field…” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverThe early Dürer / [Albrecht Dürer] ; edited by Daniel Hess and Thomas Eser ; [translations: Lance Anderson … [et al.]].
“Painter, engraver, designer of woodcuts, and major art theorist, Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) is Germany’s most famous artist. This new study, published in association with the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg, focuses on his early art and the circumstances of the young painter’s life that enabled his unique work. Dürer is resituated in the artistic context of his time, at an exciting crossroad between the imitation of traditional painting and the selfconscious renewal of his profession…”
(adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverGive me tomorrow / Alex Katz ; [texts by Martin Clark … [et al.] ; edited by Martin Clark].
“Born in 1927 in Brooklyn, New York, Alex Katz is one of the most important and respected living American artists. He began exhibiting in the 1950s, at a time when Abstract Expressionism was still the dominant force in American art. Whilst he was heavily influenced by this generation, the work he himself created became a precursor to the Pop Art movement of the 1960s. Katz’s paintings are defined by their flatness of colour and form, their economy of line, and their cool but seductive emotional detachment, evoking an everyday America of easy living, leisure and recreation…” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverThe impossible museum : the best art you’ll never see / Céline Delavaux.
“Spanning centuries and encompassing a variety of masterpieces–from paintings on canvas and cave walls to structures and jewelry–this fascinating compendium of “lost art” takes readers on a historic journey and explores how and why art can disappear from our lives… However they disappeared from view, these works represent significant gaps in art history. Fortunately for us, many exact replicas or studies for these pieces exist, while others were photographed before their destruction. Working with the latest research and documentation, author Céline Delavaux brings each lost piece back to life through illuminating text and helpful illustrations…” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverRoy Lichtenstein : a retrospective / James Rondeau and Sheena Wagstaff ; with contributions by Clare Bell, Yve-Alain Bois, Iria Candela, Harry Cooper, Sara Doris, Chrissie Iles, James Lawrence, and Stephen Little.
“Released in conjunction with a retrospective exhibit, this critical survey presents Roy Lichtenstein as an artist who transcended subject matter in order to create a visual world both culturally prescient and deeply engaged with art history. Although widely regarded as a preeminent Pop artist, Lichtenstein’s work and thematic concerns have received relatively slight critical attention; the nine essays collected here help remedy the situation, with every writer addressing a different mode or period of the artist’s oeuvre… (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.” (Adapted from Publisher Weekly) (Syndetics summary)

New art books for August

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

Syndetics book coverTitian : his life / Sheila Hale.
“The first biography of Venice’s greatest artist since 1877 – a towering work which captures the genius of Titian. Devoted father and loyal friend, Titian was notorious for disregarding authority and was an international celebrity by his late fifties… Sheila Hale not only examines his life, both personal and professional, but how his art affected his contemporaries and how it influences artists today” – (adapted from Amazon.com description)

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)

Syndetics book coverWe own the night : the art of the Underbelly Project : New York Mar 2009-Aug 2010 / curators, Workhorse, PAC ; editors, Emeht Agency, Jiae Kim, John Lee.
“Having discovered a never-completed subway station in Brooklyn, two street artists-Workhorse and PAC-brought in artists from around the world to reclaim the space with original artwork. From the spring of 2009 to the summer of the following year, the Underbelly, as it came to be called, became a subterranean gallery, accessible only to those few who knew where to find it … This book itself then becomes a testament to art for its own sake, an artifact of a project that posed the provocative question: “If no one will see it, will it still be important?” Color photos. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.” – (adapted from Publisher Weekly summary)

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)

Art, graphics & typography

Keep up with the latest trends and developments in type, then learn how to apply this knowledge with two of these very useful recent picks. Also, more cutting edge art, enjoy!

Syndetics book coverArt now. Vol. 3, A cutting-edge selection of today’s most exciting artists = Ein Aktueller Überblick zu 73 Internationalen Künstlern = Une sélection actuelle de 73 artists de la scène internationale / edited by Hans Werner Holzwarth.
“A cutting-edge selection of the artists that matter the most. Tracking the trends of art in the world today, bringing you illustrations and information about all the most important artists.” – (adapted from Amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverKorean contemporary art / Miki Wick Kim.
“This unique survey exmines the contemporary art scene in Korea, which is one of the most dynamic and least known areas of the contemporary art work. The works of today’s Korean artists are rarely found between the pages of any general art book, yet they have become a major force in the global art world. Korea is rich with internationally renowned painters, photographers, and multi-media artists. This book features Korea’s most talented and prolific artists and their works …” – (adapted from Amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverTypoholic font to form. Typoholic A to Z.
“Typoholic collects a sampling of the most recent trends and developments in type design by designers who utilize such diverse mediums as illustration, craft, fashion, photography and performing arts to manifest their designs whether for branding, editorial, product, promotional or installation based applications. Includes an introductory section showcasing more than 40 new type families.” – (adapted from Amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverType navigator : the independent foundries handbook / Jan Middendorp & TwoPoints.Net.
“A useful current overview for designers, consultants, agencies, and their customers of modernfonts, independent foundries, and innovative type designers… Whether a reader is in need of a specific type of font, is looking for fonts by a select designer, from a certain country, or even just wants to compare prices, Type Navigator will provide the necessary information.” – (adapted from Amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverVisual storytelling : inspiring a new visual language / [edited by Robert Klanten, Sven Ehmann, and Floyd Schulze ; text and preface by Andrew Losowsky ; project descriptions by Rebecca Silus].
“The main idea behind visual storytelling is to take familiar image contexts and use them in a new way. By penetrating meaning and creating associations, abstract correlations can be visualized in a manner that is both easy to understand and aesthetically innovative. Today, visual storytelling is being used intensively in newspapers, magazines, websites, advertising, business reports, and museums. With its collection of inspiring, insightful, interactive, and entertaining examples, the book Visual Storytelling reveals how the contextualization of information is pushing the envelope of today’s design and aesthetics.” – (adapted from Publisher’s description)