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)

New art books: designers, dreams, and the Young British Artists at 50

In this month’s picks of the new art books: “Growing up” (the Young British Artists at 50), “Lust” (“a documentary of unrealized projects and a traveling report of creativity from around the world; a handmade sketchbook zig-zagging across six continents, gathering steam and collecting documents” — we love this description!), and more great new art books. Have a browse:

Syndetics book coverGrowing up : the Young British Artists at 50 / Jeremy Cooper.
“This book provides a personal, intimate account of the meteoric success of the young British artists and of the often painful realities of the contemporary art world… Now five of the most prominent members of the group — Anya Gallaccio, Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Michael Landy, and Sarah Lucas — are profiled in this collective portrait. Based on personal interviews by Jeremy cooper and on his years of close observation of the London art world, this book includes his insightful commentary as well previously unpublished photographs and letters. The result is a fascinating combination of biography and art history that both traces the yBas’ collective legacy and contemplates their individual futures.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverArt since 1900 : modernism, antimodernism, postmodernism / Hal Foster … [et al.].
“Five art historians combined their talents to produce an art survey reference that is lively and fun owing in part to its unusual (perhaps unique) approach and organization. The first edition was published in 2004. This second edition is revised, expanded, and brought up to date.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRaw + material = art : found, scavenged and upcycled / Tristan Manco.
“Tristan Manco, perhaps the worlds most influential commentator on street art, showcases the work of 38 truly innovative and inspirational artists who use low-cost, low-tech media and often totally original techniques to produce work that defies categorization and pushes the boundaries of art itself…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWilhelm Sasnal / Dominic Eichler, Andrzej Przywara, Jörg Heiser.
“Gifted and politically engaged, the painting and film of Polish artist Sasnal is well known in his home country. This beautifully produced volume introduces Sasnal to English readers, with text that includes an interview, essays on his work by the editors of Frieze, and the screenplays for two of his films, Widlik and Swineherd…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStitt : autobiographics ; a book about the graphic design work created by a sizeable group of atoms, molecules, fats, acids, proteins, cells and synapses that have come together to work in concert for a brief time span, regrettably now nearing its likely use-by date, and answering to the name of / Alexander Stitt ; edited and co-written by Paddy Stitt.
“Stitt Autobiographics is a pictorial record of the 50-year professional life of graphic designer Alex Stitt, who has been the hand behind many aspects of Australia’s culture since the 1950s, and has been described by Phillip Adams as one of the country’s most under-recognised creative talents. Though his name remains relatively unknown, millions of Australians are still familiar with Stitt’s drawings and animated films, most of which date back to the 1970s and 1980s. Stitt has created Australian icons like Norm of ‘Life. Be in it’; Hector the Cat, who taught road safety rules to school children; ICPOTA, who encouraged the use of the classified pages of the Age, and Sid, the lisping, dancing seagull from ‘Slip, Slop, Slap’ for the Cancer Council…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLust : a traveling art journal of graphic designers / edited by James Victore.
“What would you do or make if you had an unlimited budget, a visionary client, and complete control? We all dream of high-paying, high-profile jobs and crave for more creativity in our work. Lust is a peek into what is possible when designers are allowed to pursue this dream. Lust is a documentary of unrealized projects and a traveling report of creativity from around the world; a handmade sketchbook zig-zagging across six continents, gathering steam and collecting documents. In it are designers, dreams, and a peek into their processes.” (Syndetics summary)

Recent art picks for April

Cutting edge art, old and new – my personal pick for April: Skull style!

Syndetics book coverThe art of not making : the new artist/artisan relationship / Michael Petry.
“Artist-author Petry’s book challenges readers with the dynamic definition of art as a confrontation between conceptual and material constructs. Prefaced with a historical introduction to Marcel Duchamp, the book is organized, ironically, by materials: “Glass,” “Metal,” “Stone,” “Textiles,” and “Other Materials.” Each section presents brief historical context and a selection of relevant artists’ work. Included are artworks by Ai Weiwei, Louise Bourgeois, Grayson Perry, and Chris Burden, among others. Brilliant images accompany detailed captions that connect to the theme of “unmade” conceptual making. Encompassing definitions of craft, art, and design, this volume offers both thematic breadth and specific examples.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCharacters : cultural stories revealed through typography / Stephen Banham ; foreword by Rick Poynor.
“Type and signage surround us. They are part of our daily lives and the history of whichever city we happen to live in. Whether old or new, each sign has a story to tell. In Characters, Stephen Banham has meticulously researched the signage and typography of a city to present an exuberant collection of quirky, poignant and often funny stories. They range from how a callout to mend a burnt fuse on a neon sign led to the discovery of over 100 musical instruments hidden away in a train station tower for 50 years to the sign that had to be removed for eliciting illegal gambling. From architecture and advertising to cultural history and much more, Characters is a book that will appeal to historians, designers and typophiles alike.” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

Syndetics book coverThe last Pre-Raphaelite : Edward Burne-Jones and the Victorian imagination / Fiona MacCarthy.
“This detailed, engaging, and thoroughly researched biography is the most recent work on the English Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones. Versed in the artistic culture of Victorian England, respected biographer MacCarthy (William Morris: A Life for Our Time) covers Burne-Jones’s life from his early days in Oxford to his ascent as a respected artist. She explores his relationships with contemporaries such as fellow Pre-Raphaelite Dante Gabriel Rossetti and especially Arts and Crafts designer William Morris-Burne-Jones collaborated with Morris’s interior design firm, Morris & Company, on numerous stained glass windows, tapestries, and illustrations for books.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPicasso to Warhol : fourteen modern masters / Jodi Hauptman ; with essays by Samantha Friedman and Michael Rooks.
“Published in conjunction with a presentation of masterworks from The Museum of Modern Art, New York, at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, this volume highlights the work of 14 masters of twentieth-century art: Constantin Brancusi, Alexander Calder, Giorgio de Chirico, Marcel Duchamp, Jasper Johns, Fernand Léger, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Romare Bearden, Louise Bourgeois and Andy Warhol.” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

Syndetics book coverRock, paper, scissors : the work of Julien Vallée / [by Julien Vallée ; words by Eve Duhamel and Julien Vallée with Daniel Canty].
“Julien Vallée is a virtuoso at melding a variety of analog and digital design techniques into fascinating images and magically arranged spaces. Whether moving or static, the young Canadian’s incomparable visuals explore the relative roles of the computer and handmade processes in design. Vallée works in a wide range of fields, including art direction, motion graphics, print design, and art installation as well as video and design for the television industry.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSkull style : skulls in contemporary art and design / curated by Patrice Farameh.
“SKULL STYLE is a beautifully designed book presents not only one of the most ancient symbols used in the history of mankind but how it is utilized in the most surprising and modern way today. Formerly an emblem of evil and mortality, the skull has been transformed into an avant-garde design element used in the most cutting-edge art, chic interiors and vanguard style of the moment. Whether embellished on costly T-shirts, woven on limited edition chairs, and even encrusted with diamonds sold at an art auction for $100 million, the skull is no longer just a daunting memento of our frail mortality but a contemporary figure of fashion.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)