Category: Recent picks

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 for December 2012

Dreaming of an art book Christmas? – try these beautiful new December acquisitions:-

Syndetics book cover5000 years of Indian art / text by Sushma K. Bahl.
This visually stunning book is a rare example of a volume that offers a panoramic view of Indian art from the pre-historic times to contemporary period. (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverArt in Oceania : a new history / Peter Brunt, Nicholas Thomas, Sean Mallon, Lissant Bolton, Deidre Brown, Damian Skinner and Susanne Küchler ; edited by Peter Brunt and Nicholas Thomas, assisted by Stella Ramage.
The arts of Oceania are astonishing: great statues, daunting tattoos, dynamic carving, dazzling woven and painted fabrics, intricately carved weapons, and a bewildering variety of ornaments, ritual objects, and utilitarian but beautiful things. This landmark book breaks new ground by setting the art of Oceania in its full historical context and capturing an up-to-date understanding of the field… This beautifully illustrated volume will appeal to general readers interested in world art, collectors, university students, scholars and museum professionals in the field. (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverBruegel : the complete paintings, drawings and prints / Manfred Sellink.
The Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525–1569) is considered the first Western landscape and genre painter. He has been especially beloved through the centuries for his paintings of peasant scenes…This stunning book reproduces all 40 paintings and 70 drawings attributed to Bruegel in lush full color, with numerous close-up details, as well as his 75 prints. (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverDanger! women artists at work / Debra N. Mancoff.
A beautifully illustrated exploration of the way in which women artists, from the Renaissance to the present day, have reshaped the art world through their often challenging and provocative work. (Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverPicasso black and white / edited by Carmen Giménez ; [contributions by Dore Ashton, Olivier Berggruen, Carmen Giménez, and Richard Shiff].
“Picasso Black and White examines the artist’s lifelong exploration of a black-and-white leitmotif through paintings and a selection of sculptures and works on paper. Picasso continued the tradition of engaging the color black that had been employed throughout a centuries-long history of Spanish painting by fellow artists José de Ribera, Diego Velázquez, Francisco de Zurbarán, and Francisco de Goya. Moreover, he made highly effective use of isolated black, white, and gray hues in a nod to monochromatic grisaille painting and to drawing, line, and form. As this volume attests, the recurrent motif of black and white appears throughout Picasso’s oeuvre, including his blue and rose periods, his investigations into Cubism and Surrealism, his interpretations of historical subject studies for his celebrated painting Guernica, World War II, and an homage to old masters, as well as the powerful paintings of his last years. Featuring reproductions of more than 150 works, this book examines the extraordinary complexity and power of these expressive artworks, which purge color in order to highlight their formal structure. Including essays by leading Picasso scholars, this book is a unique and coherent perspective on one of the world’s most innovative and influential artists.” (Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverGraphic design before graphic designers : the printer as designer and craftsman 1700-1914 / David Jury.
Who first coined the phrase “graphic design,” a term dating from the 1920s, or first referred to themselves as a “graphic designer” are issues still argued to this day. What is certain is that the kinds of printed material a graphic designer could create were around long before the formulation of such a convenient, if sometimes troublesome, term. Here David Jury explores how the “jobbing” printer who produced handbills, posters, catalogues, advertisements, and labels in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries was the true progenitor of graphic design, rather than the “noble presses” of the Arts and Crafts movement. (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverNew modernist type / Steven Heller, Gail Anderson.
Classic modern design never goes out of style: it is merely retired or subtly adapted to its given place and time. Having surveyed handwritten, new vintage, and new ornamental tendencies in type and lettering, graphic-design guru Steven Heller now turns his encyclopedic gaze on Modernism. New Modernist Type reveals how a graphic language of simplicity and economy has impacted contemporary design. (adapted from amazon.com description)

Recent art picks for November

This month: Banksy, Grimwood & Slinkachu + Cezanne, Symbolism & NZ art:

Syndetics book cover240 : two hundred and forty years of New Zealand painting / Gil Docking, ; with additions covering 1970-2010 by Michael Dunn ; and 1990-2010 by Edward Hanfling.
“This landmark book on New Zealand artists and their work was first published in 1971, extended to 1990 by art historian Michael Dunn and now again to 2010 by art historian, writer and lecturer Edward Hanfling… In total, this new edition features more than 200 paintings… “–Ubsbooks.co.nz. (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBehind the canvas : an insider’s guide to the New Zealand art market / Warwick Henderson.
“A look at the world of collecting art with a focus on the New Zealand art market. Written by an accomplished art dealer and gallery owner.”–Publisher information. (from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCézanne : a life / Alex Danchev.
An assessment of the life and work of Paul Cézanne offers insight into his views about an artist’s role and his self-doubt about his own capabilities, demonstrating how his beliefs revolutionized the ways subsequent artists would see and depict the world. (from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVan Gogh to Kandinsky : symbolist landscape in Europe 1880-1910 / Richard Thomson … [et al.].
A groundbreaking collaboration between the National Galleries of Scotland, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the Finnish National Gallery, this catalogue accompanies the first exhibition dedicated to landscapes by the Symbolists, the innovative movement whose artists took a more imaginative and emotional approach to painting and embraced themes such as music, nationalism, science and modernity. It covers a wide range of artists, from forerunners of symbolism, like Bocklin and Whistler, to Mondrian and Kandinsky, who provided the impulse for major 20th-century movements, such as surrealism and abstraction… (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBanksy : you are an acceptable level of threat and if you were not you would know about it / [compiled and edited by Gary Shove ; words by Patrick Potter].
“The single best collection of photographs of Banksy’s street work. Period. You Are An Acceptable Level of Threat concentrates on this singular artist’s iconic imagery, spanning the late 90s up until NOW. The locations are from around the world (predominantly the UK, US and Europe), and many images have never been seen before. When Banksy started out painting, the political landscape was bleak. Fortunately now, it’s ten times worse. As Banksy’s cheerfully aggressive political work becomes ever more relevant, this comprehensive tome sets about presenting his art in the context of the era he was responding to” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverBrian Grimwood : the man who changed the look of British illustration.
“Celebrated illustrator and artist Brian Grimwood is often referred to as “the man who changed the look of British illustration”. His free and fluid style first characterised the visual culture of the 1960s in iconic images such as those he did for the influential magazine Nova… And as founder (in 1983) and Director of the Central Illustration Agency (CIA), London, Grimwood has also been pivotal in the promotion of the work of a host of illustrators from around the world, including Peter Blake, Jeff Fisher and Alan Aldrige-among the 80 or so illustrators on CIA’s books. With an ‘Introduction’ by Sir Peter Blake, this beautifully illustrated book is the first complete overview of Grimwood’s work, and serves to further reinforce his fundamental contribution to the changing face of illustration since the 1960s – both in Britain and internationally.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk description)

Syndetics book coverGlobal model village : the international street art of Slinkachu.“… Global Model Village collects together the international works of Slinkachu, the London-based artist who as part of his ‘Little People Project’ has been abandoning tiny model people on the mean streets of the world since 2006. Documented through photography, these little dramas of hope and tragedy, loneliness and humour somehow get to the heart of what it means to be human; to be alone among millions of other people, all experiencing the particular melancholy and magic of life in the big city.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk description)

October Art recent picks

Our recent art books include: A classy book on Georgia O’Keefe, a fascinating collection of interviews with artists (find out who has influenced them!), a new look at Andy Warhol, a beautifully illustrated book on the Spanish painter Sorolla, and the very cool graphic art book “Sketchtravel”.

Syndetics book coverGeorgia O’Keeffe and her houses : Ghost Ranch and Abiquiu / Barbara Buhler Lynes and Agapita Judy Lopez.
“Painter Georgia O’Keeffe’s (1887-1986) dominant themes–vast, open spaces and washes of color, skulls, flowers, mountains, sky, “all the earth colors of the painter’s palette”–were inspired by the landscape surrounding her two custom-designed houses in New Mexico (Ghost Ranch and Abiquiu), traditional buildings that were carefully tweaked to bring desert light into spaces for eating, reading, cooking, and painting. O’Keeffe scholar-curators Lynes (Georgia O’Keeffe Museum) and Lopez collect correspondence, architectural plans, photographs, present-day images, portraits of the artist, and reproductions of paintings to illustrate how O’Keeffe’s living spaces influenced her creative life… ” (Publisher Weekly) (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIn my view : personal reflections on art by today’s leading artists / edited by Simon Grant.
“In this splendid tribute to the enduring power of images, art historian Grant, editor of the magazine Tate Etc., gathers the reflections of more than 75 international artists as they contemplate the work of an artist who has inspired and influenced them… This impressive collection reminds us of the power of great art to inspire and change us” (Publisher Weekly) (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRegarding Warhol : sixty artists, fifty years / Mark Rosenthal ; [interviews conducted by] Marla Prather ; [visual archive], Ian Alteveer ; [A timeline], Rebecca Lowery.
“The first full-scale exploration of Andy Warhol’s tremendous reach across several generations of artists who in key ways respond to his groundbreaking work. Includes interviews and visual archive and illustrated chronology that chart the “Warhol effect” over the past 50 years” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSorolla : the masterworks / Blanca Pons-Sorolla..
“A new survey of the best works by the elusive and spectacular Spanish Impressionist Joaquín Sorolla. Often compared to his contemporary, the American artist John Singer Sargent, Joaquín Sorolla (1863–1923) was a master draftsman and painter of landscapes, formal portraits, and monumental, historically themed canvases. Highly influenced by French Impressionism, the Valencian artist was a master plein-air painter known for his luminous seaside scenes of frolicking youths and for vivid depictions of Spanish rural life and its pleasures and customs… With virtually all of the artist’s previous publications now out of print, this much-anticipated volume is an important addition to the literature on this great Spanish master” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverSketchtravel.
“Sketchtravel is an artistic journey unlike any other. No editorial project has ever before brought together as many visual artists around a common object. Passed between 72 artists over 5 years and across over 35,000 miles, the Sketchtravel sketchbook showcases the creativity of artists in numerous disciplines from around the world. Illustrators, animators, painters, and more each illustrated a page with their unique style before passing the book to the next artist. Reflecting a who’s who of popular contemporary artists, this imaginative diverse collection of artwork will inspire art lovers with its scope, diversity, and beauty, much as it did each artist who contributed a link in its chain” (adapted from amazon.com description)

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)

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)

New art & graphics books: featuring David Hockney, Yayoi Kusama, Alessandro Raho and more

A mixture of arty treats to start off your New Year – three great artist biographies and four stunning graphic art books. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverAlessandro Raho / Michael Bracewell & Nicholas Cullinan.
“Exploring the career of Alessandro Raho (b.1971) from the early 1990s to the present day, this monograph, the first of its kind on the artist, places Raho in the context of the period in which his career was established and has flourished… Exploring the major themes and subjects found in his work, alongside his artistic and philosophic influences, this groundbreaking publication will appeal to experts and artistic enthusiasts alike and will be an essential purchase for all those interested in contemporary art.” (Adapted from Amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverHockney : the biography. Volume 1, 1937-1975 / Christopher Simon Sykes.
“In this astounding first volume of his authorised biography Christopher Sykes explores the fascinating world of the most popular living artist in the world today. David Hockney’s career has spanned and epitomised the art movements of the last five decades; His story is one of precocious achievement at Bradford Art College, the Swinging 60s in London where he befriended many of the iconic cultural figures of the generation, to California and the cool of the swimming pool series of paintings, through the acclaimed set designs for countless operas around the world and major retrospective exhibitions.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInfinity net : the autobiography of Yayoi Kusama / Yayoi Kusama ; translated by Ralph McCarthy.
“In 1957, encouraged by Georgia O’Keeffe, artist Yayoi Kusama left Japan for New York City to become a star. By the time she returned to her home country in 1973, she had established herself as a leader of New York’s avant-garde movement, known for creating happenings and public orgies to protest the Vietnam War and for the polka dots that had become a trademark of her work. Her sculptures, videos, paintings, and installations are to this day included in major international exhibitions.” (Adapted from Amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverErratic : visual impact in current design / [edited by Robert Klanten, Floyd Schulze].
“Change is one of the few constants in the world. In recent years, more and more images are being created that not only capture a moment in time, but also point to a change that can and will take place directly thereafter. Erratic is a collection of current, often playful work by designers, photographers, and artists who are exploring the reciprocal effects between stability and instability, symmetry and asymmetry, and pressure and counter-pressure.” (Adapted from Amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverFingerprint no. 2 : the evolution of handmade elements in graphic design / by Chen Design Associates ; with an introduction by Joshua C. Chen ; foreword by Debbie Millman ; commentary by Colin Berry and visual essays from Stefan Bucher … [et al.].
For many designers, creating things by hand is a reaction to too much computer-based design. Since the first Fingerprint was published, ideas that were once on the fringe have begun to thrive in the mainstream. From typography and illustration to book-making and film titles, elements of handcraft have soaked into everyday life. Fingerprint No. 2 reflects the evolution of those ideas. In this second volume, you’ll still find plenty of projects created entirely without the aid of computer technology. But you’ll also discover how designers are beining to incporate the two aesthetics—handmade and digital—in order to best communicate their message. A third, hybrid aesthetic is emerging, one that marries the technologies of the past and future into a vibrant, exciting present (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverJuxtapoz illustration 2 / [edited by Saelee Oh ; writer, Evan Pricco].
The tenth book in the series revisits the magnetic attraction of the figurative line. Once again an exciting roster of contributors ranging from commercial illustrators to outsider artists put forth a retina-searing collection (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVectorism : vector graphics today / [edited and produced by Viction:workshop].
Showcases over 480 vector works composed by over 50 graphic artists from all around the world (Syndetics summary)

New Graphic Design Books

In our September selection: some new takes on folding, cutting, colour, type & other elements of graphic design. Have a browse!

Syndetics book coverFolding techniques for designers : from sheet to form
“Many designers use folding techniques in their work to make three-dimensional forms from two-dimensional sheets of fabric, cardboard, plastic, metal, and many other materials. This unique book explains the key techniques of folding, such as pleated surfaces, curved folding and crumpling. An elegant, practical handbook, it covers over 70 techniques explained by clear step-by-step drawings, crease-pattern drawings, and specially commissioned photography.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPaper cutting : contemporary artists, timeless craft / edited by Laura Heyenga ; preface by Rob Ryan ; introduction by Natalie Avella.
“There’s a renaissance underway in the art form of cut paper, with an explosion of raw talent and an abundance of amazing work produced in the medium in recent years. This gorgeous volume features work from 26 contemporary international artists who are creating images of astonishing intricacy, using little more than paper and blade. Featuring a host of new discoveries and including art by such stars as Nikki McClure, Rob Ryan, and Thomas Allen, as well as a number of emerging practitioners, Paper Cutting is sure to engage art buffs and indie crafters alike… (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDesigning with one color and two colors / Maia Francisco.
“”Designing with One and Two Colors” is a visually rich compendium of innovative graphic designs comprised of only one or two colors. Even if you’re restricted by color options or budgetary constraints, you’ll find plenty of inventive inspirations in “Designing with One and Two Colors.”” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHandmade type workshop : techniques for creating original characters and digital fonts / Charlotte Rivers.
“Taking font creation back to basics, this comprehensive book explores innovative ways to design contemporary lettering of all kinds, examining everything from classic design examples to 3D and illustrated fonts, digital lettering and radical conceptual alphabets. “Handmade Type Workshop” is ideal for anyone looking to move beyond existing typography and fonts to create, explore and use original or customized letterforms.” (Amazon)

Syndetics book coverThe elements of graphic design : space, unity, page architecture, and type / Alex W. White.
“This very popular design book has been wholly revised and expanded to feature a new dimension of inspiring and counterintuitive ideas to thinking about graphic design relationships. The Elements of Graphic Design, Second Edition is now in full color in a larger, 8 x 10-inch trim size, and contains 40 percent more content and over 750 images to enhance and better clarify the concepts in this thought-provoking resource…”–Provided by publisher.

3+3: new contemporary fine, street & graphic art books

Cheer yourself up this cold August with these hot new art books!

Syndetics book coverContemporary art in North America / [edited by Phoebe Adler and Duncan McCorquodale].
“… a unique and timely survey into art deriving from the United States and Canada today… an insightful examination into the styles, perceptions and cultures of this region and its art, articulating varied arguments and opinions that guide the reader to further discussion … “(Amazon.com)

Syndetics book cover50 British artists you should know / Linda Hawksley.
“Lucinda Hawksley’s engaging survey compares the skill of the Elizabethan miniaturists and the magnificence of the High Victorians with the grit of post-war British modernists and the best of the Young British Artists, whose fearless approach to controversial themes make them worthy inheritors of the great traditions of British art” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverUnleashed : contemporary art from Turkey / editor, Hossein Amirsadeghi ; essays, Ali Akay … [et al.].
“A sumptuously illustrated A-Z of over ninety of the most exciting Turkish contemporary artists, it contains many exclusive interviews with some of the biggest names in Turkish art, as well as such up-and-coming artists as Leyla Gediz, Emre Huner and Ali Kazmal …” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverI heart design : remarkable graphic design selected by designers, illustrators, and critics / [edited by] Steven Heller.
“… designs as selected by 80 prominent graphic designers, typographers, teachers, scholars, writers … Design triggers something in all of us that may be solely aesthetic or decidedly content-driven, but in the final analysis, we are drawn to it through the heart…” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIllustration now! Portraits / ed. Julius Wiedemann.
“The field of illustration has flourished over the last decade, with professionals working both by computer and by hand… The book gathers together the exclusive (and frequently unpublished) portrait work of over 80 illustrators from all over the world … including Aaron Jasinski, Alex Gross, André Carrilho, Andrea Wicklund, and Anita Kunz.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOut of sight : urban art / abandoned spaces / [photography by RomanyWG ; words, David Stuart, Patrick Potter].
“Not all art craves attention, some of it hides in the secret places… A diverse range of artists find themselves attracted to these twilight zones and in recent years something of a movement has come to light …” (Amazon.com)


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