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his years of close observation of the London art world, this book includes his insightful commentary as well previously unpublished photographs and letters.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 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 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)

Art and design, contemporary and classic

Covered amongst the selections for this month are exhaustive examinations of the work of Mervyn Peake and Edward Hopper and a documentation of young designers at the forefront of style.

Syndetics book coverMervyn Peake : the man and his art / compiled by Sebastian Peake and Alison Eldred ; edited by G. Peter Winnington.
“Mervyn Peake was one of the most multi-talented artists of the twentieth century. Best known for his Gormenghast trilogy of novels, Peake was also an author of children’s books, a painter, a war artist, and a poet. He illustrated such classic works as Treasure Island, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Ancient Mariner, Grimm’s Household Tales and Bleak House. This highly illustrated new book compiles a stunning collection of illustrations, paintings, photographs, letters, notebook pages and other material – much of which has never been published – to produce a unique memoir of the artist’s life and work.” – (adapted from description)

Syndetics book coverWhat is a print? : selections from the Museum of Modern Art / Sarah Suzuki.
“What is a print? This volume aims to answer that question by exploring the four basic printmaking techniques–woodcut, intaglio, lithography and screenprint–that have been used to create some of the most iconic images in modern art, from Paul Gauguin’s Noa Noa to Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe. Illustrated with works from The Museum of Modern Art’s superlative collection of prints, the book is divided into four sections that provide an overview introduction to each technique.” – (adapted from description)

Syndetics book coverSilent theater : the art of Edward Hopper / Walter Wells.
“Edward Hopper (1882-1967) may be the major representational American artist of the 20th century. In this catalog, which accompanies an exhibition traveling to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and the Art Institute of Chicago, Wells explores the dramatic, psychological intent of Hopper’s imagery, updating Lloyd Goodrich’s larger and more comprehensive Edward Hopper.” – (adapted from Library Journal summary)

Syndetics book coverThe art of urban sketching : drawing on location around the world / Gabriel Campanario.
“The Art of Urban Sketching is both a comprehensive guide and a showcase of location drawings by artists around the world who draw the cities where they live and travel. Authored by the founder of the nonprofit organization Urban Sketchers (, this beautiful, 320-page volume explains urban sketching within the context of a long historical tradition and how it is being practiced today.” – (adapted from description)

Syndetics book coverDesigners universe : the wow factor / [chief editor, Wang Shaoqiang].
“Artistic inspiration can manifest in a variety of guises, from the work of other creatives, travel abroad, forms found in nature, urban blight, or cultural icons to loved ones. The title of this groundbreaking book refers not only to the seeds of creative growth or epiphany, but also to the output of the highly talented designers profiled within.” – (adapted from description)

Syndetics book coverPrecursor : the creativity watchlist / [edited by Robert Klanten, Adeline Mollard and Jan Middendorp ; text by Jan Middendorp].
“Precursor introduces outstanding young design talent from around the world and documents their most recent work. Although regional creative differences and design traits still exist, the examples collected here show how a new transnational style is currently being established. This work exists beyond current trends and retro looks; its only obligation is to innovate.”
– (adapted from description)

Art books for February

This month there’s a mixed bag of books on: the recent big Hockney paintings, the latest comtemporary illustrators, the designer Saul Bass, some exciting typography ideas & the fantastic graphic artist Yuko Shimizu.

Syndetics book coverDavid Hockney : a bigger picture / [Tim Barringer … [et al.]].
“David Hockney (b. 1937) has always been closely associated with Pop Art and California, where he has lived for much of his life. This major study of his work, published to accompany the exhibition showing at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, redefines him as an important painter of the English countryside, presenting his recent landscapes for the first time. In an attempt to renew contemporary art, Hockney has returned to painting in the open air, observing with honesty and intensity the scenery of his childhood in East Yorkshire… Illustrated with paintings, iPad drawings and video stills, many of which have never been seen before, this landmark publication confirms David Hockney as one of the greatest artists of his generation.” – (adapted from description)

Syndetics book coverIllustrators unlimited : the essence of contemporary illustration / [edited by Robert Klanten, Hendrik Hellige ; interviews and preface by James Gaddy ; artist biographies by Rebecca Silus].
“… Illustrators Unlimited presents the work of cutting-edge illustration talents scouted from around the world. They are working independently from fleeting trends and represent the best of the virtually inexhaustible possibilities of styles and techniques that are practiced today. The book is structured according to the featured illustrators. Each one is introduced with a variety of representative examples of his or her work plus a text portrait written by James Gaddy, a former editor at Print magazine…” – (adapted from description)

Syndetics book coverSaul Bass : a life in film & design / Jennifer Bass & Pat Kirkham.
“Saul Bass (1920-96) is perhaps best known for his movie credit sequence designs of the 1950s and 1960s, including films by Alfred Hitchcock and Otto Preminger. Many of these early sequences and movie posters are characterized by Bass’s signature blocky shapes and quirky type. He is also recognized as a designer of notable corporate identities and logos, including Bell Telephone, AT&T, and Continental Airlines. The only complete book available on Bass, this large and attractive volume covers most of his work and the major points of his personal life.” – (adapted from description)

Syndetics book coverTypography sketchbooks / Steven Heller & Lita Talarico.
“Selected by the world’s most knowledgeable and well-connected graphic-design commentator, Steven Heller, this survey gets into the minds of designers who create typefaces, word-images and logos through their private sketchbooks. Arranged by designer, this collection of typographic explorations intimately reveals how nearly 120 of the worlds leading designers and typographers continually strive to find new and exciting ways of communicating through letters and words, and provides fascinating insights into their work. Aimed at all those who use type, whether by hand or on screen, this revealing compendium stresses the importance of good typography at a time when reading habits are changing, and celebrates a craft that has endured for centuries.” – (adapted from description)

Syndetics book coverYuko Shimizu / [edited by Robert Klanten and Hendrik Hellige : preface by Sonja Commentz].
“The exceptional illustrator Yuko Shimizu creates her work at the intersection of traditional Japanese graphic prints with surreal comic art. Yuko Shimizu’s work deftly melds traditional Japanese graphics with surrealism and comic culture. The New York-based artist and illustrator initiates each project with classic illustration methods. She draws her basic forms and figures with Japanese calligraphy brushes and later digitally supplements them with additional colors and backgrounds… Yuko Shimizu has won numerous international awards and has done commissioned work for the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, SPIN, Playboy, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, Microsoft, Pepsi, VISA, MTV, and the New York Times.” – (adapted from description)

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 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 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 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 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 art books: Camille Pissarro, Samuel Palmer, art heists, Girl in a Green Gown & Man With a Blue Scarf…

This month our picks of the new art books include something bold, something new, something stolen, and something blue (and green). Read about European modernism, sitting for a portrait, stealing Rembrandts, some very famous paintings, and more. Have a browse!

Syndetics book coverAvant-garde art in everyday life : early-twentieth-century European modernism / edited by Matthew S. Witkovsky ; with essays by Jared Ash … [et al.].
“Purposeful jumbles of eye-popping graphics, zany color insertions, zipping diagonals, mixtures of typefaces, and disparities in scale are hallmarks of the early 20th-century European graphic and design avant-garde and are featured in this studious exhibition catalog. Witkovsky, chair of the Art Institute’s department of photography, gathers essays on John Heartfield, Gustav Klutsis, El Lissitzky, Ladislav Sutnar, Karel Teige, and Piet Zwart. The collection emphasizes the range of their designs (e.g., posters, drawings, photographs, illustrated magazines, book jackets, advertising, postage stamps, clothing, table settings) influenced by Dada, surrealism, and constructivism… As befitting the subject, the catalog is a visual delight.” – (adapted from Library Journal summary)

Syndetics book coverGirl in a green gown : the history and mystery of the Arnolfini portrait / Carola Hicks.
The Arnolfini portrait, painted by Jan van Eyck in 1434, and now in the National Gallery, London, is one of the world’s most famous paintings. It intrigues all who see it. Scholars and public alike have puzzled over the meaning of this haunting gem of medieval art, a subtle and beautiful double portrait of a wealthy Bruges merchant and his wife.

Syndetics book coverMysterious wisdom : the life and work of Samuel Palmer / Rachel Campbell-Johnston.
Mysterious Wisdom is a biography of the painter Samuel Palmer whose world of slumbering shepherds and tumbling blossoms, of mystical cornfields and bright sickle moons, has enchanted admirers since the nineteenth century. The lynchpin of the first British art movement, Palmer dreamed of creating a new rural ideal. Leading a band of fellow artists – the brotherhood of Ancients – from London to live in the village of Shoreham in Kent, he pursued his vision. If English tradition had ever encompassed the making of icons they would not have been so different from Palmer’s enraptured landscapes.

Syndetics book coverPissarro’s people / Richard R. Brettell.
“This definitive portrait of Camille Pissarro by one of the world’s foremost authorities on Impressionism and French painting reveals the deep connection between Pissarro’s humanitarian concerns and his creative output.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStealing Rembrandts : the untold stories of notorious art heists / Anthony M. Amore and Tom Mashberg.
“Unlike the glamour and intrigue in James Bond films or literary mysteries, art theft is no “Dr. No”, as Amore (head of security, Isabella Stewart Gardner museum) and Mashberg (investigative reporter) explain artfully. In reality, most of the thieves are not wealthy masterminds seeking to add to their private collection, but penny-ante burglars and robbers whose rap sheets include home invasions, bank robberies or drug dealing. Inspired by a series of thefts of three Rembrandts and other rare gems in 1990, the authors give the inside scoop on the heists, the investigation, and even Rembrandt himself. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

And, last but not least, something blue – my pick for the whole of 2011:

Syndetics book coverMan with a blue scarf : on sitting for a portrait by Lucian Freud / Martin Gayford.
“In most works of art, we see only what the artist wants us to see. In this book the lens is reversed as the subject looks back at the artist. Gaylord is a writer, art critic and curator who spent over two years sitting for a portrait by Lucian Freud. In his diary of the experience the reader learns about the artist in his own words along with his memories of others artists from Picasso to Francis Bacon to David Hockney. The creative process is chronicled in minute detail, much more that Freud could explain, it being instinctual to him and interspersed with the commentary are marvelous anecdotes. Freud’s works and those of other artists who are mentioned in the account are reproduced in color along with photographs of Freud and many of his sitters, allowing the reader to appreciate the finished product as much as the steps taken to achieve it. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

New art picks for November

After you’ve read this new and improved edition of “1001 paintings you must see before you die” you might need a lie down! For a bit of a break try some armchair art travel with the wonderful book, also listed here, called “The Louvre : all the paintings” – yes, ALL – it also has a DVD with it.

Syndetics book cover1001 paintings you must see before you die / general editor, Stephen Farthing ; preface by Geoff Dyer.
“From ancient Egyptian wallpaintings to contemporary Western canvases, this book is truly comprehensive in scope and beautiful to leaf through. Within its pages you will see displayed 1001 of the most memorable, haunting, powerful, important, controversial and visually arresting paintings that have ever been created…. The paintings are listed by artist and by title, making it easy to find a specific painting or trace the development of one painter’s work. 1001 Paintings is a collector’s must for the bookshelf.” – (adapted from product description)

Syndetics book cover“The Louvre : all the paintings / preface by Henri Loyrette ; photography by Erich Lessing ; edited and introductions by Vincent Pomarède ; text by Anja Grebe.
“Endorsed by the Louvre and for the very first time ever, every painting from the world’s most popular and renowned museum is now available in one stunning book. All 2,981 paintings on display in the permanent collections of the Louvre are presented in full color in this striking … book, which comes with an enclosed, supportive DVD-ROM.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe artists : 21 practitioners in New Zealand contemporary art c. 2011-2013 / Arron Santry, Kylie Sanderson & Tamara Darragh.
This book, following in the tradition of its predecessor, showcases the current practice of 21 NZ contemporary artists working in the fields of sculpture, painting and photography.

Syndetics book coverContemporary art in Eastern Europe / [edited by Phoebe Adler and Duncan McCorquodale].
“… a fresh, challenging, and insightful compilation of the most inspiring Eastern European art made from the 1960s to the present day. From Russia to Poland and Romania, and from the Czech Republic to Yugoslavia and East Germany, Contemporary Art in Eastern Europe is an ambitious attempt to chart the changing realities of the eastern half of the continent, as seen through the eyes of artists, critics, photographers and curators.” – (adapted from product description)

Syndetics book coverDefining contemporary art : 25 years in 200 pivotal artworks / [authors, Daniel Birnbaum … [et al.]].
” … Assembled and written by eight of the most prominent curators working today, all of whom have both witnessed and shaped this period, Defining Contemporary Art tells the story of the two hundred pivotal artworks of the past twenty-five years. These artworks include not only the most talked about pieces but also the quietly influential works, those which may have been overlooked at the time of their making but which went on to change the paradigm of their era. Arranged year by year, these two hundred works provide a true chronological depiction of creativity in our era, forming a mosaic in which readers may find their own patterns…” – (adapted from product description)

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.

Great European artists re-examined

A new look at old favourites from the “golden” era to Goncharova:

Syndetics book coverDürer / Norbert Wolf.
“Drawing on the latest research, this luxurious volume presents an exciting new interpretation of Durer, both as a man and as an artist.
Durer’s prints and drawings inspired centuries of artists both during his life and after his death. Yet his talent as a painter and colourist, and his enthusiasm for the scientific world have not been widely appreciated. Durer’s influence was both international and intergenerational; indeed Picasso claimed to have been inspired by the sixteenth-century artist. Reproduced in stunning detail and including illustrations of Durer’s most famous prints and drawings, a catalogue raisonne of his paintings, and biographical research, this book presents a Durer for the twenty-first century.” ( description)

Syndetics book coverErnst Ludwig Kirchner : retrospective [published in conjunction with the exhibition “Ernst Ludwig Kirchner: Retrospective”, Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, April 23 to July 25, 2010 / edited by Felix Krämer].
“Ernst Ludwig Kirchner painted city life as a joyous, bustling pageant, a sophisticated swirl of desiring bodies and colorful urbanity, giving Germany an energetic iconography for the glory days of modernity. One of the four founders of Die Brucke (The Bridge), Kirchner drew on German Renaissance art to conjure expressive exaggerations of face and posture, and brought to landscape painting a city-dweller’s zest, imbuing tranquil scenery with riotous energy. Coinciding with a Kirchner retrospective at the Stadel Museum–the first to be seen in Germany in 30 years–this massive volume surveys the artist’s several creative phases and genres. … With essays by renowned art historians, this definitive monograph offers fresh perspective on the continued relevance of Kirchner.
( description)

Syndetics book coverEgon Schiele : self-portraits and portraits / edited by Agnes Husslein-Arco and Jane Kallir.
“This fascinating new book explores how Egon Schiele reinvented the art of portraiture, brilliantly capturing the inner lives of his numerous subjects including himself. This book traces Schiele’s development as a portraitist through four principal chronological phases, from 1906 to 1918. Starting with the artist’s rigorous training at the Vienna Academy, it chronicles Schiele’s eventual break with academia and the emergence of his Expressionistic style… This volume also offers a close examination of Schiele’s self-portraits and his relationship with Gustav Klimt, Schiele’s gestic language in the context of contemporaneous photography and the silent film, as well as brief biographies of Schiele’s subjects and transcriptions of illuminating letters pertaining to his life and work.” ( description)

Syndetics book coverGolden : Dutch and Flemish Masterworks from the Rose-Marie and Eijk Van Otterloo Collection / Frederik J. Duparc with Femke Diercks, Reinier Baarsen, and Loek Van Aalst.
“The van Otterloos’ personal assemblage of art represents two decades of astute collecting. Items represented are from the Dutch/Flemish golden age of the 17th century, created during a time of “rapidly changing opportunity and rich circumstances.” The collectors have a great eye and were assisted by Simon Levie, former director of the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam), as well as Duparc, former director of the Mauritshuis (The Hague). The van Otterloos’ passion and Levie’s skill are evident in this collection of portraits, history paintings, landscapes, genre scenes, still lifes, and furniture from more than 60 artists. Each work has a meticulous listing of provenance, exhibitions, and literature so you can research whether or not you’ve seen it displayed (the owners frequently lend to museums).” (Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverNatalia Goncharova : between Russian tradition and European modernism / edited by Beate Kemfert with Alla Chilova ; with texts by Evgenia Iluchina … [et al.].
“One of the original “amazons of the Russian avant garde,” Natalia Goncharova (1881-1962) bequeathed a rich and complex body of work to a culture that has only recently begun to recognize it. Like her contemporary Kazimir Malevich, Goncharova drew inspiration from the folklore and art of her country, producing in her early years very colorful and strongly ornamental paintings, as well as religious works influenced by the Russian icon tradition. In the 1910s, Goncharova began experimenting with Cubism, becoming one of the earliest exponents of modern art in Moscow; in 1917, she settled permanently in Paris, where she designed costumes and sets for Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. This publication, the first to provide a full overview of Goncharova’s career (including her later, less documented years in Paris) illuminates the trajectory of Goncharova’s career, restoring her work to its former prominence.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRenoir in the 20th century / with essays by Roger Benjamin … [et al.] ; [managing editor, Claudia Einecke].
“Here at last is a publication devoted to the glorious final three decades of Pierre-Auguste Renoir-the decades in which the painter turned away from Impressionism and toward a more decorative approach informed by his own idiosyncratic interpretation of art history. During this period, Renoir was initially looking at painters such as Rubens, Titian and Raphael, and dedicating himself to cheery subjects such as bathers, domestic idylls and landscapes that were influenced by both classical mythology and by his relocation to the South of France. … in this book, which accompanies a major touring exhibition organized by the Reunion des Musees Nationaux, the Musee d’Orsay and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in collaboration with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, it is possible to see clearly the influence that Renoir had on younger artists such as Bonnard, Matisse and Picasso, as well as how they received and studied his work.” ( description)

New Art book picks for June 2011

Masterworks, modern art and more! Have a browse.

Syndetics book coverCourbet : a dream of modern art / edited by Klaus Herding and Max Hollein.
” With over 200 color reproductions of the French Realist’s work, as well as essays by Sylvain Amic and Bettina Erche, this volume acts as a welcome counterweight to the Courbet we thought we already knew, further complicating and enriching our understanding of one of the most influential European painters any century has produced.” ( description)

Syndetics book coverDancing with the dark : Joan Snyder prints 1963-2010 / Marilyn Symmes, with essays by Faye Hirsch and Marilyn Symmes.
“”This book accompanies the exhibition Dancing with the Dark: Joan Snyder Prints 1963-2010, organized by the Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, January 29-May 29, 2011.”” (Syndetics summary) ; “The first monograph dedicated to the renowned artist’s powerful and diverse prints” ( description)

Syndetics book coverJean-Michel Basquiat : 1960-1988 : the explosive force of the streets / Leonhard Emmerling.
“… young graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) was catapulted to international fame in his early 20s and died of a drug-overdose at 27. The subject of a feature film by fellow artist Julian Schnabel, Basquiat is one of the most admired artists to emerge from the 1980s art boom. This book explores his short but prolific career.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA life in pictures / Alasdair Gray.
“Alasdair Gray is known throughout the world for his writing, but he is also a highly regarded artist …In this autopictography he gathers together the work that has mattered most to him over the years, and weaves the story of his life through and around these pictures in his own unmistakable style. A beautifully and copiously illustrated book, designed by [the artist] himself”. ( description)

Syndetics book coverRobert Rauschenberg / [editors, Ealan Wingate and Emily Florido].
“An essential volume on the work of Robert Rauschenberg, this relevatory selection of rarely seen masterworks is curated in collaboration with the artist’s estate and includes an extensive chronology… This book covers the full span of the artist’s career, from 1950 to 2007, focusing on key works from the collection of the artist’s estate … as well as masterpieces that have recently been seen in museum exhibitions”. ( description)