Cats, dogs, teabowls and other things that influence artists

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Art recent picks 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 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 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)