Arts Newsletter: February 2014

Welcome to the first Arts Newsletter of 2014. This month we have a splendid mix of items focussing on the contemporary and classical. One of the many highlights is a particularly exciting new book in the crafting section, Knit Your Own Zoo. Make sure you get your photos into our Seaweek Display.

Library News

Art

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 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)

Read more

Craft

Enjoying crafting? Start this New Year with lots of inspiring ideas and smart choices found in this fabulous collection of new library books. Have fun with yarn and fabric and make use of treasured possessions to create your own piece of history. Look at some enchanting knitting designs of unique accessories, as well as, innovative jewellery, quilting and stitching projects for you and the family. Enjoy the challenge!

Syndetics book coverThe sparkle factory : the design and craft of Tarina’s fashion jewelry and accessories / Tarina Tarantino.
“The cover photograph of celebrity jewelry designer Tarantino will give readers a good idea as to whether her aesthetic suits their tastes. Those whose reaction to her candy-pink hair and bright, oversize, kitschy jewelry is “I love it!” will enjoy this book, while those who think it looks like the aftermath of an unfortunate incident in a costume jewelry factory aren’t the intended audience. Tarantino provides a peek at the steps she took to get her business off the ground, the places she looks to for ideas, and simple projects that reflect her fun-loving credo. The photography is gorgeous; even the images of basic supplies look like still lifes with rhinestones. Furthermore, the projects themselves are easy enough for most crafters to attempt successfully. Verdict? Part collection of projects, part feel-good inspiration, Tarantino’s print debut will appeal to those who believe that there’s no such thing as too much sparkle.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverFun with yarn and fabric / Susanna Zacke & Sania Hedengren ; photos by Magnus Selander ; translated by Ellen Hedström.
“A translation of a Swedish crafting book by two authors who are apparently quite prolific in their homeland, this slim volume is wonderfully illustrated with beautiful full-color photographs by Magnus Selander in the Swedish minimalist style that is beloved in the U.S. To this bare stage, the authors add pops of color in the form of eye-catchingly cheerful crocheted projects, including an unusual- and if not quite the “easy” of the title, at least simple-African Flower stole; covers for a car’s headrests; and a stunning Large Granny Squares bedspread. There are also a handful of knitted and embroidered designs, although many of those rely on purchased embroideries. What Zacke and Hedengren don’t offer are detailed instructions, beyond a handful of stitches in the back; one project, a necktie cross-stitched with a phrase, begins, “Think of what you want to write. Cross-stitch patterns for letters can be found online.” Since the materials used are Swedish (and not sourced) and the text is awkwardly translated at times, readers are advised to enjoy the lovely photographs and project ideas and to glean inspiration from them. Full-color photographs.” (Adapted from Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverChildren’s spaces : from zero to ten / Judith Wilson ; photography by Debi Treloar.
“A brilliant book for design-conscious parents and kids alike! Children’s Spaces helps you to plan all the practical aspects of children’s rooms and provides plenty of affordable ideas and inspiration when it comes to their design and decoration. Judith Wilson looks at rooms for children between birth and ten years old, with chapters on babies’ rooms, rooms for girls, rooms for boys, and shared bedrooms. There are also chapters on sensible storage and areas that children and adults share – bathrooms, play areas, eating areas and outside space. Children’s Spaces contains a wealth of inspiration drawn from the homes of real families, with real kids, which amply proves that children and great design can happily co-exist without compromising on style.” (Publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverWoolbuddies : 20 irresistibly simple needle felting projects / Jackie Huang ; photographs by Antonis Achilleos.
“Wool felting is surprisingly easy; all crafters need to get started is a felting needle, a piece of soft foam to use as a felting pad, and some colorful scraps of wool roving. Huang, who began felting so he could make toys for his daughter, has a background in animation, which is apparent in the expressive faces of his creations. The projects are arranged by level of difficulty (simple, moderate, and challenging), and full instructions are presented along with accompanying photographs. Beginners will appreciate the introduction, which provides the basics in a clear, concise, easy-to-follow manner. Verdict? There are many felting books that focus on creating small animal toys, but few contain projects with as much verve as those in this book. Felters will love making these little woolbuddies, and children will enjoy playing with them.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverKnit your own zoo / Sally Muir & Joanna Osborne ; photography by Holly Jolliffe.
“Knitting patterns for 25 wild animals. There is something here for everyone, with instructions for knitting spots, stripes, fur, scales, trunks, wings and beaks! The animals are surprisingly easy to make. It will only take a few evenings to create yourself an exotic pet or reproduce your favourite species. These knitted animals in miniature are much easier to look after than the real things – they don’t need feeding, they won’t make a mess and they take up hardly any room!” (Adapted from Syndetics Summary)

Read more

Design

This selection of recent architecture books ranges from the first book ever published on new Auckland urban spaces, to an A – Z overview of architects; there are also themes from history to sustainability.

Syndetics book coverAuckland, new city spaces / design and production by Diana Curtis. “The first book ever published on new Auckland Urban Spaces, featuring descriptions, plans and photographs of 16 major urban spaces in Auckland City -all which have made a positive contribution to the development of a new urban fabric for the City. Projects include; Queen Street, Aotea Square, Lorne Street, Auckland Art Gallery, Elliott & Darby Streets, St Patrick’s Square, Fort Street area, Britomart Precinct, Taurarua Judges Bay, Queen’s Wharf, Te Wero, Karanga Plaza, North Wharf, Jellicoe St, Silo Park, Wynyard Quarter Playspace, Victoria Skatepark & Victoria park Tunnel. Practices responsible for these areas include; Boffa Miskell, Architectus, Isthmus, Reset Urban Design, Ted Smythe & Associates, Cooper/Cheshire Architects, Taylor Cullity Lethlean/Wraight + Associates and Archimedia. This is an important book which all those interested in Auckland, urban spaces and urban planning should include in their collection.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverArchitects from A to Z / Paul Cattermole, Simon Forty.
“From Alvar Aalto to Peter Zumthor, from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century, this comprehensive overview introduces readers to the major names, schools and structures in the field of architecture. Each entry focuses on a seminal architect and one of their career-defining works. Arranged alphabetically, the book is easy to use, and the large superbly reproduced full-colour photographs allow one to examine the details of the buildings it celebrates.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe solar house : pioneering sustainbale design / Anthony Denzer
“The Solar House explores the development of solar residential architecture over the course of the twentieth century and up to the latest designs today. The solar house is often understood as a product of the 1970s, and few people are aware of the influential experimental solar houses which were constructed during the previous four decades, beginning with the work of masters of twentieth-century architecture such as Richard Neutra, Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Paolo Soleri, Louis Kahn, Pietro Belluschi, Edward Durell Stone, and Harwell Hamilton Harris, and continuing with more recent innovations.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRock the shack / [edited by Sven Ehmann, Robert Klanten, and Sofia Borges ; text and preface by Sofia Borges].
“For the first time in the history of mankind, more people live in cities than in the country. Yet, at the same time, more and more city dwellers are yearning for rural farms, mountain cabins, or seaside homes. These kinds of refuges offer modern men and women a promise of what urban centers usually cannot provide: quiet, relaxation, being out of reach, getting back to basics, feeling human again. Rock the shack is a survey of such contemporary refuges from around the world — from basic to luxury” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

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Classical Music

Here are our latest classical music books and CDs — featuring the correspondance of Leonard Bernstein, as well as performances of works by composers Vaughan Williams and Richard Strauss. Plus, Stacy Horn traces the evolution of ensemble singing, from monks chanting in the Middle Ages and the blossoming of church music in the Renaissance, through to the golden age of the 19th century in her book, “Imperfect harmony : finding happiness singing with others“. We love how she puts the experience of ensemble singing: “a transcendent feeling of harmonious belonging”:-)

Books:

Syndetics book coverThe Leonard Bernstein letters / edited by Nigel Simeone.
“This book boasts an impressive assortment of 650 letters to and from the maestro, spanning the years 1932, when Bernstein was a precocious teenager studying piano, and 1990, the year of his death…Bernstein was one of the most articulate and witty writers on the contemporary music scene, and his posthumous prose collection Findings contains ample evidence of his literary prowess. This talent is very much on display in this volume. Simeone has chosen letters that highlight Bernstein’s musical activities rather than strictly personal ones, and the list of correspondents forms a who’s who of musical, literary, artistic, and political luminaries in the second half of the 20th century.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverImperfect harmony : finding happiness singing with others / Stacy Horn.
“Horn (Cyberville), in her reflective memoir of her decades-long participation in the Choral Society of Grace Church in lower Manhattan, delves into works the choir and others like it have sung over the centuries… Horn eloquently traces the evolution of ensemble singing, from monks chanting in the Middle Ages and the blossoming of church music in the Renaissance through the golden age of the 19th century. She also discusses many of the works that endure today, such as those by Purcell, Handel, Bach, Haydn, and Mozart…She writes movingly about how singing about death and simply breathing together bring a transcendent feeling of harmonious belonging.” (Adapted from Publisher Weekly)

CDs:

vaughnwilliamsSymphony no. 5 ; Symphony no. 8 / Vaughan Williams. (CD)
“[This] release combines two highly contrasting works to provide a disc which is both moving and uplifting. Symphony No.5 is a generally tranquil work with music influenced by Ravel, with whom Vaughan Williams had studied, and is scored for very traditional forces. Symphony No.8 is dedicated to Sir John Barbirolli and was premièred by the Hallé in 1956.” (Summary courtesy of amazon.co.uk)

alsosprachzarathustraAlso sprach Zarathustra / Richard Strauss. (CD)
“This masterful live recording of Strauss’s ‘Also sprach Zarathustra’ is sure to please. The Berlin Philharmonic, as always, play to an exceptionally high standard under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel (a young conductor proving he is growing exponentially in his abilities). This popular piece is moody, atmospheric, and rich – well worth a listen.” (Summary by Emily)

Read more

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)

NZ Festival

An Invitation to a Special pre-Wellington Arts Festival Event

NZFestivalblogsmall
Wellington City Libraries are pleased to invite you to a special pre-festival event on Friday 14th February at 1.00 pm on the ground floor, Central Library, Victoria Street.

Join us to hear New Zealand Festival Artistic Director, Shelagh Magadza (you may have heard her talk to Lynn Freeman on National Radio) about organising this year’s festival and the highlights we can expect. She will also talk about the history of Wellington’s Art Festivals, and some of the wonderful entertainment they provided, a fabulous chance to remember. She will answer any questions you may have.

This event is FREE and will begin at 1.00 pm.

The Festival begins on Friday 21st February and ends on 16th March, with Writers Week beginning on Friday 7th March until Wednesday 12 March.

Arts Newsletter: January 2014

Welcome to the first Arts Newsletter of 2014! Here are our latest picks from around the library

Library News

Art

In art our selection this month has been described as, “as varied as Wellington’s summer.” A Map of the World: according to illustrators & storytellers is particularly fascinating.

Syndetics book coverDamien Hirst : relics / curator, Francesco Bonami ; essays by Francesco Bonami, Abdellah Karroum, Michael Craig-Martin ; and an interview by Nicholas Serota.
“A groundbreaking work, this catalog accompanies the largest exhibition ever realized on Damien Hirst, surveying the oeuvres of the highly acclaimed British artist. Published on the occasion of Relics, Hirst’s first retrospective exhibition in Doha, Qatar, this richly illustrated book offers a different perspective on the work of one of the best-known artists working today. Tracing Hirst’s career from his emergence on the art scene in the Young British Artists movement to his present status as one of the most controversial and highly regarded artists of his generation, this volume offers a complete overview on his wide-ranging practice, which includes installation, painting, sculpture, and drawing and challenges the boundaries between art, science, and popular culture.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAmerican mirror : the life and art of Norman Rockwell / Deborah Solomon.
“In this well-paced, insightful biography of the iconic illustrator for the Saturday Evening Post, art critic Solomon (Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell) reveals an enormously complicated man whose wholesome vision of America was not merely commercial kitsch, but art that sprung from an emotional life fraught with anxiety, depression, and self-doubt. This sympathetic portrait depicts a repressed and humble Rockwell-a fastidious realist whose style and obsessions clashed with the values of modernism… Though Solomon opts to simplify and quickly dismiss criticism of Rockwell (such as Dwight Macdonald’s), her substantive narrative captures the abundant complexities of this unusual artist, and reclaims him as a master storyteller.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverArt now. Vol. 4 / [edited by Hans Werner Holzwarth].
“Think of this tome as a global go-round of the world’s most influential galleries: if it’s hot in the art world today, it’s in this book. Emerging artists are featured alongside established greats like Chuck Close, David Hockney, or Brice Marden. A to Z entries on more than 100 artists include images of important recent work, an introductory text, and a short exhibition history with bibliographical information. The illustrated appendix collects contact details for the galleries representing the artists as well as auction results of the last few years” (adapted from Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverA map of the world : according to illustrators & storytellers / edited by Antonis Antoniou, Robert Klanten, Sven Ehmann, and Hendrik Hellige.
“Maps help us understand the world. This book features the most original and sought-after map illustrators whose work is in line with the zeitgeist. Drawing a map means understanding our world a bit better. For centuries, we have used the tools of cartography to represent both our immediate surroundings and the world at large–and to convey them to others… A new generation of designers, illustrators, and mapmakers are currently discovering their passion for various forms of illustrative cartography. A Map of the World is a compelling collection of their work.” (adapted from Amazon.com)

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Craft

Also varies was our eclectic mix of new craft books, featuring clever and creative ideas to help you kick off the New Year. Experience the contemporary culture of crafting, learn new techniques and create something adorable.

Syndetics book coverVintage quilt revival : 22 modern designs from classic blocks / Katie Clark Blakesley, Lee Heinrich, Faith Jones.
“Vintage Quilt Revival is a resource for quilters of any age or style who love to use today’s modern colors and fabrics. With fresh quilt layouts, detailed instructions on foundation piecing, and a wide variety of traditional blocks and modern projects, Vintage Quilt Revival is at the forefront of the burgeoning interest in the “traditional-made-modern” movement.
Join the authors and make 20 traditional quilt blocks. Use them to sew a sampler quilt or explore the authors’ tips and modifications for making the blocks fresh and appealing and use them to create quilts with a modern flair. Projects range from full-size quilts to a pillow, table runner, bag, and zipper pouch. Learn bits of quilting history throughout the book and see design tips on how to take traditional quilt blocks and piecing techniques and give them a modern spin. If you’re already knowledgeable about piecing, basting, quilting, and binding, this book is an essential addition to your library.” (Summary adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverWoolbuddies : 20 irresistibly simple needle felting projects / Jackie Huang ; photographs by Antonis Achilleos.
“Wool felting is surprisingly easy; all crafters need to get started is a felting needle, a piece of soft foam to use as a felting pad, and some colorful scraps of wool roving. Huang, who began felting so he could make toys for his daughter, has a background in animation, which is apparent in the expressive faces of his creations. The projects are arranged by level of difficulty (simple, moderate, and challenging), and full instructions are presented along with accompanying photographs. Beginners will appreciate the introduction, which provides the basics in a clear, concise, easy-to-follow manner. Verdict? There are many felting books that focus on creating small animal toys, but few contain projects with as much verve as those in this book. Felters will love making these little woolbuddies, and children will enjoy playing with them.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverMake your own lampshades : 35 original shades to make for table lamps, ceiling lights, and more / Elizabeth Cake.
“Lighting is one of the most important elements of a room’s decorating scheme. It is functional but it can also create drama, warmth, atmosphere and a sense of fun. This fabulous new book with 35 wonderful projects from lampshade designer Elisabeth Cake shows how a beautiful and unique lampshade can completely transfer a room.” (Adapted from Publisher’s Description)

Syndetics book coverKnit your own zoo / Sally Muir & Joanna Osborne ; photography by Holly Jolliffe.
“Knitting patterns for 25 wild animals. There is something here for everyone, with instructions for knitting spots, stripes, fur, scales, trunks, wings and beaks! The animals are surprisingly easy to make. It will only take a few evenings to create yourself an exotic pet or reproduce your favourite species. These knitted animals in miniature are much easier to look after than the real things – they don’t need feeding, they won’t make a mess and they take up hardly any room!” (Adapted from Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverHome / Beci Orpin.
“Home will appeal to fans of Beci and to those who loved her previous publication, Find and Keep. Filled with 25 creative projects, each individually imagined by Beci, and designed especially for the home environment, Home will make you fall in love with your house, all over again. Similar to Find and Keep, Home is filled with inspiration and crafty ideas, along with projects designed by Beci, but this time specifically created for you home. The book is separated into three spatial areas: Living Space, Working Space and Sleeping Space. Each chapter is filled with photos and quirky illustrations from Beci, along with solid ideas on how to beautify your home, Beci style. At the end of each chapter there is a collection of projects created by Beci especially for this book, each with a varying level of difficulty, but definitely something for everyone. Try your hand at making cushions, or creating your own duvet cover. Be inspired to design your own wall art, or perfect your workspace with carefully designed space-saving techniques that are both beautiful and functional. Enter the world of Beci’s Home and be inspired to make and create objects and artwork that will enhance your living space and make your house feel all brand new again.” (Summary adapted from Amazon.co. uk)

Syndetics book coverThe collage workbook : how to get started and stay inspired / Randel Plowman.
“The author of The Collage Workbook has been making at least one small collage per day for many years and has chronicled his work since 2006 on the blog acollageaday.com. Plowman covers design basics, tools, and techniques before inviting readers to make their own mixed-media found-object artworks using 50 short exercises. Hundreds of examples of inspiring collages are included. A companion website to the book, thecollageworkbook.blogspot.com, provides links to sources for public-domain imagery and a place for readers to share work. Verdict? This book will help readers see creative possibilities in mundane and unusual places.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

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Design

The latest selection of recent architecture books ranges from the first book ever published on new Auckland urban spaces to interior design and more!

Syndetics book coverAuckland, new city spaces / design and production by Diana Curtis. “The first book ever published on new Auckland Urban Spaces, featuring descriptions, plans and photographs of 16 major urban spaces in Auckland City -all which have made a positive contribution to the development of a new urban fabric for the City. Projects include; Queen Street, Aotea Square, Lorne Street, Auckland Art Gallery, Elliott & Darby Streets, St Patrick’s Square, Fort Street area, Britomart Precinct, Taurarua Judges Bay, Queen’s Wharf, Te Wero, Karanga Plaza, North Wharf, Jellicoe St, Silo Park, Wynyard Quarter Playspace, Victoria Skatepark & Victoria park Tunnel. Practices responsible for these areas include; Boffa Miskell, Architectus, Isthmus, Reset Urban Design, Ted Smythe & Associates, Cooper/Cheshire Architects, Taylor Cullity Lethlean/Wraight + Associates and Archimedia. This is an important book which all those interested in Auckland, urban spaces and urban planning should include in their collection.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBritish stuff : life in Britain through 101 everyday objects / by Geoff Hall and Kamila Kasperowicz.
“Using essential British design items and everday objects, “British Stuff” acquaints one with the ins and outs of modern UK life. Through the everyday objects that are part of the fabric of conetmporary life in the UK, this fascinating full-color photographic compendium introduces Britain in a new way. Containing a wealth of iconic British design staples as well as the treasures of everyday life–from the Mini and the Anglepoise lamp to M&S underwear and the Argos catalog–this guide is a must-have for anyone who wants to understand British culture from the inside out, complete with all its idiosyncrasies and quirks.” (Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverDecorating with style : speedy tips, savvy tricks & cool ideas to transform your home / Abigail Ahern ; photography by Graham Atkins-Hughes.
“According to the internationally renowned interior designer, the most successful homes always have an element of the unexpected. Proving that style has nothing to do with money and everything to do with confidence, Abigail goes back to basics to help you determine your own style, then demonstrates how to take interiors to the next level by mixing and layering different styles and eras; injecting intrigue into a room with some maximalist lighting or a decorative rug; playing around with scale, colour and texture to create an enchanting, idiosyncratic vibe. Packed with original ideas, beautiful photography, speedy updates and easy DIY projects – that transform affordable furniture and accessories into something you’d see in a designer showroom – this hip, hands-on guide offers all the tips, tricks and inspiration you need to create a stylish home.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

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Classical Music

Here is a selection of our latest classical music books and CDs — featuring the correspondance of Leonard Bernstein, as well as performances of works by composer Richard Strauss, and — cornerstones of the Russian repertoire — Mussorgsky and Prokofiev.

Books:

Syndetics book coverThe birth of an opera : fifteen masterpieces from Poppea to Wozzeck / Michael Rose.
“Rose (Berlioz Remembered) draws from a series of BBC radio programs he co-created with Hanns Hammelmann, which aired from 1955 to 1971 and focused on the genesis of 15 operas from the 17th to the 20th centuries. He excerpts contemporary sources such as letters from composers to librettists, as well as the views of conductors, opera house managers, critics, and other luminaries, while filling in the historical context… Accompanying engravings and photographs are illuminating and the bibliography is a useful blend of historic and recent titles.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverThe Leonard Bernstein letters / edited by Nigel Simeone.
“This book boasts an impressive assortment of 650 letters to and from the maestro, spanning the years 1932, when Bernstein was a precocious teenager studying piano, and 1990, the year of his death…Bernstein was one of the most articulate and witty writers on the contemporary music scene, and his posthumous prose collection Findings contains ample evidence of his literary prowess. This talent is very much on display in this volume. Simeone has chosen letters that highlight Bernstein’s musical activities rather than strictly personal ones, and the list of correspondents forms a who’s who of musical, literary, artistic, and political luminaries in the second half of the 20th century.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

CDs:

musorgMusorgsky, Prokofiev (CD)
Steven Osborne has become one of the most valuable pianists recording today…Now he turns to further cornerstones of the Russian repertoire in this recording of Musorgsky’s ‘Pictures from an Exhibition’ (a work which has been in Osborne’s concert repertoire for many years), and two sets of Prokofiev’s miniatures. Musorgsky’s masterpiece is one of the most popular programmatic works of the 19th century. Yet it is also a great pianistic challenge, with the spectacular textures of the climactic movement ‘The Great Gate of Kiev’ requiring the highest technical accomplishments. (summary courtesy of amazon.co.uk)

alsosprachzarathustraAlso sprach Zarathustra / Richard Strauss. (CD)
“This masterful live recording of Strauss’s ‘Also sprach Zarathustra’ is sure to please. The Berlin Philharmonic, as always, play to an exceptionally high standard under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel (a young conductor proving he is growing exponentially in his abilities). This popular piece is moody, atmospheric, and rich – well worth a listen.” (Summary by Emily)

couperinTrois leçons de ténèbres / Couperin ; [with works by] Marais [and] Sainte-Colombe. Ravishing second release on The King’s Consort’s new classical label, VIVAT, features world-renowned British soprano Carolyn Sampson and outstanding Norwegian mezzo Marianne Beate Kielland in entrancingly evocative French Baroque music. (Summary courtesy of amazon.com)

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New Arts newsletter for June

Welcome to our June Arts newsletter! Something to look forward to this month is the Te Papa Warhol: Immortal exhibition starting on June the 1st and lasting nearly two months. If you are interested in the artist and his works, as well as other’s who have been inspired by him, check out our online catalogue. there might be some things that will catch your eye!

Library News

Art

From the street to surrealism: an eclectic selection of amazing new art books for May 2013.

Syndetics book coverNew street art / Claude Crommelin (ClaudeLondon).
“Street art is part of every cityscape. By street art, we mean the crazy and wonderful stencils, paste-ups, paintings and little sculptures that decorate our urban landscape, catching our eyes and surprising us with their beauty, humour or pithy comment on society. It is, however, ephemeral and the work can disappear very quickly or be damaged by the elements or vandalism. Through his website, ClaudeLondon has documented thousands of works by artists active in the city.” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverDrawing Surrealism / Leslie Jones ; with contributions by Isabelle Dervaux, Susan Laxton.
“An exhibition catalogue for a show at the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art and the Morgan Library and Museum, this volume features a text by LACMA curator Jones and two accompanying essays by Dervaux and Laxton. The publisher describes it as the “first large-scale loan exhibition to focus on drawing as a prevailing form of expression for surrealist artists.” …” (CHOICE) (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe books that shaped art history : from Gombrich and Greenberg to Alpers and Krauss / edited by Richard Shone and John-Paul Stonard.
“Written by some of today’s leading art historians and curators, this new collection provides an invaluable road map of the field by comparing and reexamining canonical works of art history. From Émile Mâle’s magisterial study of thirteenth-century French art, first published in 1898, to Hans Belting’s provocative Likeness and Presence: A History of the Image before the Era of Art, the book provides a concise and insightful overview of the history of art, told through its most enduring literature …” (adapted from amazon.com description)

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Craft

In this month’s splendid selection of new books we offer you inspiring ideas and techniques to make fabulous handmade projects for your home and family. Enjoy experimenting with contemporary and traditional crafts such as, felting, quilting and knitting using timeless knitwear designs, as well as, recycling and repurposing materials for your beach house, caravan or home. Happy crafting!

Syndetics book coverThe crafty minx at home : 50+ handmade and upcycled projects for beautiful living / Kelly Doust.
“The Crafty Minx is about making gorgeous things from pre-loved, remnant and vintage items. It is written especially for non-crafters who are desperate to be more creative but don’t know how, and shares the delicious rewards of living with and giving away beautiful handmade objects. Kelly Doust shares her practical tips to help make your own delectable crafts from discarded materials, and a positive impact on the environment in the process. Including over 75 projects which give traditional crafts a modern makeover – from brightly patterned summer beach bags and cotton apron tops to cosy lambs’ wool throws and cashmere-covered hot water bottles, or a soft toy for a friend’s new baby – this book is broken down into the four seasons of the year for easy inspiration, and to carry you through the year creatively. Bringing you stories about great vintage finds and new ways of looking at the treasures within our own homes. No matter where you live or what your circumstances, discover just how easy it is to be a crafty minx” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Syndetics book coverKirstie’s vintage home / Kirstie Allsopp.
“Transform your home from shabby to chic, with the help of Kirstie Allsopp. Looking to the past for inspiration and embracing vintage style to create something unique and beautiful, Kirstie continues her love affair with everything handmade.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFabric surface design / Cheryl Rezendes ; photography by John Polak.
“Sensational sewing projects demand fabulous fabrics! Fibre artist Cheryl Rezendes shows you how to create an astonishing array of surface designs, simply and safely, using textile paints and printing ink. She covers a wide variety of techniques: stamping, ancient Japanese Shibori, silkscreen, soy wax and flour resist, image transfer, marbling, nature printing, foils and metal leaf, and more. Step-by-step photos illustrate every technique, and Rezendes shows you lots of innovative ways to combine and layer techniques for stunning results.” (adapted from the Syndetics summary).

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Design

This month we have an interesting selection of books that are well worth a look at. A personal favourite this month is Rock the Shack. This book is full of innovative and stylish solutions for simple architechure on a pared down level that features great examples of fancy shacks and beautiful hideaways. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverRock the shack / [edited by Sven Ehmann, Robert Klanten, and Sofia Borges ; text and preface by Sofia Borges].
“For the first time in the history of mankind, more people live in cities than in the country. Yet, at the same time, more and more city dwellers are yearning for rural farms, mountain cabins, or seaside homes. These kinds of refuges offer modern men and women a promise of what urban centers usually cannot provide: quiet, relaxation, being out of reach, getting back to basics, feeling human again. Rock the shack is a survey of such contemporary refuges from around the world — from basic to luxury” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverHello world : where design meets life / Alice Rawsthorn.
“Design is one of the most powerful forces in our lives. When deployed wisely, it can bring us pleasure, choice, strength, decency and much more. But if its power is abused, the outcome can be wasteful, confusing, humiliating, even dangerous. None of us can avoid being affected by design, whether or not we wish to. It is so ubiquitous that it determines how we feel and what we do, often without our noticing. Hello World explores design’s influence on our lives. From the macabre symbol with which 18th century pirates terrorised their victims into surrender, to one woman’s quest for the best possible prosthetic legs and the evolution of the World Cup ball, it describes how warlords, scientists, farmers, hackers, activists and professional designers have used the complex, often elusive process of design to different ends throughout history. At a time when we face colossal changes, unprecedented in their speed, scale and intensity – from the deepening environmental crisis, to giant leaps in science and technology – Hello Worldexplains how design can help us to make sense of them and to turn them to our advantage.” (Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverAt the water’s edge : summer escapes for easy living / Sally Hayden ; photography by Earl Carter.
In At the Water’s Edge, Sally Hayden celebrates the timeless allure of houses by the water and the relaxed, informal simplicity of summery style. The book is packed with evocative images of beautiful places and spaces that conjure up those few precious weeks of the year when we leave real life behind to enjoy rest and relaxation close to nature. The first section, Inspiration, focuses on the key elements of easy waterside side, including colour palettes, fabrics, furniture, accessories and display. In the second section, Homes, Sally explores stunning real-life coastal homes that capture the spirit of living by the water. At the Water’s Edge is not only a glorious treat for the eyes – it will also inspire you to emulate the laid-back, barefoot chic of summery, waterside style all year round, wherever you live.” (Syndetics Summary)

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Classical Music

Welcome to the Classical Music Recent Picks for June. This month we look at a varied collection of new material. Three albums that appeal across all genres (Solo piano and Rachmaninov, Symphony and Suks, Lied and Mahler). And we have a couple of reads that are sure to give you food for thought – A man who made choirs cool again without the help of Glee; a broad overview of Opera and it’s history; and a biography of a not-quite classical singer, Julie Garland, who is a fascinating woman nevertheless. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverA history of opera / Carolyn Abbate and Roger Parker.
“Abbate (In Search of Opera) and Parker (music, Kings College London; coeditor, Cambridge Opera Journal) are both distinguished musicologists who have made important contributions in the field of opera studies, so it is not surprising that this impressive volume contains profound insights at every turn. The writing, which is lively, witty, and accessible throughout, is deliberately pitched to the broader opera-loving public; there are no illustrative musical examples or passages rife with technical jargon. (Library Journal) (Courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverJudy Garland : a biography / Anne Edwards. Praised as “undoubtedly the best of the many books on Judy Garland” by no less a critic than John Lahr (the son of Bert Lahr, the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz), Anne Edwards’s biography attempts to present a complete picture of the late actress, and not just the boozing, drug-addicted caricature of a woman that is central to lesser biographies. From Edwards’s account we learn, for example, that Garland saw it as her duty to provide for her family financially, a generosity that her mother Ethel exploited with disastrous results. A student of great poets—Shelley, Keats, and Browning in particular—she often tried her own hand at verse; surviving poems are reproduced here. Above all Judy Garland sought to please, whether it was an audience or a studio head, and therein lies her powerful and heartbreaking story. (courtesy of Amazon.com)

summerstalepragueA summer’s tale [sound recording] ; Prague / Josef Suk. Super Audio CD in surround sound. Two symphonic poems by Suk are performed here by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Jiri Belohlavek, who also brought us the highly acclaimed recording of the composers First Symphony and Ripening, which was Disc of the Month in BBC Music Magazine. A Summers Tale is a highly personal work, rich and imaginative, not to mention brilliantly orchestrated in late romantic style. The work followed the heartfelt and sorrowful outpouring of the Asrael Symphony of 1905 06, composed in memory of his father-in-law, Antonin Dvorak, and wife, Otilka. In the words of the composer: After wild fleeing I find consolation in nature. (Summary courtesy of Amazon.co.uk)

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Arts newsletter for May

Welcome to our Art newsletter for May. We hope you enjoy our selection, it has got something for everyone!

Library News

Art

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)

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Craft

Welcome to this month’s selection of irresistible books on knitting, weaving and embroidery, as well as, beautifully finished accessories for your home. Satisfy your creative urge, experiment a little with new ideas and learn great techniques through the numerous step-by-step instructions and, if you fancy a pot of tea, take a look at the gorgeous collection of colourful tea cosies, created by J. Occleshaw. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverKnit a monster nursery : practical and playful knitted baby patterns / Rebecca Danger ; [photography by Brent Kane].
“Knit up a delightful collection of fun yet practical monster themed projects your little ones are sure to love. From the creative mind behind the best-selling “Big Book of Knitted Monsters” comes an adorable collection of more than 16 knitted toys, clothing, accessories, and nursery decorations that you’ll love knitting for the little one in your life. Stitch a roomful of fun and practical items – suitable for both boys and girls, and for knitters of all levels – including an irresistible monster mobile, baby blankets, blocks, booties, bookends, rattles, hats, and more!” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Syndetics book coverKnits at home : rustic designs for the modern nest / Ruth Cross ; with photography by Ben Anders.
“One of the trademarks of Ruth Cross, the knitting design company British knitting designer Ruth Bridgeman founded in 2004, is the use of traditional stitches – garter, stockinette, seed and cables – to create texture on items not normally covered with wool, such as vases or furniture. But the traditional nature of Ruth Cross designs is also one of the book’s weaknesses. While the book includes 22 projects, ranging from sachets to rugs, it offers nothing the enterprising knitter could not achieve on his or her own with existing stitch dictionaries. Another weakness is the narrow palette of grey, cream, and black used in almost every project. Such limits are a barrier to inspiration from the otherwise excellent photographs. Still, for the knitter who wants to incorporate his or her craft into her home decor, this book offers a one-stop shop for is pretty patterns for pillows, throws and wall hangings. And the real value of the book lies in the author’s organic approach to knitting, building one stitch on top of another to achieve texture, while her mantra that knitting should always be fun will serve knitters of all levels well. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.” (Publisher Weekly) (courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverKnitted letters : make personalized gifts and accents with creative typography-based knitting projects / Catherine Hirst and Erssie Major.
“This is a knitting book full of great ideas for knitting with typography. It’s suitable for all knitting skill levels. The introduction includes how to customize projects, information about yarn and gauging and fairly complete diagrams for a beginning knitter. My favourite stranded projects include the Slab Serif collegiate looking children’s backpack, the French press cozy with the word CAFE in a stenciled inspired font (pictured on the cover) and calligraphic black letter e-reader cover with the words “ex libris”. There are a lot more projects than that, including some great children’s projects. The 3D letters pictured on the cover are more involved with more seaming and shaping, and more advanced knitters would have fun with those. As well as the LOVE pillows, there are also bookends that are the letters A and Z for witty knitty fun.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

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Design

To follow is a selection of some of our most recent design themed books with a strong emphasis on home spaces and living solutions.

Syndetics book coverSo far / David Trubridge.
“David Trubridge’s first major international breakthrough came at the 2001 Milan Furniture Fair when his now famous Body Raft was picked up for manufacture by Cappellini, the hugely influential Italian furniture company. Since then he has gone on to produce and sell furniture and lighting throughout the world, and his work has become a staple of design magazines and publications everywhere. He believes that his life and work are one and the same, and consequently this very personal book is a fascinating and insightful look at the progress of his career, his thoughts on the creative process, and crucially his passionate interest in attempting to develop a work practice that is as environmentally sustainable as possible. Beautifully produced, and full of photographs, this book will be essential reading for anyone interested in art, design, architecture and creativity.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverThe design book : 1000 new designs for the home and where to find them / Jennifer Hudson.
“The Design Book brings together the best in contemporary design for the home, presenting a huge range of striking new products: tables and chairs, sofas and beds, storage, kitchens and bathrooms, tableware, textiles and surfaces, lighting, electronics and more. In-depth interviews with twelve key designers explore pivotal projects and approaches to design. Web addresses of designers and manufacturers are given for every object, along with full captions and colour illustrations, making every design easy to source.” ( Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverCreating shade : design, construction, technology / Chris van Uffelen.
“Protection has always been the most genuine function of architecture. This necessity has led to an impressive creative outburst of amazing technological developments for all kinds of roofs without walls. These come in all forms and sizes, in a wide variety of materials concrete, fabrics, fiberglass, wood or plants, to name a few. These shadow-providing devices range from elegant sun blinds and canopies, to fancy pergolas and luxury tents as well as small pavilions in public parks, wide covered piazzas, and even entire buildings shielded by independent overlapping roofs. With texts, facts, drawings and photos the presentation of the projects focusses on the design as well as on the constructive aspects and technical features.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

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Classical Music

Welcome to May and our recent picks for Classical Music! This month features cross-genre books, with how music can help change your life, to how music is found in nature, a lovely new score with Karakia and Maori round-songs, and the skill of singing in choirs. I hope you enjoy the selection!

Syndetics book coverYour playlist can change your life : 10 proven ways your favorite music can revolutionize your health, memory, organization, alertness, and more / Galina Mindlin, Don DuRousseau, Joseph Cardillo.Your Playlist Can Change Your Life
“This distinctive book comes from the coordinated efforts of Mindlin (psychiatry, Columbia Univ.), Don DuRousseau (executive director, PEAK Neurotraining Solutions), and Joseph Cardillo (Be Like Water: Practical Wisdom from the Martial Arts), who propose that readers can use music to relieve anxiety, increase alertness, feel happier, and sharpen memory. (Library Journal) (Courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverPorowhita = Circle songs : two new karakia and twelve new round songs in Māori and English for classrooms, choirs and communities / Sean O’Connor.
“These fourteen new compositions offer classrooms, choirs and communities a chance to rediscover ’round’ singing and its unique musical and social dynamic. Round singing invites equal participation, a balance of following and leading, and a development of heightened musical and social awareness through interwoven melody and rhythm, creating harmony. Weaving together Te reo and English with voices and movement, standing in the circle, singing of the circle of the year, and of proverbs, awakenings and karakia that carry simple but beautiful wisdom.”–Book cover. (Courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverSing with the choir for dummies / performance notes by Adam Perlmutter.
Want to sing along with the choir? Then this is the right book for you! This book/CD pack features 15 songs, fully arranged for soprano, alto, tenor, and bass, and a professionally recorded choir on the CD. Pick your part and sing along! (Book cover) (Courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverMadame Butterfly [videorecording].
Story of a beautiful young geisha who sacrifices her family, her religion and, ultimately, her life for her American naval officer husband. (Courtesy of Syndetics)

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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)

Arts Newsletter for April 2013

Welcome to our April Arts newsletter. It looks like Summer is out and Autumn is slowly creeping in on us. Days are shorter, colder, and the bad weather is settling in. What to do with these week-ends when you can’t get out of the house? Reading, obviously! We have a great selection of Arts’books this month and there are also a few things happening in town that you might be interested in, check WellingtonNZ.com events’ page with Art exhibitions such as ‘Moving On Asia: Towards a New Art Network 2004–2013’ and ‘Len Lye: Kaleidoscope’ at the City Gallery.

Library News

Art

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)

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Craft

Enjoy this delightful mix of craft books with projects, ideas and tips for all the crafts enthusiasts to create and get great pleasure from the wonderful results. I hope you find this book selection a source of inspiration and fun!

Syndetics book coverThe new jewelers : desirable, collectable, contemporary / Olivier Dupon.
“In this beautiful new book, Olivier Dupon introduces the finest modern jewelers practising today. Featuring 108 both up-and-coming and established designers, the book is divided into nine categories inspired not by traditional jewelry typology, but by style and look. Rough stones appear with exquisitely faceted gems; organic forms vie with geometric structures; feathers and leather take their place next to platinum and diamonds. The book showcases fine jewelry, fashion jewelry, luxe jewelry, conceptual jewelry, and much much more. Over 800 mainly colour photographs display the jewelry alongside portraits of the designers at work, shots of sketches and works in progress, studios and boutiques. Complete with short, informative profiles and useful contact details for the designers, as well as a listing of recommended shops, this publication offers a wealth of inspiring material and is a must for any aficionado of jewelry, design or craft.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCrystal jewelry inspiration from the Create Your Style ambassadors / compiled by Karin Van Voorhees.
“Tapped by Swarovski for their expertise, innovative work, and sophisticated design sense, this book stages an elite corps of jewellery makers, industry opinion leaders and innovators. This book is not juast a showcase of their work, but also a glimpse into their world. Meet some of the most creative jewellery designers in the world and join their sparkling community”. ( Book Cover)

Syndetics book coverMastering peyote stitch / [Melinda Barta].
“”With interest in beadweaving on the rise, Mastering Peyote Stitch provides a much-needed look into the most integral technique-peyote stitch. With 15 styles in all, beading geniuses will finally have an accessible, easy-to-understand guide to one of the fundamentals of beadweaving, brought to you courtesy of Beadwork Editor Melinda Barta. In the “Peyote Basics” chapter, you will learn the basics of creating flat peyote bands, then advance to circular and tubular variations, eventually learning to fashion dimensional jewelry pieces. Once you’ve mastered the basics, Melinda dives into designing dimensional jewelry pieces. Additional chapters cover combining peyote with other popular beadweaving techniques (right-angle weave, herringbone, and bead embroidery) and creating unique edgings and embellishments for finished pieces. Melinda, together with Beadwork’s Designers of the Year, including Jean Campbell, Lisa Kan, Carole Ohl, Melanie Potter, Jean Power, Cynthia Rutledge, and Sherry Serafini, demonstrates a range of styles in 15 beautiful jewelry projects. “– Provided by publisher (courtesy of Syndetics)

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Design

We have selected for you an ecclectic array of design books that we hope you will enjoy!

Syndetics book coverProfessor Jonathan T. Buck’s mysterious airship notebook : the lost step-by-step dirigible drawings from the pioneer of steampunk design / by Keith Riegert & Samuel Kaplan ; illustrated by Jonathan Buck.
“Gives both the beginning and more experienced artists hundreds of step-by-step instructions to help them develop their own steampunk future filled with moving gears, brass knobs, steam boilers and other cool devices.
Part step-by-step how-to-draw guide, part thrilling steampunk adventure story. At the end of the 19th century, a brilliant inventor, Professor Jonathan T. Buck, crafted a beautiful steam-powered airship for an expedition to South America’s Amazon River Basin in search of a magnificent lost city — hidden from terrestrial explorers for centuries by its surrounding dense forests. But something mysterious happened in the heart of the jungle — Buck, his crew and the Air Paddle Steamer Claire vanished. More than a century later, an expedition sent to look for any trace of the Claire vanished and its crew discovered a single, discarded trunk lodged high in the forest canopy. Inside was this notebook: a riveting — firsthand account that reveals not only just how Buck drew up the plans for his airship, but what fate befell the expedition. Professor Jonathan T. Buck’s Mysterious Airship Notebook is unlike any adventure story before. Part drawing guide, part historical saga, this book will transport readers to a world before modern technology, when steam power, gadgets, gases and gizmos took us into the skies”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe beautiful edible garden : design a stylish outdoor space using vegetables, fruits, and herbs / Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner ; photography by David Fenton and Jill Rizzo ; floral arrangements by Studio Choo.
“Have you ever noticed that just when the weather is perfect for inviting friends over for a barbecue, the tomato plants start looking like hell? While many people would love to have a vegetable garden at home, not everyone has the space or desire to replace their backyard with unsightly raised beds and rows of corn. They want a balance: the ability to grow organic fruits and vegetables, but also have their garden be a place of year-round beauty that is appealing and enjoyable. Written by a landscape design team that specialises in blending edibles and ornamentals in the garden, The Beautiful Edible Garden proves that it’s possible for gardeners of all levels to reap the best of both worlds. With a fresh approach to garden design and glorious colour photographs, it’s perfect for readers who want a garden space that is both attractive and productive”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBrooklyn makers : food, design, craft, and other scenes from the tactile life / Jennifer Causey ; foreword by Eric Demby.
“A creative renaissance blooms in Brooklyn. At its heart is a thriving community of artisans producing a remarkable variety of handmade goods. In Brooklyn Makers, photographer Jennifer Causey captures the spirit of this homegrown movement by documenting thirty of the borough’s most celebrated craftsmen. This eclectic mix of established and up-and-coming makers includes bakers, ceramic artists, clothing designers, florists, distillers, and more. With an eye for small details, Causey’s charming photographs reveal each artisan at work in their own space. Her lively interviews reveal what inspires them, keeps them motivated, and their thoughts on the city where they live and work”– Provided by publisher. (courtesy of Syndetics)

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Classical Music

This month’s Classical finds seem to have a bit of a biographical theme running through them. I hope you enjoy rediscovering a familiar topic, or being enthralled by a new one.

Syndetics book coverBenjamin Britten : a life in the twentieth century / Paul Kildea.
“In the eyes of many, Benjamin Britten was our finest composer since Purcell (a figure who often inspired him) three hundred years earlier. He broke decisively with the romantic, nationalist school of figures such as Parry, Elgar and Vaughan Williams and recreated English music in a fresh, modern, European form. With Peter Grimes (1945), Billy Budd (1951) and The Turn of the Screw (1954), he arguably composed the last operas – from any composer in any country – which have entered both the popular consciousness and the musical canon”. (amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverMusic in 1853 : the biography of a year / Hugh MacDonald.
“This is a fascinating book that features very fine archival research about the major musical events and personalities that dominated the musical scene in Europe in 1853. The book’s chief virtue is in showing the intricate interplay among the major composers and performers of the period, relationships that are not always apparent in single biographies of composers”. (CHOICE)

Syndetics book coverRichard Wagner : the sorcerer of Bayreuth / Barry Millington.
“Richard Wagner (1813-1883) is one of the most influential – and also one of the most controversial – composers in the history of music. Over the course of his long career, he produced a stream of spellbinding works that challenged musical convention through their richness and tonal experimentation, ultimately paving the way for modernism. This book presents an in-depth but easy-to-read overview of Wagner’s life, work and times”. (amazon.com)

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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)

Arts enewsletter for February

Welcome to our February 2013 Arts newsletter. We hope you will enjoy the items our librarians have selected for you. Remeber that if you see something missing from our collection, you can fill in a suggestion to buy online. March is NZ Book Month and we have a wealth of recources about New Zealand art and artists. Check our Art Resources’page and our New Zealand Artists’database.

Library News

  • Free author talk with Alina Suchanski – 19 March
  • March Madness! Get 2 Music or Doco DVDs for the price of one…
  • March Madness! Get 24 free CD issues…
  • Law for Lunch is back with a great range of topics & speakers

    Art

    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)

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    Craft

    Take a look at this eclectic mix of new craft books, featuring clever and creative ideas to help you kick off the New Year. Experience the contemporary culture of craft with gorgeous crochet and embroidery projects, passed down through the generations, from mothers to daughters and learn new techniques. And, if you like to add dimension or shine to stitchery, designer Yasuko Endo provides all the basics and plenty of inspiration in her book ‘Bead embroidery stitch samples’. Enjoy the challenge!

    Syndetics book coverSimple crochet : with more than 35 vintage-vibe projects for your handmade life / Sara Sinaguglia.
    Crafter and blogger Sara Sinaguglia has created 35 easy-to-make crochet projects for everyday life. From cushions, coasters and bags to toys, scarves and pot holders, bring a little of Sara’s stylish vintage vibe into your crafting life. (Syndetics summary)

    Syndetics book coverCrochet workshop : learn how to crochet with 20 inspiring projects / Erika Knight.
    Crochet Workshop is the perfect book for the beginner. Under Erika Knight’s guidance even those who have never picked up a crochet hook before will soon be making gorgeous projects and all the while learning new techniques and adding to their skills. (Syndetics summary)

    Syndetics book coverHomespun vintage : 20 timeless knit and crochet projects / Jane Crowfoot.
    The craft skills that have traditionally been passed down through the generations from mother to daughter are as popular as ever, boosted by the current vogue for all things vintage. Drawing inspiration from the interiors and fashions of the 20th century, this book is packed full of knit and crochet projects which will fit perfectly into any vintage-inspired interior. (Syndetics summary)

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    Classical Music

    The festive season is over, work and school have gone back for another year and its time to put your nose to the grindstone. What better time to take a moment to get inspired and motivated by music! Here are a few selections to help you on your way to musical enlightenment.

    Syndetics book coverHow to read music / [James Sleigh & Mike Sheppard].
    “If you want to learn how to read and write music, this is the book you have been waiting for! Written in plain English and using a minimum of jargon, it’s supplemented by audio material and other extras all available at www.hybridpublications.com This means that you get lots of examples of how things should sound plus many other online bonuses, all clearly flagged on the relevant page in the book”. (Syndetics summary)

    Syndetics book coverConducting business : unveiling the mystery behind the maestro / Leonard Slatkin.
    “Conducting an orchestra is something that is seen as well as heard, but it is quite misunderstood. People may wonder, “What does this person actually do for a living?” This most mysterious of jobs is brought to life in this book. Drawing on his own experiences on and off the podium, Leonard Slatkin tells tales of some of the most fascinating people in the musical world, including Frank Sinatra, Leonard Bernstein, and John Williams. He takes the reader to soundstages in Hollywood as well as great concert halls and opera pits around the globe. Slatkin recounts his controversial appearance at the Metropolitan Opera, his creation and direction of summer music festivals, and a shattering concert experience that took place four days after 9/11. Discussions of work in the recording studio and life on the road as well as health issues confronting the conductor provide an insider’s glimpse into this private world.–From publisher description”. (Syndetics summary)

    Syndetics book coverEverything you ever wanted to know about classical music but were too afraid to ask / [Darren Henley and Sam Jackson].
    “This is a richly informative, light-hearted guide to the ins and outs of classical music. The book dives underneath the sheet music to bring the world of classical music to life. Henley offers insights into the composition of an orchestra, the workings of its instruments, and the lives of its composers”. (Syndetics summary)

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