Art Recent Picks for December 2013

Art now, and then: several new and fascinating surveys of the art world for the festive season:-

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)

Syndetics book coverArt since 1980 : charting the contemporary / Peter R. Kalb.
“Charts the story of art in contemporary global culture while holding up a mirror to our society. With over 300 pictures of painting, photography, sculpture, installation, and performance and video art, we are led on an illuminating journey via the individuals and communities who have shaped art internationally” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverMasterpieces of Chinese painting, 700-1900 / edited by Zhang Hongzing ; with essays by Ling Lizhong … [et al.].
“Painting has always been regarded by the Chinese as a supreme art, equal to those of poetry and philosophy. But dating back over 2,500 years, many Chinese paintings were made to be viewed just for a few hours or weeks. As a result, the masterpieces of the form have been seen very rarely, and then only by a few. This spectacular book accompanies a major V&A [Victoria & Albert Museum, UK] exhibition that brings together some of the world’s greatest paintings on silk and paper—many of which will be displayed only for a short time. All the paintings are reproduced in full, together with enlarged details.” (adapted from Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverArt cities of the future / 21st century avant-gardes / authors, Antawan I. Byrd, Suygu Demir, Hyun Jung [and nine others].
“The explosion of global biennials and art fairs has been cited by some as the instrumentalisation of the art world by the financial world. Others see it as a sign of the destabilization of Western dominance and the emergence of new art centers. This book takes the latter position, arguing for 12 new international sites-Beirut, Bogota, Cluj, Delhi, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Lagos, San Juan, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Singapore, and Vancouver. Another significant effect of this opening of art worlds is the rise to prominence of the curator as a key figure who both elucidates and organizes this new topography. This work brings together curators from the regions mentioned above, each of whom has a highly specialized background. Each title city is introduced with a brief description of the locale’s political and contemporary art history written by the curator. Eight artists (and collectives) represent the avant-garde of their cities, and all share a commitment to experimental art and to their local milieu…” (abridged from Syndetics summary)

New art picks for November

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

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

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

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

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

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

New and “now” – contemporary fine art & graphic art picks

We’ve got some great new contemporary art books in the catalogue this month. Current perspectives in Japanese Illustration and profiles on new artists at the cutting edge, take a look!

Syndetics book coverIt’s all about the image / [Dick Frizzell].
“This is the A to Z of Dick’s philosophy dissembled through 100 or so images that have influenced his point of view…” – (adapted from Back cover)

Syndetics book coverContemporary art : world currents / Terry Smith.
“Diversity – the contemporaneity of difference, not a convergence towards sameness, Smith argues, is what makes today’s art contemporary.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA bigger message : conversations with David Hockney / Martin Gayford.
“David Hockney’s exuberant work is widely loved and widely praised, but he is also an incisive and original thinker on art. Based on a series of conversations between Hockney and the art critic Martin Gayford, this book distills the essence of the artist’s lifelong meditations on the problems and paradoxes of representing a three-dimensional world on a flat surface …” – (adapted from Amazon product description)

Syndetics book coverJapanese illustration now / [edited by] Cristian Campos.
“This example-packed overview of contemporary Japanese illustration showcases the works of 100 of Japan’s most successful and exciting artists and designers …” – (adapted from Amazon product description)

Syndetics book cover100 new artists / Francesca Gavin.
“100 New Artists brings together the creatives who are shaping the aesthetics of the next decade. All the artists featured were born after 1970 … ” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVitamin P2 : new perspectives in painting / [designed by Julia Hasting].
“The first volume of Vitamin P, published in 2002, inaugurated a vibrant period for painting. Since its publication, a whole new generation of painters has emerged, some inspired by the artists who appeared in that book, others taking cues from new sources. Vitamin P2: New Perspectives in Painting introduces this new wave of painters to the world…” – (adapted from Amazon product description)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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