Art recent picks for December 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recent art picks for July

Klimt, Michelangelo & the Renaissance portrait + 3 fabulous new graphic arts books.

Syndetics book coverThe lady in gold : the extraordinary tale of Gustav Klimt’s masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer / Anne-Marie O’Connor.
Shares the events that shaped the creation of the painter’s most famous portrait, covering such topics as the story of the salon hostess who was his model, contributing factors in turn-of-the-century Vienna, and the painting’s fate.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMichelangelo : a tormented life / Antonio Forcellino ; translated by Allan Cameron.
“This major new biography recounts the extraordinary life of one of the most creative figures in Western culture, weaving together the multiple threads of Michelangelo’s life and times with a brilliant analysis of his greatest works.The author retraces Michelangelo’s journey from Florence to Rome, explores his changing religious views and examines the politics of patronage in Renaissance Italy. Drawing on Michelangelo’s memoirs and personal correspondence, the author paints a portrait of a deeply contradictory man whose work was infused with a sensuality of which he chose to deprive himself. Book jacket.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Renaissance portrait : from Donatello to Bellini / edited by Keith Christiansen and Stefan Weppelmann ; essays by Patricia Rubin … [et al.].
“The Renaissance Portrait, which accompanies a landmark exhibition at the Bode-Museum, Berlin, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, provides new research and insight into the early history of portraiture in Italy, examining in detail how its major art centers—Florence, the princely courts, and Venice—saw the rapid development of portraiture as closely linked to Renaissance society and politics, ideas of the individual, and concepts of beauty. Essays by leading scholars provide a thorough introduction to Renaissance portraiture, while individual catalogue entries illustrate and extensively discuss more than 160 magnificent examples of painting, drawing, manuscript illumination, sculpture, and medallic portraiture by such artists as Donatello, Filippo Lippi, Botticelli, Verrocchio, Ghirlandaio, Pisanello, Mantegna, Antonello da Messina, and Giovanni Bellini. With abundant style and visual ingenuity, these masters transformed the plain facts of observation into something beautiful to behold.” – (adapted from Amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverTypography, referenced : a comprehensive visual guide to the language, history, and practice of typography / Allan Haley … [et al.].
“In short, Typography, Referenced is the ultimate source of typographic information and inspiration, documenting and chronicling the full scope of essential typographic knowledge and design from the beginnings of moveable type to the present “golden age” of typography.” – (adapted from Amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverEchoes of the future : rational graphic design & illustration / [edited by Robert Klanten & Hendrik Hellige].
“Today’s young graphic designers and illustrators are increasingly taking their visual cues from classic modernism, letterpress printing, and other design styles of the past and using them in their current work. They are not copying them, but rather, they are synthesizing them to create a new aesthetic that emanates quality, timelessness, and sustainability. It is only when confronted with genuine examples from the past that one realizes how clearly different the contemporary work is. Echoes of the Future presents the further evolution of this style trend. The book features recent graphic design and illustration that is deliberately created with a limited palette of forms and colors, which makes the work seem older than it is. The aspiration to visual longevity contrasts sharply with the rapidly shifting styles of previous years that seemed out-of-date almost immediately. Especially in these times of economic uncertainty, more and more brands, products, and businesses are using designs that promote the impression of stability.
Echoes of the Future is a stunning compilation of outstanding work inspired by a collective visual memory that is as contemporary as it is timeless.” – (adapted from Amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverBob Gill, so far.
“The definitive work of one of the most important and innovative designers/illustrators/teachers of his generation. Written and designed by Bob Gill. “The only way to tell which jobs Gill designed yesterday and which ones were designed years ago, is to look at the date. Styles come and go, but his ideas and teaching philosophy are timeless. That’s why Bob Gill is one of the heroes that got me and so many others into graphic design in the first place.” – (adapted from Amazon.com description)