New Year Inspirations – Craft picks for January

Start the New Year with lots of inspiring ideas found in this fabulous collection of new library books. Read about enchanting printmaking techniques for expressive mark making and unleash your inner artist. Have fun with crochet projects inspired by classic fairy tales or if you prefer knitting there are gorgeous ideas to add to your ‘To-knit list’ for this year. Enjoy the challenge!

Syndetics book coverPrintmaking unleashed : more than 50 techniques for expressive mark making / Traci Bautista.
“Unleash your inner artist and join Traci Bautista as she shares inventive ideas for making marks with handmade tools, nontraditional materials and simple DIY printmaking techniques. Pulsing with exploration and whimsy, Printmaking Unleashed features 60+ step-by-step demonstrations and countless possibilities for creating original prints, fabrics, art journal pages, mixed-media collage, and so much more.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverCrochet ever after : 18 crochet projects inspired by classic fairy tales / Brenda K. B. Anderson.
“Shows and movies based on fairy tales are incredibly popular, and crafty crocheters now have a book of fabulous projects that pay homage to their favorite stories. Little Red’s hood with integrated infinity scarf will stay put when she’s being chased by the Big Bad Wolf. Sleeping Beauty now has just the right nightie to wear while waiting for Prince Charming to wake her up. Gretel can take her snacks to go with her cupcake purse. Plus the Evil Queen will know exactly who the hottest in the land is when she gazes into her Mirror, Mirror on the Go makeup case. Heroines, fairy princesses, witches, and big bad wolves are all accounted for in this fanciful collection of crochet accessories, toys, bags, kids’ clothes, and more.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverChunky knits : 31 projects for you & your home knit with bulky yarn / Ashley Little.
“Here’s the secret of bulky yarns – they knit up quickly. This attractive book features more than 25 patterns that use bulky- or superbulky-weight yarn, and the great thing about them is that they are not the usual suspects. Yes, there are hats, mittens, and scarves and shawls, but there are also a delicate-looking lace capelet, a scalloped necklace, and even a lacy lampshade covering. Knitters looking for instant gratification will find it in smaller projects: braided wall art, jewelry, and round, cabled sachets.” (Booklist)

Syndetics book coverPainting made easy / Mike Chaplin with Diana Vowles.
“Professional artist Mike Chaplin demonstrates that anyone can paint if they are taught the necessary techniques in a simple and structured way. Starting from the premise that we all want to make marks to record the world around us, this book aims to give basic guidelines that will help anyone to express themselves through different media but especially watercolours, oils and pastels with essential skills and techniques presented in an accessible way.” (Adapted from Publisher’s description)

July school holiday activities are here!

Would your kids like to learn how to paint like a renaissance artist?

If so, head along to your local library in the school holidays to find out how artists in the Middle Ages created their masterpieces, and then there’ll be an opportunity for your kids to have a go themselves. They might even find themselves painting upside down just like Michelango – so lots of creative messy fun will be had (tell them to wear their old clothes!).

These events are for 7–12 year olds – bookings are not required.

Here’s where and when these activities are happening:Poster Small

Central Library:

Wednesday 9th July, 11am – 12noon

Island Bay Community Centre:

Tuesday 15th July, 10.30am – 11.30am

Karori Library:

Wednesday 16th July, 11am – 12noon

Miramar Library:

Thursday 17th July, 11am – 12noon

Johnsonville Library:

Thursday 17th July, 11am – 12noon

school holidays jul14

 

Art Recent Picks for March 2014

Leaves are falling, light is fading – no better time to get out a snazzy new “coffee table” art book from the library!:

Syndetics book cover9 artists / [edited by] Bartholomew Ryan ; texts by Yael Bartana, Liam Gillick, Renzo Martens, Bjarne Melgaard, Nástio Mosquito, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Hito Steyerl, Danh Vo.
“Accompanying an exciting exhibition at the Walker Art Center, this catalogue brings together 16-page “books” by the contributing artists, with occasional commentary from the curators. The eight artists (yes, there are eight) all create work that is dynamically and decidedly focused on contemporary questions. While their modes and perspectives vary, together they probe the role of the artist and citizen in a heavily networked, globalizing world. The images throughout are as rich and thought-provoking as the text, resulting in a visual and textual object that continually rewards engagement.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverYinka Shonibare MBE / edited by Rachel Kent.
“Newly revised and updated, this authoritative book presents the exciting, ironic, and often subversive work of Yinka Shonibare MBE, one of the stars of the international art scene. Born in London and raised in Nigeria, Shonibare employs a diverse range of media–from sculpture, painting, and installation to photography and film–to probe matters of race, class, cultural identity, and history. He is perhaps best known for his signature use of a colorful “African” batik fabric that actually originated in Indonesia and was introduced to Africa in the19th century by British and Dutch colonizers. Incorporated into Victorian costumes, covering sculptures of extraterrestrials, or stretched like canvas for paintings, these vibrant textiles cleverly challenge issues of origin and authenticity. ” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMagritte : the mystery of the ordinary, 1926-1938 / edited by Anne Umland ; with essays by Stephanie D’Alessandro … [et al.].
“Featuring works from more than 50 collections, this exhibition catalogue reproduces and contextualizes Rene Magritte’s development as a surrealist artist from 1926, when he began his quest, until 1938, when he presented a lecture that summarized his accomplishments in this genre. The introduction explains Magritte’s cubist work prior to 1926 and explores how the artistic influence of Giorgio de Chirico and Max Ernst shifted his work toward surrealism. The catalogue proper and four additional essays divide the 13-year period into segments based on the artist’s physical location–from Brussels to Paris, back to Brussels, and finally to London, where he completed commissions for Edward James.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe global art compass / Alistair Hicks.
In the past, writers and critics such as Goethe, Ruskin, and Clement Greenberg perpetuated particular ideas about art and even dictated these ideas to the artists themselves. Today, artists no longer have to follow one prevailing theory and the art world is less centralized in particular cities: New York, London, Paris, Berlin, and Beijing all offer rich environments to artists but none are designated as the exclusive center of the art world. In this book, Alistair Hicks demonstrates his belief that no single curator, critic, or dealer should monopolize our view of what is happening in the art world today, but that by listening to the artists themselves, we can gradually make out an ever-evolving web of patterns, relationships, and themes.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFantasy+. 5, World’s most imaginative artworks / Vincent Zhao.
“This is the 2013 volume in the highly regarded Fantasy+ series. This book collects the latest works from top artists around the world, categorised by their applications, from advertising, book illustration, modeling, games, animation to personal portfolio works. Rich artistic creations and a diverse variety of styles engage the reader in a powerful visual experience. It will provide a valuable reference source of expressive methods and techniques for art and design enthusiasts.” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverGallery 1988’s crazy4cult : cult movie art. 2 / introduction by Seth Rogen ; [edited by Gallery 1988].
“There’s probably a more dignified way to enjoy the pop culture group Gallery 1988’s second collection of its Crazy 4 Cult art show than by stopping on every page to show your friends the brilliant takes on -Donnie Darko, The Breakfast Club, Suspiria, or A Clockwork Orange. However, breathless excitement is the honest response to this collection of cult classic-inspired artwork featuring mixed-media takes on beloved films. As actor Seth Rogen says in the book’s introduction, this is an accessible art collection for fans of offbeat interpretations of the movies they grew up watching.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverArt : everything you need to know about the greatest artists and their works / Susie Hodge.
“Art introduces readers to 100 of the world’s most important artists and their paintings, from the 13th century to the modern era. Works by artists including Caravaggio, Vermeer, van Gogh and Warhol are reproduced in superb high quality, arranged chronologically and set in their historical context by Susie Hodge’s concise and readable narrative. Including explanations of key periods in art history – from the Early Renaissance to Dutch Realism, and from Rococo to Pop Art – a guide to the world’s best art galleries and a helpful glossary of key terms, this is the perfect book for any art lover.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk description)

Art Recent Picks for January 2014

A selection of new art books as varied as Wellington’s “summer” weather:-

Syndetics book coverFace to face : Flanders, Florence, and Renaissance painting / Paula Nuttall.
“This lavishly illustrated catalogue accompanies an exhibition of the same name at the Huntington Art Collections that runs from September 28, 2013 to January 13, 2014. Co-curator and scholar Paula Nuttall explores the transmission of ideas, techniques, and modes of artistic rendering that first developed in the Burgundian court and became hugely influential in southern Europe—notably painting in Florence, usually considered the artistic epicenter of Renaissance Europe. Nuttall treats thematic groupings of the exhibition, exploring the diptych as an art form, the portrayal of the face of Christ, the development of portraiture, and the virtuosic renderings of materials and textures.” (adapted from amazon.com description)

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 coverBalthus : cats and girls / Sabine Rewald.
“Accompanying an exhibition at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art that opens in September 2013, this captivating catalogue focuses on French painter Balthus (aka Balthasar Klossowski, 1908-2001) and his obsession with childhood and the pubescent girls who modeled for his best-known works. Veteran Balthus scholar Rewald, a curator of modern and contemporary art at the Met, lucidly provides both the biographical and art-historical context for Balthus’s young subjects, whom he often depicted in gawky poses that heighten the tension between their innocence and looming puberty. Balthus vehemently denied the work’s eroticism. The girls are typically accompanied by smug cats-possibly erotic symbols and perhaps “a stand-in for the artist.” Cats had been a theme of Balthus’s since his childhood; at age 11, he completed 40 ink sketches of a stray he called Mitsou, and published the sketches with the support of poet Rainer Maria Rilke; they are splendidly reproduced here.” (Adapted from Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverThe Vatican : all the paintings / Anja Grebe ; introduction by Ross King.
“This comprehensive and heavy tome illustrates all the works of art on display in the Vatican and underscores the variety of its art, including works that popes commissioned from painters as well as works that were accumulated for art appreciation and prestige beginning in the 17th century. The book is divided into 22 sections representing the museums and areas of the Vatican. This includes the Pinacoteca (painting gallery), with paintings given to or purchased by the popes or removed from altarpieces of papal churches. Also included are images of art from the Borgia Apartments, the famous Raphael Rooms, and Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. This book, which has a DVD that includes every work of art, will appeal to readers who are interested in the art of the Vatican.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Art recent picks August 2013

Syndetics book coverCornelia Parker / Iwona Blazwick ; foreword by Yoko Ono ; introduction by Bruce W. Ferguson ; commentaries by Cornelia Parker.
“Described as a “physicist with the virtuoso skills of a craftsperson,” British conceptual artist Parker (born in 1956) has received glowing praise since the 1990s for her scientific research-based work and violent transformations of found objects. Wonderfully photographed and featuring a foreword by Yoko Ono … Unfortunately, Blazwick’s five essays do not adequately explain Parker’s enthusiasm for objects associated with history and famous people: a light-box display of Mia Farrow’s blue gown from Rosemary’s Baby; photomicrographs of Einstein’s chalk board; a pillow cut by Henry VIII’s sword. Viewers are supposed to be intrigued by these historical abstractions, but they can feel superfluous. As Parker writes, “Very often, the process involved in my work is just a flimsy excuse to get my hands on these objects that changed the face of history.” (adapted from Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverFrancis Bacon : painting in a Godless world / Rina Arya.
“Arya (Univ. of Wolverhampton, UK) examines a contradiction of Francis Bacon’s oeuvre: the atheist’s denigrating use of religious imagery that seems to reinforce the potential meaning of the source material. According to Arya, Bacon’s art engages questions of theological debate while exploring the human condition through themes such as animalism, violence, suffering, alienation, and death … In examining connections between Bacon’s life, art, and religious association of symbolic and compositional devices, the book achieves its chief aim of consolidating recognition of religion’s significance in Bacon’s art…” (Syndetics review)

Syndetics book coverBoaz Vaadia : sculpture 1971-2012 / essay by Wendy Steiner ; foreword by Ivan C. Karp ; introduction by Anthony Brown ; artist Impressions by Boaz Vaadia.
“Eye-catching, life-size, and natural stone sculptures creatively conceived and intricately constructed that stop passersby in their tracks, are the hallmark of sculptor Boaz Vaadia. Drawing inspiration chiefly from what Vaadia calls ‘the primal connection to nature,’ he carves and assembles multilayered figurative pieces from glacial boulders and bluestone – originally discovered by Vaadia when bluestone sidewalks in SoHo were being replaced by concrete in the mid-1970s. He sculpts the bluestone in assorted sizes and colours to portray stunning likenesses – all named from the Old Testament – of family members, friends, and even the occasional accompanying dog or cat…” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverZainul Abedin / edited by Rosa Maria Falvo, with essays by Abul Monsur, Nazrul Islam, and Abul Hasnat.
“Zainul Abedin (1914-1976), reverently called the Shilpacharya or guru of art, is the architect of the modern art movement in Bangladesh, which began with the setting up of the first Government Art Institute in Dhaka in 1948. For his devotion to art education and his visionary and artistic achievements he has always been the undisputed protagonist of the Bangladeshi modern art scene. This book showcases Zainul Abedin’s work over a period of 40 years, with more than 200 colour and black and white plates illustrating his special relationship with his country, from various artistic, social, and political perspectives. This ground-breaking work retraces his personal vision and provides the best interpretative angles into a culture and reality that has been often overlooked and even misunderstood in the West. Abedin’s humanitarian stance and his commitment to art forged the way for an entire generation of Bangladeshi contemporary artists”
(adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverThe Bay Area School : Californian artists from the 1950s and 1960s / Thomas Williams.
“Tracing the development of Abstract Expressionism and the counter-blast of Figurative art on the West Coast of America during a decisive period, this important publication marks a milestone in the on-going understanding of the post-war art scene in the United States. The movement had its origins in the art schools of San Francisco and Berkeley in the early 1940s and rose to prominence in the 1950s as a major challenge to the dominance of New York. Starting with the work of the ‘first generation’ artists, such as David Park and Richard Diebenkorn, whose pioneering images explored both figuration and abstraction, the movement’s ‘bridge’ and ‘second’ generation artists, including Paul Wonner and Joan Brown, also feature. Including insightful discussions regarding the importance of drawing as a group activity, The Bay Area School skilfully presents a thorough survey of key works of the period and successfully argues the mutual influence of abstraction and figuration during this critical period, demonstrating, in turn, the continued importance of the these artists today” (amazon.com description)

Art recent picks for Jan 2013

Six new books on six very different painters : Jan 2013’s picks for summer art reading:-

Syndetics book coverJohn Everett Millais / Jason Rosenfeld.
“John Everett Millais (1829 – 1896) was one of the most significant English painters of the nineteenth century, successful and respected during his career, honoured as the first painter to be created a baronet, he remains, as recent exhibitions of his work have demonstrated, equally well known today. Whilst his substantial contributions are rarely, if ever, denied, in past art historical accounts of Millais’s long career there has been an unfortunate tendency to superficially distinguish between the early promise of his Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces and the perceived commercial and traditionalist orientation of his later works. In this new study of the artist’s life and work Rosenfeld argues that such readings are far from accurate, demonstrating that the development of Millais’s art was at the forefront of contemporary painting throughout his life. … In Rosenfeld’s words, it is a ‘consistently relevant and inventive Millais’ that emerges in this book” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverKeith Vaughan / Philip Vann and Gerard Hastings.
Keith Vaughan (1912-77) was a major figure in post-war British art who is known for his searching portraits of the male nude and his association with the Neo-Romantic painters. This book provides for the first time a definitive, illustrated account of his life and work, exploring his wide-ranging achievement as a modern British artist. … A fascinating essay by Gerard Hastings provides a close-up examination of Vaughan’s gouache technique. (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMark Rothko : the decisive decade, 1940-1950 / Bradford R. Collins, editor ; [essays by] David Anfam … [et al.].
“The first publication dedicated exclusively to Mark Rothko’s art during the critical formative period of the 1940s. Examining the development and artistic exploration of one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century, this unprecedented volume presents the works of American artist Mark Rothko from the 1940s, a time when his most essential development as a painter occurred, dramatically and in a very compact space of time. During this period, Rothko moved from expressive figurative and surrealist canvases to more abstract multiform subjects and finally to his signature abstractions–luminous rectangles of color suspended in space.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMaster of stillness : Jeffrey Smart : paintings 1940-2011 / Barry Pearce.
This book on the work of Jeffrey Smart is the first since his virtual retirement from painting in 2011. It illuminates the vision of the most celebrated of Australian expatriate artists, from his beginnings in Adelaide until his last major composition painted in Italy where he has lived for the last five decades. Adelaide, where Smart was born in 1921, was where his essential evolution as an artist took shape. His early fascination for its grid-like urban landscape was a perfect basis for an ongoing celebration of the phenomena of highways, traffic signs, trucks, transmitters and brutish modular architecture in post-war Europe; aspects of the modern world others found ugly but which he declared beautiful. (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPaul Klee : life and work / text by Christine Hopfengart and Michael Baumgartner ; with contributions by Fabienne Eggelhöfer … [et al.].
“The many books on Paul Klee (1879-1940) published over the years should not obscure the fact that there has been no new, comprehensive Klee overview since Will Grohmann’s much reprinted 1954 monograph. With Paul Klee: Life and Work, the Zentrum Paul Klee has set out to fill this gap, drawing on a wealth of new resources including the Klee family’s archives, much of which is published here for the first time. …The result of many years of research and labor, this magisterial publication demonstrates conclusively why Klee numbers among the most influential and best loved artists of the past 100 years.” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverRaphael : a passionate life / Antonio Forcellino ; translated by Lucinda Byatt.
“In this carefully crafted biography of one of the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance, art historian Forcellino offers a vivid account of the artist’s ambitions and cogent explanations of the personal and political motivations of Raphael’s patrons, many of whom were from the Roman Curia. The author examines the career of Raphael, son of a painter from Urbino, who at 30 painted the papal apartments in the Vatican with scenes that were inspired by church policy; and who created the propagandistic portraits of Julius II and Leo X. Forcellino also endorses the legend of Raphael as a lover, interpreting the sensuality of Raphael’s paintings of beautiful women in light of historical accounts that Raphael died because of his romantic exploits. Nonetheless, despite his early death, Raphael developed a unique style of psychological portraiture and had significant insight into ancient building techniques.” (CHOICE) (adapted from Syndetics summary)

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 November

This month: Banksy, Grimwood & Slinkachu + Cezanne, Symbolism & NZ art:

Syndetics book cover240 : two hundred and forty years of New Zealand painting / Gil Docking, ; with additions covering 1970-2010 by Michael Dunn ; and 1990-2010 by Edward Hanfling.
“This landmark book on New Zealand artists and their work was first published in 1971, extended to 1990 by art historian Michael Dunn and now again to 2010 by art historian, writer and lecturer Edward Hanfling… In total, this new edition features more than 200 paintings… “–Ubsbooks.co.nz. (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBehind the canvas : an insider’s guide to the New Zealand art market / Warwick Henderson.
“A look at the world of collecting art with a focus on the New Zealand art market. Written by an accomplished art dealer and gallery owner.”–Publisher information. (from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCézanne : a life / Alex Danchev.
An assessment of the life and work of Paul Cézanne offers insight into his views about an artist’s role and his self-doubt about his own capabilities, demonstrating how his beliefs revolutionized the ways subsequent artists would see and depict the world. (from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVan Gogh to Kandinsky : symbolist landscape in Europe 1880-1910 / Richard Thomson … [et al.].
A groundbreaking collaboration between the National Galleries of Scotland, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the Finnish National Gallery, this catalogue accompanies the first exhibition dedicated to landscapes by the Symbolists, the innovative movement whose artists took a more imaginative and emotional approach to painting and embraced themes such as music, nationalism, science and modernity. It covers a wide range of artists, from forerunners of symbolism, like Bocklin and Whistler, to Mondrian and Kandinsky, who provided the impulse for major 20th-century movements, such as surrealism and abstraction… (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBanksy : you are an acceptable level of threat and if you were not you would know about it / [compiled and edited by Gary Shove ; words by Patrick Potter].
“The single best collection of photographs of Banksy’s street work. Period. You Are An Acceptable Level of Threat concentrates on this singular artist’s iconic imagery, spanning the late 90s up until NOW. The locations are from around the world (predominantly the UK, US and Europe), and many images have never been seen before. When Banksy started out painting, the political landscape was bleak. Fortunately now, it’s ten times worse. As Banksy’s cheerfully aggressive political work becomes ever more relevant, this comprehensive tome sets about presenting his art in the context of the era he was responding to” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverBrian Grimwood : the man who changed the look of British illustration.
“Celebrated illustrator and artist Brian Grimwood is often referred to as “the man who changed the look of British illustration”. His free and fluid style first characterised the visual culture of the 1960s in iconic images such as those he did for the influential magazine Nova… And as founder (in 1983) and Director of the Central Illustration Agency (CIA), London, Grimwood has also been pivotal in the promotion of the work of a host of illustrators from around the world, including Peter Blake, Jeff Fisher and Alan Aldrige-among the 80 or so illustrators on CIA’s books. With an ‘Introduction’ by Sir Peter Blake, this beautifully illustrated book is the first complete overview of Grimwood’s work, and serves to further reinforce his fundamental contribution to the changing face of illustration since the 1960s – both in Britain and internationally.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk description)

Syndetics book coverGlobal model village : the international street art of Slinkachu.“… Global Model Village collects together the international works of Slinkachu, the London-based artist who as part of his ‘Little People Project’ has been abandoning tiny model people on the mean streets of the world since 2006. Documented through photography, these little dramas of hope and tragedy, loneliness and humour somehow get to the heart of what it means to be human; to be alone among millions of other people, all experiencing the particular melancholy and magic of life in the big city.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk description)

October Art recent picks

Our recent art books include: A classy book on Georgia O’Keefe, a fascinating collection of interviews with artists (find out who has influenced them!), a new look at Andy Warhol, a beautifully illustrated book on the Spanish painter Sorolla, and the very cool graphic art book “Sketchtravel”.

Syndetics book coverGeorgia O’Keeffe and her houses : Ghost Ranch and Abiquiu / Barbara Buhler Lynes and Agapita Judy Lopez.
“Painter Georgia O’Keeffe’s (1887-1986) dominant themes–vast, open spaces and washes of color, skulls, flowers, mountains, sky, “all the earth colors of the painter’s palette”–were inspired by the landscape surrounding her two custom-designed houses in New Mexico (Ghost Ranch and Abiquiu), traditional buildings that were carefully tweaked to bring desert light into spaces for eating, reading, cooking, and painting. O’Keeffe scholar-curators Lynes (Georgia O’Keeffe Museum) and Lopez collect correspondence, architectural plans, photographs, present-day images, portraits of the artist, and reproductions of paintings to illustrate how O’Keeffe’s living spaces influenced her creative life… ” (Publisher Weekly) (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIn my view : personal reflections on art by today’s leading artists / edited by Simon Grant.
“In this splendid tribute to the enduring power of images, art historian Grant, editor of the magazine Tate Etc., gathers the reflections of more than 75 international artists as they contemplate the work of an artist who has inspired and influenced them… This impressive collection reminds us of the power of great art to inspire and change us” (Publisher Weekly) (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRegarding Warhol : sixty artists, fifty years / Mark Rosenthal ; [interviews conducted by] Marla Prather ; [visual archive], Ian Alteveer ; [A timeline], Rebecca Lowery.
“The first full-scale exploration of Andy Warhol’s tremendous reach across several generations of artists who in key ways respond to his groundbreaking work. Includes interviews and visual archive and illustrated chronology that chart the “Warhol effect” over the past 50 years” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSorolla : the masterworks / Blanca Pons-Sorolla..
“A new survey of the best works by the elusive and spectacular Spanish Impressionist Joaquín Sorolla. Often compared to his contemporary, the American artist John Singer Sargent, Joaquín Sorolla (1863–1923) was a master draftsman and painter of landscapes, formal portraits, and monumental, historically themed canvases. Highly influenced by French Impressionism, the Valencian artist was a master plein-air painter known for his luminous seaside scenes of frolicking youths and for vivid depictions of Spanish rural life and its pleasures and customs… With virtually all of the artist’s previous publications now out of print, this much-anticipated volume is an important addition to the literature on this great Spanish master” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverSketchtravel.
“Sketchtravel is an artistic journey unlike any other. No editorial project has ever before brought together as many visual artists around a common object. Passed between 72 artists over 5 years and across over 35,000 miles, the Sketchtravel sketchbook showcases the creativity of artists in numerous disciplines from around the world. Illustrators, animators, painters, and more each illustrated a page with their unique style before passing the book to the next artist. Reflecting a who’s who of popular contemporary artists, this imaginative diverse collection of artwork will inspire art lovers with its scope, diversity, and beauty, much as it did each artist who contributed a link in its chain” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Art recent picks

The impossible museum, and other intriguing new art books for September 2012:

Syndetics book coverArt of the Andes : from Chavín to Inca / Rebecca Stone.
“This wide-ranging survey has established itself as the best single volume introduction to Andean art and architecture, and is an essential guide to pre-Columbian Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia for the general reader, student, traveler, and artist alike. Describing the strikingly varied artistic achievements of the Chavín, Paracas, Moche, Nasca, Chimu, and Inca cultures, among others, Rebecca Stone has rewritten and expanded the text throughout, touching on many of the recent discoveries and advances in the field…” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverThe early Dürer / [Albrecht Dürer] ; edited by Daniel Hess and Thomas Eser ; [translations: Lance Anderson … [et al.]].
“Painter, engraver, designer of woodcuts, and major art theorist, Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) is Germany’s most famous artist. This new study, published in association with the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg, focuses on his early art and the circumstances of the young painter’s life that enabled his unique work. Dürer is resituated in the artistic context of his time, at an exciting crossroad between the imitation of traditional painting and the selfconscious renewal of his profession…”
(adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverGive me tomorrow / Alex Katz ; [texts by Martin Clark … [et al.] ; edited by Martin Clark].
“Born in 1927 in Brooklyn, New York, Alex Katz is one of the most important and respected living American artists. He began exhibiting in the 1950s, at a time when Abstract Expressionism was still the dominant force in American art. Whilst he was heavily influenced by this generation, the work he himself created became a precursor to the Pop Art movement of the 1960s. Katz’s paintings are defined by their flatness of colour and form, their economy of line, and their cool but seductive emotional detachment, evoking an everyday America of easy living, leisure and recreation…” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverThe impossible museum : the best art you’ll never see / Céline Delavaux.
“Spanning centuries and encompassing a variety of masterpieces–from paintings on canvas and cave walls to structures and jewelry–this fascinating compendium of “lost art” takes readers on a historic journey and explores how and why art can disappear from our lives… However they disappeared from view, these works represent significant gaps in art history. Fortunately for us, many exact replicas or studies for these pieces exist, while others were photographed before their destruction. Working with the latest research and documentation, author Céline Delavaux brings each lost piece back to life through illuminating text and helpful illustrations…” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverRoy Lichtenstein : a retrospective / James Rondeau and Sheena Wagstaff ; with contributions by Clare Bell, Yve-Alain Bois, Iria Candela, Harry Cooper, Sara Doris, Chrissie Iles, James Lawrence, and Stephen Little.
“Released in conjunction with a retrospective exhibit, this critical survey presents Roy Lichtenstein as an artist who transcended subject matter in order to create a visual world both culturally prescient and deeply engaged with art history. Although widely regarded as a preeminent Pop artist, Lichtenstein’s work and thematic concerns have received relatively slight critical attention; the nine essays collected here help remedy the situation, with every writer addressing a different mode or period of the artist’s oeuvre… (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.” (Adapted from Publisher Weekly) (Syndetics summary)