Art Newsletter for November

Escape from the day-to-day routine and delve into our Art’s selection this month. We have books and CDs that will inspire you! We also have an array of databases that you can access for free (with your library card) like Vogue Archive, Oxford Art Online, and the New Zealand Artists Database, and many more.


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… “– (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)

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This month’s splendid selection of new books offers inspiring ideas and tips how to make fabulous Christmas decorations for your home and handmade gifts for your family and friends. A perfect opportunity to experiment with projects featuring contemporary and traditional crafts such as, timeless knitwear designs, beautiful embroidery with beads or encaustic painting using paper as a canvas. And, if you are thinking about turning your hobby into your own successful crafts business, read about the nuts and bolts of business plans and where to find professional support. Enjoy the challenge!

Syndetics book coverLittle Christmas decorations to knit & crochet / Sue Stratford and Val Pierce.“Previously published in the highly successful ‘20 to Make’ series as ‘20 to Make Mini Christmas Knits’ by Sue Stratford and ‘20 to Make Mini Christmas Crochet’ by Val Pierce, this book provides 40 delightful projects (20 knitted and 20 crocheted), with some designs knitted in different colourways to provide ideas and inspiration for how they could be adapted to match your chosen colour scheme or style. There are mini Christmas stockings, holly leaves, reindeer, snowmen, snowflakes, a Christmas fridge magnet, a star, a candy cane, Christmas bells, an angel and much more. Full instructions and materials lists are provided, and each project is simply photographed so that the reader can see the design clearly. There are plenty of ideas for ways of displaying the projects and these mini decorations will appeal to those looking for items they can create quickly, using up ends of yarn.” (Abridged summary from

Syndetics book coverThe twelve knits of Christmas / Fiona Goble.
From a partridge in a pear tree to twelve drummers drumming, Goble brings the popular verse to life as knitters of all skill levels create each of the twelve characters featured in the charming holiday song. The characters make perfect gifts, stocking stuffers, ornaments, or toys for children as you teach them the words to this classic song. (Book Cover)

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Classical Music

You’ll find below our most recent classical music purchases for this month, enjoy!

Cover ImageThe Chopin album. (CD)
“World-renowned pianist Lang Lang turns to the composer who has accompanied him throughout his career on his latest recording, The Chopin Album. The record is entirely devoted to Chopin’s solo piano pieces and includes well known pieces such as “The Minute Waltz” and the “Grande Valse Brillante op. 18 in E-flat major”. The DVD features ‘My Life With Chopin’ which includes 50 minutes of exclusive footage showing Lang Lang’s career from age 12 to today”. (summary from

Cover ImageAs it is. (CD)
“A fresh approach to one of contemporary composition’s most iconoclastic and inventive figures, ‘As It Is’ is issued to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of John Cage. Early Cage is the subject here, strikingly original songs and piano pieces from the 1930s and 1940s. Songs in which Cage set words by writers whose vision was as independent as his own – James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, and e e cummings. They are performed by the Russian pianist Alexei Lubimov – who championed Cage’s work in Russia and later had a close working relationship with him – and his compatriot, vocalist Natalia Pschenitschnikova.
As Paul Griffiths writes, “The music exists in singing that has a raw, living edge, and it exists in piano tone that can be utterly simple and utterly remarkable. There is also a third presence, that of the producer, bringing forward the extraordinary resonances that come from Lubimov’s piano, with preparation or without.” With Manfred Eicher producing, the recording was made in December 2011 in Zürich. Lubimov grasps both the playfulness of the music and its message of freedom.
Lubimov previously included Cage’s In a Landscape on his 2002 debut recording for ECM New Series, Der Bote, a disc of piano elegies. Among his other acclaimed recordings for the label are works by Scriabin, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Schnittke, Arvo Pärt, and Valentin Silvestrov. Earlier this summer his double album of Debussy’s Preludes and other pieces attracted huge praise and was BBC Music Magazine’s ‘Recording of the Month’ in July. Natalia Pschenitschnikova has appeared on two previous ECM discs of Giya Kancheli as a flautist.
Personnel: Alexei Lubimov (piano, prepared piano), Natalia Pschenitschnikova (voice)”. (summary from

Syndetics book coverRobert Schumann : the life and work of a romantic composer / Martin Geck ; translated by Stewart Spencer.
“Robert Schumann (1810-56) is one of the most important and representative composers of the Romantic era. Born in Zwickau, Germany, Schumann began piano instruction at age seven and immediately developed a passion for music. When a permanent injury to his hand prevented him from pursuing a career as a touring concert pianist, he turned his energies and talents to composing, writing hundreds of works for piano and voice, as well as four symphonies and two ballets. Here acclaimed biographer Martin Geck tells the fascinating story of this multifaceted genius, set in the context of the political and social revolutions of his time. The image of Schumann, the man and the artist, that emerges in Geck’s book is complex. Geck shows Schumann to be not only a major composer and music critic-he cofounded and wrote articles for the controversial Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik-but also a political activist, the father of eight children, and an addict of mind-altering drugs. Through hard work and determination bordering on the obsessive, Schumann was able to control his demons and channel the tensions that seethed within him into music that mixes the popular and esoteric, resulting in compositions that require the creative engagement of reader and listener. The more we know about a composer, the more we hear his personality in his music, even if it is above all on the strength of his work that we love and admire him. Martin Geck’s book on Schumann is not just another rehashing of Schumann’s life and works, but an intelligent, personal interpretation of the composer as a musical, literary, and cultural personality.” (summary from

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