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EX LIBRIS

Ex Libris: Stacy Wakefield

DATE 5/17/2010

Stacy Wakefield is a member of our extended ARTBOOK & D.A.P. family: she's been designing our twice yearly catalog for almost ten years now. As a graphic designer, she shares her top ten.

1. 5 Year Diary (Iceplant, 2004). I started mine four years ago when I started gardening because I wanted to keep track of what I was planting or fertilizing and who bloomed when. (Though very soon I was writing down dreams and activities and moods and anything else too.) Because I was gardening I was trying to learn to think in a seasonal cycle and let go of the desire for instant gratification. The 5 Year Diary has contributed to that program more than the slow process of propagating flowering shrubs. 


2. Henri Rousseau (Hatje Cantz, 2010) I thought I knew Rousseau’s work but this beautiful book makes it all fresh and exciting. His jungle scenes seem boring now but his weird and wild European landscapes look totally new.

3. Amy Cutler (Hatje Cantz, 2006) I wish the format was bigger and splashier but the book has lots more work than I’ve seen in person. I never get tired of studying her drawings and trying to untangle the stories in them.

4. Dayanita Singh: Sent a Letter (Steidl, 2007). Seven mini fold-out photography books packaged in a box. This is such a cool format for presenting personal work. Everything about looking at it feels intimate, cozy, personal.


5. Lee Friedlander: Photographs Frederick Law Olmstead Landscapes (D.A.P., 2008). Friedlander has lots of great books but this is my favorite. His landscapes are satisfyingly chaotic and rich. The printing, like in all his books, is perfect.


6. Carl Larsson’s Home: A Colorful Tour Through One of Europe’s Most Famous Handcrafted Houses (Addison-Wesley, 1978). Carl Larsson (1853-1919) put as much love into decorating his house as into his paintings. His work often show interiors of his home with his family. But it's not his paintings that move me so much, it’s this classic book from the 70s that tours his house which is now a museum. The interior spaces perfectly express Victorian exuberance getting taken over by the Arts & Crafts Movement as channeled through a creative and goofy Scandinavian homebody. In my house whenever we’re deciding what color to paint a wall we ask What Would Carl do? and consult this tattered old paperback, which my parents bought in the 80s. So as the colors in my house come to resemble the faded, poorly reproduced photos in this old book, I have less and less desire to see the real house in Sundborn, Sweden because I would surely be disappointed.


7. House Proud (Cooper-Hewitt, 2008). Speaking of Victorian interior excess! Like Carl Larsson’s Home, this book celebrates the personal expressiveness of interiors. These interiors seem less individual than Carl’s house, and more eager to show off their conventionality. But the fact that they’re all hand painted in water color gives it just the right element of obsessive weirdness. Also, Victorian wall paper and color choices and furniture are awesome.


8. A Pattern Language, by Christopher Alexander et. al (Oxford University Press, 1977). A bible for understanding every aspect of the human relationship to space. Though meant for architects and planners I don’t think anyone should rent an apartment or put up a shelf without consulting it. It veers from practical advice: "Pattern no. 167: Six-foot Balcony” ("balconies and porches which are less than six feet deep are hardly ever used") to the philosophical: "No. 239: Small Panes” ("when plate glass windows became possible, people thought that they would put us more directly in touch with nature. In fact, they do the opposite.") to the political: "No. 79: Your Own Home” ("People cannot be genuinely comfortable and healthy in a house which is not theirs. All forms of rental … work against the natural processes which allow people to form stable, self-healing communities.").


9. Style: Unique Acquisitions by the Koninklijke Bibliotheek During the Directorship of Wim van Drimmelen (De Buitenkant, 2008). Documents all the books that were purchased for the collection of the Koninlijke Bibliotheek (royal library) in Den Haag during the directorship of Wim van Drimmelen. The books shown include fifteenth-century manuscripts, sample pamphlets from Dutch paper manufacturers and recent artist projects like a work by Irma Boom from 1996. It’s the extremely clean consistent design that makes it such a satisfying piece. I’ve never seen a book about books that worked so well. I even love the dustjacket, and I usually throw them away as soon as I get a hardcover book.


10. Show Dogs: A Photographic Breed Guide by Kate Lacey (Evil Twin, 2010). It's my book! Can I include this? The thing is, the reason it's a book at all is because I adored Kate’s dog portraits so much I convinced her to embark on this crazy project of traveling to dog shows and photographing every breed and making a book with me for fun and practically no profit. So I can’t help it, I love these photos to pieces and the book makes my top ten.

EX LIBRIS: Stacy Wakefield
EX LIBRIS: Stacy Wakefield
EX LIBRIS: Stacy Wakefield
EX LIBRIS: Stacy Wakefield
EX LIBRIS: Stacy Wakefield
EX LIBRIS: Stacy Wakefield
EX LIBRIS: Stacy Wakefield
EX LIBRIS: Stacy Wakefield

Stacy Wakefield's graphic design resume includes stints at Artforum and index magazines, and piles of art books for companies like Vice and Metropolis. She has been producing zines and artists' books under the name Evil Twin Publications since 1994. Evil Twin's most recent release is Show Dogs


Show Dogs: A Photographic Breed Guide

Show Dogs: A Photographic Breed GuideEdited by Stacy Wakefield. Photographs by Kate Lacey. The American Kennel Club recognizes over 160 breeds of dogs in seven categories: Hound, Working, Sporting, Non-sporting, Terrier, Toy and Herding. Thousands of Americans own purebred show dogs, and year round, local kennel clubs host >>more
Evil Twin Publications
ISBN 9780976335535
US $16.95 CAN $20.00 TRADE
Hbk, 6.25 x 9 in. / 112 pgs / 168 color.
Pub Date: 10/31/2010


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