CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 8/1/2016
Bev Morgan's vintage snapshot of Californians Wendy Wagner and Tom Carlin on a drive around Kaena Point on the westernmost tip of Oahu, Hawaii, is reproduced from T. Adler's classic California Surfing and Climbing in the Fifties, one of our perennial summertime favorites. The caption? "A shortcut to the North Shore from the West side, the track along the jagged rocks got hairy in spots."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 7/31/2016
Featured images are reproduced Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction, Christopher Rawlins' best-selling book on the work of the recently rediscovered midcentury architect whose vacation homes on Fires Island were so perfectly tuned to the liberated gay culture of the 1960s and 70s. "He pursued the mysteries of light, shadow and space as a poet might," Alastair Gordon writes in his Foreword. "And he would continue to struggle with light, shadow and space—practically and metaphorically—throughout his sadly truncated career. The more lyrical side of Gifford's character might have been lost in the glare of a gratuitous exhibitionism, but Rawlins made every effort to seek out the private and vulnerable man through correspondence and interviews, giving us a more human view of this architect and his considerable achievement." For news about Christopher Rawlins’ new non-profit celebrating the mid-century architecture of the Pines, visit www.PinesModern.org.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 7/29/2016
Featured images, of the interior of architect Horace Gifford's 1964 Kauth House, are reproduced from Fire Island Modernist, Christopher Rawlins' classic study of Gifford's deliberately seductive, experimental beach architecture of the Stonewall era. "Gifford carved his first conversation pit into the living area, sheltered by an encircling clerestory that directed dramatic shafts of eastern and western light into the space. A painterly arrangement of windows prioritized water views, while covered porches introduced a new degree of enclosure to the mix. A refined effort, the Kauth House was a revealing prelude to the creative ferment that 1965 would bring." For news about Christopher Rawlins’ new non-profit celebrating the mid-century architecture of the Pines, visit www.PinesModern.org.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 7/28/2016
This mid-60s photograph of Braniff International Airlines flight attendants modeling Emilio Pucci-designed uniforms conceived to fit with Alexander Girard's complete airline redesign is reproduced from Alexander Girard: A Designer's Universe, Vitra's definitive survey of the great mid-century architect, designer, collector and textile artist. More than 500 exquisitely designed and printed pages, illustrated throughout, drawn from the vast holdings of Girard's estate.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 7/27/2016
Alexander Girard's interior for Miller House (1953-57, in collaboration with architect Eero Saarinen and landscape architect Dan Kiley) remains, to this day, one of the most iconic, original and significant examples of exuberant mid-century American Modernism. Pictured here is the living area with conversation pit and storage wall. It is reproduced from one of our favorite design monographs of the decade, Vitra Design Museum's 512-page bombshell, Alexander Girard: A Designer's Universe. This would be the last place Elizabeth G. Miller's mother, Xenia, would live. "She had to have a change all the time. That was her basic premise: if you are going to do a house for me it has to change. That meant everything from slipcovers for the pit to items in the storage wall, to flowers and artwork. Mother couldn’t have things be static." Read more...
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 7/26/2016
In 2006, Mary Heilmann described her arrival in New York in the late 1960s. "I—who had been a traditional sculptor at school, doing welded steel, bronze casting, and ceramics—immediately switched. I started leaning shapes of plywood against the wall, and fabricating roughly out of fiberglass. When I got to New York and couldn't get any attention for that sort of thing as sculpture, I segued over to a freeform, unstretched kind of painting work… So even though I looked askance at the culture of painting, I chose it as a practice in order to have arguments with people like Robert Smithson." Primalon Ballroom (2002) and this quotation from Lydia Yee's essay are reproduced from Whitechapel Gallery's excellent new monograph, Mary Heilmann: Looking at Pictures.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 7/26/2016
"One is always in a rush, driven by current events," Hannah Höch wrote in 1951. "By one's own drive to create, that vegetated for so long, suppressed, and now is impossible to control." Featured image is reproduced from Hannah Höch: Life Portrait, The Green Box's wonderful new book presenting 38 details of Höch's final large-scale collage. At top, center, this detail appropriates a portion of a 1930 photomontage of "a reverse rhinoceros that looks like a deformed elephant" which Höch created to explore "the oppressive political situation with the increasing threat of the Nazis. Do they attack the seal, or does the seal represent a positive counterpart?"
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 7/25/2016
How we love Looking at Pictures, the beautiful, generous, and yet not overdone new Mary Heilmann monograph from Whitechapel Gallery. In addition to paintings, the book reproduces works on paper, ceramics and furniture. "It is kind of a philosophical idea, a truth, that any object of art is really made out of all the other objects of art that come before it and at the same time," Heilmann is quoted in Iwona Blazwick's Introduction. "She uses the logic of geometry, plane and seriality to express the organic, the subjective and the lyrical. Geometric abstraction in Heilmann's hands, acts as a membrane with which to capture the spirit of an age."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 7/25/2016
What a treat we have in Life Portrait, The Green Box's small but certain new "collaged autobiography" of Berlin Dadaist and photomonteur Hannah Höch. Presenting 38 details of Höch's last and largest collage—finished in 1973, just five years before her death at the age of 83—the book allows the reader to zoom in, just as one would before the fascinating, revealing and yet still enigmatic finished artwork. Enlightening texts and perfectly chosen quotations accompany each detail. Alongside this image, we learn that Höch's gaze is doubled by the portrait of her cat, Panther, for example. "The small-format scene shows Höch with the photographer Armin Orgel-Köhne, who created the photographic material for Life Portrait together with Lisolotte Orgel-Köhne." Meta.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 7/24/2016
Join ARTBOOK @ Swiss Institute on Sunday, July 24, from 12-6PM for a major book sale on the Swiss Institute's final day of exhibitions at the Wooster Street location. All trade titles in the store will be 30% off, including classic titles, exhibition catalogues, cookbooks, kids' books and critical theory titles.
In celebration of the retrospective currently on view at LACMA, we present an excerpt of Agnes Martin's iconic 1989 essay, reproduced from 'Agnes Martin.' In the 'New York Times Book Review' Patricia Albers made special note of this text, asserting that it is "not to be missed."
Last week, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Metropolis Books launched the SOM THINKERS series with 'The Future of the Skyscraper,' featuring texts by Bruce Sterling, Tom Vanderbilt, Matthew Yglesias, Diana Lind, Will Self, Emily Badger, Dickson Despommier and Philip Nobel, whose Introduction is excerpted here.
Lisa Pearson of Siglio writes on publishing as "An act of resistance to the literal, the authoritarian and the facile... and as a testament to the 'book' as refuge, dissent, beacon, and nexus."
This week, Beyond Shelter author Marie Aquilino initiates a regular column for Metropolis Books, reporting on her work with the Montesinos Foundation in Titanyen, Haiti.
"Paging through a book is like closing a door behind you that simultaneously opens another onto a new room -- all the while keeping the previous room available, just behind the now-closed door of the turned page. Here I am in the hallway of the introduction..." -- excerpt from Sharon Helgason Gallagher's remarks at the New York Public Library panel discussion The Future of the Art Book