MARK PEARSON | DATE 8/3/2016
Our idiosyncratic man on the street reports back from the real world with a list of 10 favorite titles from our Fall 2016 catalogue and beyond.
Bruce Conner Brass Handles
by J&L Books
There is something profoundly inspiring in knowing that Bruce Conner approached his illness at the end of his life with the same inventive fury that exemplified his unparalleled art career. As his mobility became more impaired, he fashioned 163 brass handles throughout his home to aid in getting around, creating something of an art installation devoted to the quotidian. A merry artifact vibrantly documented by Jason Fulford and lovingly packaged by the geniuses at J&L Books.
Clare Rojas: Plain Black by Kavi Gupta
In recent years painter and illustrator Clare Rojas has shucked the figurative and folky that propelled her to prominence for a new obsession: geometric abstraction. And, naturally, she does it with eye-stopping aplomb, evoking the architecture of modernist interiors with a limited palette of oil paint. Here we have the first book to feature these new paintings, a gorgeous bit of shelf candy that is bound to sell out on the quick.
Taryn Simon: Paperwork and the Will of Capital by Hatje Cantz
A new project of elucidative dazzle from brain whip Taryn Simon. Here she taxonomically details the floral arrangements that have served as silent witnesses to historic trade agreements between the countries that became the IMF. Multiple paper stocks, faux leather and scrupulous printing make for this must-have objet d'smart.
Four Generations: The Joyner Giuffrida Collection of Abstract Art by Gregory R. Miller & Co.
Not only have they helped further the careers of multitudes of contemporary African-American and African Diaspora artists, art patron power couple Pamela Joyner and Alfred Giuffrida hold one of the most important and unique private art collections in the world. Sumptuously illustrated with ruminations by a veritable it-list of scholars and curators, Four Generations is the first deep dive into this passionately-accrued, visionary collection.
Wallace Berman: American Aleph by Michael Kohn Gallery
Influential force-of-nature Beat generation Renaissance man Wallace Berman was one of America's first assemblage artists as well as a trailblazing photographer, writer, filmmaker, actor, proto-zine publisher, and designer of jazz album covers. While his indelibility was secured when his face appeared next to Tony Curtis on the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, it's his art that endures. With a focus on his Verifax collages (my favorite of his work), this opulently printed book is the perfect take-home on an American visionary.
Iggy Pop Life Class by Heni Publishing
Surely I don't need to say much here to pique your interest. One day in February, 2016, Iggy Pop stepped into a classroom at the New York Academy of Art, disrobed, and posed for 21 artists. This book details the proceedings and their glorious results with more than 100 drawings depicting Iggy in his rawest of power.
Gerhard Richter: The Overpainted Photographs, A Comprehensive Catalogue by Heni Publishing
While there's much to love in the more-than-six-decade oeuvre of the mighty Gerhard Richter, I've always had a soft spot for his overpainted photographs. Here he playfully daubs and spatters prosaic snapshots in an effort to clear his palette knife, extemporaneously transforming a banal hallway into a sanctuary or a placid landscape into a firefight. At last this beloved series gets the royal treatment in the form of six majestic volumes embraced by a slipcase.
Kati Heck by Hatje Cantz
I just found out about the paintings of Kati Heck and love what I've discovered. If you enjoy the scattershot surreal mind-mizzle of George Grosz or Neo Rauch, this is indeed your bag.
Hokusai’s Lost Manga by MFA Publications, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The term manga as we know it means Japanese comics, but in the 18th and early 19th centuries it referred to a book of varied drawings by a master artist to be admired by the public and studied by budding artists. Hokusai made many revered mangas, but this particular single copy, known as Master Iitsu's Chicken-Rib Picture Book, had been unseen for nearly 200 years until it was recently discovered buried in the archives of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Now, published for the first time, we can witness the delicate dexterity of Japan's legendary draftsman.
Designing Modernism: New Directions at 80 by Hat & Beard Press
Before I knew much about quality literature, I knew how to look for it. To the eyes of a fledgling teenage existentialist, those badass Alvin Lustig-designed covers for New Directions stood out in a used bookshop like a rare truffle beckoning a mushroom freak in the forest. In celebration of New Directions' milestone 80th birthday, the magnificent Hat & Beard Press presents a thunderously delectable illustrated survey on the revolutionary design aesthetic of a publishing world colossus.
Hbk, 10.25 x 13.5 in. / 200 pgs / 1,006 color.