CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/30/2020
Before there was Instagram, before there were selfies and iPhones, there was Bernadette Mayer's "emotional science project," Memory. Featured grid—culled from more than 1,100 photographs in all, made over the course of July 1971, one 35mm roll of film per day—is from the sequence shot on July 5. "With this road you didn't need a house," Mayer writes in the accompanying daily text, "everyone set the sun & sense the presence of other people. This is about watching other people, then creating someone for people to watch, understanding the desire to watch other people to understand them or just to watch them, not finding any place to set things down then save this for later & wait. I saw I talked about. The sun set…"
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/28/2020
Featured image is reproduced from Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah: Andy Sweet's Summer Camp 1977, the undisputed Summertime Staff Favorite of 2020. Collecting 109 gloriously addictive photographs made over the summer of 1977, when Sweet was the photography instructor and a counselor at Camp Mountain Lake in North Carolina, this is both the greatest memory trigger a former camper could ever wish for, and a book to help us all get through a summer when most kids will have to stay home. Never have feathered hair, terry cloth, sweat bands and tube socks looked so fresh. These are photographs of kids—and counselors—living the high life, at their happiest and most independent, made by a person who was in love with summer camp himself. "The smell of sunscreen and wood cabins wafts from the pages," Nadja Spiegelman writes in this week's T List Newsletter. "High socks and short shorts, amber sunglasses and halos of curly hair—the nostalgia is for all summers, including this one, the summer we may never have."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/27/2020
Featured image—captioned "Odds and Ends. 'A phone booth is a handy place to make a date'"—is reproduced from Weegee's Naked City, the hot, newly remastered facsimile launching virtually tonight at ICP. It is the subject of Tosh Berman's current video review in a new Youtube series for Artbook | D.A.P. "Weegee is by no means a subtle photographer, or a subtle artist," Berman says. "He's a person who is in your face with his images and that's why he's so powerful… This is not New York as an objective viewpoint; this is Weegee's view of New York City… sort of like a painter painting a portrait of himself… And that's what makes Weegee's Naked City such a unique and beautiful work, of sorts. I use the word 'beautiful' as a very loose term because there are a lot of images of dead bodies, people in fires, lovers in the middle of the night. It's very voyeuristic… The beauty of Weegee is that he had an understanding of his landscape. He knew these people, he understood who they were and what they represented."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/25/2020
Featured image—of Portsmouth Sinfonia member Brian Eno and untrained yet "very dandified" conductor John Farley in the 1970s—is reproduced from The World's Worst: A Guide to the Portsmouth Sinfonia, published by Soberscove Press and launching tonight, Tuesday, May 26, from 8–10 PM CST on Twitch TV! In his new video review series for Artbook | D.A.P., Tosh Berman, calls it "a terrific book" on the infamous amateur orchestra (founded by Gavin Bryars) whose "claim to fame is that no one in the orchestra can play their instruments properly." Berman cites the orchestra's "combination of British eccentricity, Fluxus-like behavior and avant-garde visual arts and music," situating it in not just classical, but punk, avant-garde and noise music traditions. "When we think of the classical world, we think of it always in good taste. Even if we don't listen to it, it's a symbol of taste, good taste, having proper taste." In contrast, the Portsmouth Sinfonia orchestra approached classical music as "a new adventure," Berman states. "This book conveys this new adventure in its highest form."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/24/2020
Julien Roubinet's 2016 photo of Maddie Peterson in Wildwood Crest, NJ, is reproduced from Ice Cream Headaches: Surf Culture in New York & New Jersey, a staff favorite for Memorial Day weekend. Capturing the East Coast surf scene from Montauk to Cape May, this beautifully produced photo book is the first of its kind. "Learning to surf well demands a masochistic impulse to lower the limits of your primal fear of drowning," Ed Thompson writes. "You achieve this only by repeated physically and mentally bruising encounters with nature's power. At the latitudes enjoyed by New York and New Jersey, you also need to be willing to do it in below-freezing air temperatures and 46 degree water." It's not quite that cold this weekend, but still!
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/23/2020
Pictured here is the side view of Marcel Breuer's Stillman House (1953) in its original location, on the top of a dune on Wellfleet's Griffin Island. It is reproduced from Metropolis Books' perennial summer bestseller, Cape Cod Modern: Mid-Century Architecture and Community on the Outer Cape. Authors Peter McMahon and Christine Cipriani write, "Spanning hollows scooped out by glaciers, or dunes confronted by surf, Breuer's Cape Cod houses hover on their stilts like birds in shallow water, knowing they will have to retreat when the tide comes in. The Stillman House has, in fact, been moved twice due to storm-driven erosion, losing in the process its wood stilts and diagonal struts, its entry ramp, bridge, and porch, and its intended relationship with the landscape."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/21/2020
Featured spread, with photograph by Wilhelm von Gloeden, is from Oscar Wilde's Italian Dream 1875–1900, Renato Miracco's account of Wilde's largely previously undocumented grand tour of Italy following his incarceration in Reading Gaol and subsequent exile from England. "Cast out of London, shorn of his respectability and reduced to penury," Philip Kennicott writes in the Introduction, "Wilde wasn’t just an international scandal, he was face to face with the multiplicity of identities that he had, for some time, managed to suppress under the cloak of his provocative aestheticism." Archival photographs, letters and press clippings add heft to this welcome volume of original scholarship.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/18/2020
Featured spreads are reproduced from the gorgeous, foil-stamped first monograph on California sculptor and ceramicist JB Blunk, whose sublime, organic and all-encompassing work is only now getting the recognition it has long deserved. "Artists can ignore borders, ask impolite questions, and reveal unknown connections," Lucy Lippard writes. "As in nature itself, acknowledgement of a vast and invisible tangle of origins is crucial. JB Blunk understood this. His ceramics studies, his training in Japan, his friendships with sculptor Isamu Noguchi and Surrealist Gordon Onslow Ford and, above all, his profound love of place, led him out of the gates from the limited ‘world’ of art to a wide-open field influenced by cultures in which there is no ‘art’ in the contemporary sense, where art and life and spirituality are fully merged."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/15/2020
Featured spreads are from Kyle Meyer: Interwoven, a staff favorite new release from Radius Books and Yossi Milo. Collecting Meyer's astonishing woven photographs of the eSwatini LGBTQ community wearing traditional women's head wraps, this book brilliantly—and necessarily—both conceals his subjects' identities and draws attention to the fact that they do also yearn to be seen. For gay men in eSwatini—where nearly 28 percent of the population is HIV positive or living with AIDS—wearing these headwraps in public is taboo. After Meyer photographs each sitter, he hand-shreds the print and weaves it together with strips of the fabric they wore, "creating a series of larger-than-life portraits that are both flat and dimensional, both digital and handmade," Todd J. Tubutis writes. "This physical duality generates visual contradictions: as objects, they simultaneously veil and reveal, adorn and undress, decorate and strip, confront and retreat. They invite you to look closely, then demand you step back. Your eye is quickly drawn to scrutinize patterns in the fabrics, then it suddenly zooms out to grapple with composition. Just as you begin to discern the sitter’s silhouette, you are startled by their confident return gaze."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/15/2020
Compiled by Chris Reeves and Aaron Walker on the occasion of the publication of 'The World’s Worst: A Guide to the Portsmouth Sinfonia,' published by Soberscove Press.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/15/2020
If you're like us, the time has come–if only for the safe space of the weekend–to GET LOOSE. We're taking inspiration from Dorothy Iannone's emotionally and sexually charged 1969 recipe book, Eva Hesse's searching and searingly honest diaries and the impassioned early love letters of John Cage to Merce Cunningham. Perhaps most importantly, we're breaking free of the stranglehold of "good" musical taste with a gleefully wrong playlist from the editors of 'The World's Worst: A Guide to the Portsmouth Sinfonia.'
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/13/2020
Featured photograph is of artist, musician and pandrogeny pioneer Genesis Breyer P-Orridge with their dog, Musty Dagger, in New York, 2013. It is reproduced from one of our most highly anticipated books of the season, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge: Sacred Intent, a collection of interviews between Breyer P-Orridge and Trapart publisher Carl Abrahamsson conducted from 1986—when P-Orridge was fronting Psychic TV en route from COUM Transmissions and Throbbing Gristle—and 2019, when leukemia accelerated, forcing them to contemplate "a world without Gen in it." These are historic conversations, lending insight into half a century of revolutionary thought, action and spirit. But they are also so warm, intimate and real. In 2013, Abrahamsson asked what made Breyer P-Orridge happy. "Very little since Lady Jaye dropped her body, to be honest," they said, "compared to every minute filled with happiness and love by Jaye," their partner in pandrogeny, who died in 2007. And yet, "Musty Dagger, she makes me happy," they allowed. "We can literally just lie on the bed for hours and play, and she’ll attack the toys and they’ll squeak, and when she grabs one of the squeakers she’ll just do it over and over… It’s nice to have something that’s living to touch. That’s what we miss the most; having someone to hold or touch..." RIP Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, who died on March 14, 2020.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/12/2020
Featured image is reproduced from Hilma af Klint: Visionary, the companion publication to the Guggenheim's definitive exhibition catalog, Paintings for the Future. Featuring 220 color reproductions, this volume takes off from a seminar held at the opening of the Guggenheim show, compiling essays and insights by contributors including Daniel Birnbaum, Julia Voss, Tracey Bashkoff, Isaac Lubelsky, Linda Dalrymple Henderson and Marco Pasi. This is essential reading for anyone interested in the work of one of the most original artists of the twentieth century—a trailblazer of abstraction, spiritualism, and her own brand of feminism, and most certainly a visionary. Stay tuned for more books on af Klint—including a major monograph from Hatje Cantz and a stupendously produced seven-volume catalogue raisonné from Bokförlaget Stolpe—in our forthcoming Fall 2020 catalog!
DANNY KOPEL | DATE 5/12/2020
Artbook | D.A.P. is proud to announce a partnership with DelMonico Books. Formerly an imprint of Prestel, DelMonico Books's frontlist and future titles will now be available through Artbook | D.A.P. effective September 1.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/11/2020
Featured image—a still from Andrey Tarkovsky's first film, Ivan's Childhood (1962)—is reproduced from Life and Work: Film by Film, Stills, Polaroids & Writings, the classic small-format homage compiled and edited by Tarkovsky's son, Andrey Jr. "My discovery of Tarkovsky's first film was like a miracle," Ingmar Bergman wrote in 1986. "Suddenly, I found myself standing at the door of a room the keys of which had, until then, never been given to me. It was a room I had always wanted to enter and where he was moving freely and fully at ease. I felt encouraged and stimulated: someone was expressing what I had always wanted to say without knowing how. Tarkovsky is for me the greatest, the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/8/2020
David Hockney's 1978 "Mother, Bradford. 19 Feb 1978" is reproduced from Drawing from Life, the essential new catalog from National Portrait Gallery, London. Featuring no fewer than 23 portraits of the artist's mother, Laura Hockney, a vegetarian and committed Methodist who always supported her son's desire to be an artist, this book is all about Hockney's muses. He made this extra-compelling drawing on the day of his father's funeral. Curator Sarah Howgate notes the artist's use of sepia ink and reed pen, as Van Gogh had done in his portraits. "Using a minimal line, Hockney conveys the sadness in his mother’s face as she looks directly at her son, as if seeing her husband reflected in him."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/7/2020
Wednesday, May 27, from 7–8 PM, ICP will host 'New York' magazine City Editor Christopher Bonanos via Zoom, celebrating and exploring Weegee’s first publication, 'Naked City,' on the occasion of its 75th anniversary.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/6/2020
Before Warhol and his Superstars, there was British photographer Cecil Beaton and the Bright Young Things—a notorious band of irreverent, glamorous and seemingly carefree artists and aristocrats of 1920s and 30s London that gathered around his delirious orbit, awaiting their moment before his lens. The child of a suburban, middle-class family with aspirations for much, much more, Beaton began by photographing his sisters and his mother in flamboyantly theatrical settings, starting in 1914, eventually becoming the primary society photographer for Vogue and Vanity Fair. Though he ran with arch socialites like Edith Sitwell, Anna May Wong, Oliver Messel and Stephen Tennant, his sisters remained consistent muses throughout his life, climbing, with his assistance, to the upper echelons of the social circuit. Pictured here is his sister "Baba," costumed by Beaton as Heloïse for the Pageant of Great Lovers charity ball, in 1927—just a few short years before World War II would end this brief period of privileged, uninhibited play.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/4/2020
Produced in Carennac, France, in 1971, this colored pencil drawing from David Hockney: Drawing from Life captures Hockney's longtime muse, the London textile designer Celia Birtwell—a friend and confidante since the swinging sixties. "I think the way I draw, the more I know and react to people, the more interesting the drawings will be," Hockney is quoted. "I don’t really like struggling for a likeness. It seems a bit of a waste of effort… If you don’t know the person, you don’t really know if you’ve got a likeness at all."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/4/2020
Phyllis Galembo's Mexico Masks Rituals is one vibrant book. Featured photograph, Family in Maguey Masks (2016), is reproduced from the section on the festival of Corpus Cristi (body of Christ), which takes place during late April or early May, "a time that coincides with the onset of the summer rains," according to essayist George Otis. "In agricultural communities that depend on rainfall, this is one of the most critical times of the year. In ancient Mesoamerica, the peoples' ancestors were deified, and became the objects of rituals and prayers for rain, fertility, health and good fortune. Even 500 years after the Spanish conquest and the Christianization of the population, Mesoamerican beliefs and practices continue to underlie much of popular Catholicism in Mexico."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/2/2020
"I am trying here to say something about the despised, the defeated, the alienated," Dorothea Lange said in 1966. "About death and disaster. About the wounded, the crippled, the helpless, the rootless, the dislocated. About duress and trouble. About finality. About the last ditch." Her 1955–57 photograph, The Defendant, Alameda County Courthouse, California is reproduced from Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures, published to accompany the exhibition on Virtual View at MoMA while we "museum from home." The first major MoMA show of the photographer's work in half a century, Words & Pictures presents Lange's most iconic works for the FSA and the United States government alongside early street photography and lesser-known works like this one, exposing the biases and flaws of the American criminal justice system. Crucially, both the exhibition and this beautifully produced volume emphasize Lange's embrace of written language to enhance and explain her often socially complex photographs.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/1/2020
For many of us, the last two weeks of social distancing have been the hardest. Cooking at home has lost much of its charm, as have the natural look, sweatpants and parenting. So we're breaking away from defensive pragmatism and finding inspiration in the avant-garde (yet DIY-patterned) designs of "America's First Couturier" Charles James; the weirdly interesting hairstyle trends of 70s, 80s and 90s Switzerland; and an energizing 90s playlist from Waltpaper's 'New York: Club Kids' days.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 4/30/2020
"When I first encountered the work of Léon Spilliaert," Luc Tuymans writes in this enlightening new exhibition catalog, "I was enchanted by its awkwardness, its appearance divulging itself as if an apparition. Under blue nocturnal light, his work reveals itself from different vantage points, where objects and people undergo a process of metamorphosis, morphing into ghostlike presences. The perspective stretches to an ultimate vanishing point. Colors emerge from an atmospheric context. Shadows contain and at the same time conceal the image."
Above: "Beech Trunks," 1945. Indian ink, pen and watercolor on paper, 60 x 49 cm. Private collection.
DANNY KOPEL | DATE 4/30/2020
When Swedish artist Hilma af Klint died in 1944 at the age of 81, she left behind a prolific body of work. It remained largely unseen until landmark exhibitions in 2013 and 2018 thrust af Klint onto the world's stage. Predating modernist abstraction, the works were a revelation to many and called for a revision of the art historical narrative. Now a new film, 'Beyond the Visible,' introduces this visionary artist to a wider audience.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 4/29/2020
Rammellzee's "Super Robber" (1985) is reproduced from Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation, published to accompany the highly-anticipated exhibition currently on hiatus at MFA Boston. Featuring work by Jean-Michel Basquiat and 1980s NYC contemporaries including A-One, ERO, Fab 5 Freddy, Futura, Keith Haring, Kool Koor, LA2, Lady Pink, Lee Quiñones, Rammellzee and Toxic, this is a must-have book for any serious contemporary art or pop culture library. J. Faith Almiron writes, “Fearsome and fearless, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Rammellzee commanded the cosmos. Their street politics and poetics awakened the dead—from ancestors dwelling in the Atlantic or the Mississippi River to monks marooned in catacombs. Sons of Thor, they commanded the sea and sky. No Earth needed; as told in African American folklore, they were the people who could fly.”
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 4/27/2020
Jean-Michel Basquiat's "In Italian" (1983) is reproduced from Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation, one of the most vibrant exhibition catalogs of the year, and maybe the decade. An exploration of how hip-hop culture and graffiti electrified the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat and his contemporaries in 1980s New York, "this is the story of the stories that were told, with tremendous urgency and at great peril, when no one seemed to listen or to care what these kids had to say," Carlo McCormick writes in his superb essay. 'It’s about a time, long ago now for even those of us who lived through it, when fantastical urban myths were spun and legends were born. Yes, it’s about the fame of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Fab 5 Freddy’s social fabrics, Futura’s atmospheric attacks, the cult hero Lee, and the equation known as Rammellzee. It’s also about the diverse evolution of graffiti into a radical ornamentation of Gothic Futurism as well as the kind of visual poetics and narrative force unleashed when a relatively few graffiti writers understood they could say so much more than their names. But it is also about the conversation and connectivity that spun a web of intricate social interface and influence within a small but dense creative community over a remarkably short period of time. It’s about how the word was spread and splayed, transmitted, transmuted and transgressed along the way into a wild style of rapid and radical hybridity. If history does rhyme but not repeat, let’s try to imagine how a generation set loose on the dance floor–street corner–playground could suddenly find a shared beat and mutual dialect with the gatekeepers of high art in the 1980s. Individuals may assert their singularity—their individual class, race, identity—but in the density of the city at this moment, they moved together."
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This week, Ridinghouse releases 'The Outwardness of Art: Selected Writings of Adrian Stokes,' the first comprehensive selection of writings by the noted British art theorist known for his synthesis of aesthetics and psychoanalysis. Edited by Thomas Evans, it is the first broad introduction in almost half a century.
We will miss Carolee Schneemann, fearless performance artist, painter, filmmaker, feminist and innate breaker of taboos. She died this week at the age of 79. In memoriam, we present an excerpt from 'Carolee Schneemann: Uncollected Texts,' published by Primary Information.
This week, Lars Müller of Lars Müller Publishers was honored at the 2018 Storefront for Art and Architecture Benefit at the New York Public Library. As the North American distributor of Lars Müller's extraordinary list of books on art, architecture, design and theory, we are ourselves honored to reproduce his acceptance speech here.