LACY SOTO | DATE 12/15/2019
Sunday, December 15 at 3 PM, Artbook @ Hauser & Wirth LA Bookstore, Artbook, Archive Press and Polity Books present dual book launches for 'Glossary of Cognitive Activism' and 'Future Metaphysics.' Warren Neidich and Armen Avanessian will be reading from and in discussion about their new books with a book signing to follow.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 12/11/2019
Featured spreads are from An Atlas of Rare & Familiar Colour, one of the most charming books on our list this season, or any other season. Documenting the Harvard Art Museums' Forbes Pigment Collection, it begins with an epigraph taken from Yoko Ono: "If people want to make war they should make a color war, and paint each others' cities up in the night in pink and greens." Over the course of the next 220 beautifully-designed pages, it catalogues and describes a selection of the 2,500 rare pigments in this world-renowned color collection. Playful yet scholarly texts, outstanding still-life photography, artist quotations and a wonderful glossary make this an essential reference for artists and designers, as well as the perfect gift for anyone with exquisite visual taste.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 12/10/2019
When we received our advance copy of Choupette by Karl Lagerfeld, Steidl's new, deluxe, clothbound edition of Karl Lagerfeld's daily devotional cat portraiture, the entire office erupted, and a kind of zany tug-of-war ensued. If you love cats and/or fashion personalities, you will not be able to put this book down. One of the most influential designers of the last half-century, Lagerfeld, who died last year, took, chose and sequenced the photographs in this ultra-giftable volume himself. His epigraph reads, "You know, personally, I don't even think I'm that famous. Now, Choupette really is famous. She has become the most famous cat in the world. I even get propositioned by pet food companies and things like that, but it's out of the question. I'm commercial. She's not. She's spoiled to death. Obviously."
REILLY DAVIDSON | DATE 12/9/2019
Previously under-the-radar San Francisco-based photographer Michael Jang has an unequivocal knack for capturing something virtually uncapturable in the people, places and things that populate his black-and-white snapshot and portrait photographs. No family member, celebrity, punk or poet is immune. A master of detection-evasion, over the past forty years he has quietly placed himself in both high- and low-profile events and locations and miraculously photographed strange or unique energy with his camera. This hefty, beautifully-produced, clothbound first major monograph from London-based Atelier Éditions highlights five decades of virtually unknown work over 250 pages—sophisticated and surprising coffee table gold. Featured image is "Mother and Daughter in Laundry Room" (1973).
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 12/9/2019
Dreamed up by author, illustrator, designer and cook Tamara Shopsin—whose work is regularly featured in the New Yorker and the New York Times—and available in Black, Blue and Red editions, The Ice Plant's refined, tactile and extremely satisfying 5 Year Diary lets users keep track of the next 60 months of their lives in just a few lines a day. Each page is dated and divided into five sections, so that past entries can be read as new ones are written. Clothbound with a red ribbon bookmark, the 3.5 x 6.5-inch diary can be started on any day of any year. (Leap years included!) At the back, avid readers and travelers will be gratified to discover a book log and a Fuller Dymaxion World Map. We know of some users who have recorded their lives over several volumes of this charming diary, spanning decades. How sweet is that? See more Holiday Gift Suggestions here!
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 12/8/2019
Photo book lovers rejoice! One of Luc Sante's top eight Holiday Gift Photography Books of 2019, Kohei Yoshiyuki's infamous, voyeuristic collection of 1970s nocturnal infrared photographs, The Park, has just come out in a stunning limited edition from Radius Books and Yossi Milo. Published in an edition of 500 signed copies, this deluxe volume comes packaged with a facsimile reproduction of the 1980 Japanese publication Document Koen (Document Park), where Yoshiyuki first collected his infrared photographs of couples engaged in sexual activity in the park at night, knowingly or unknowingly watched by peeping toms. "Infrared can make skin look spectral, which does nothing to diminish the furtive aspect of the entire enterprise," Sante writes. "The pictures share a quality with certain tripwire-activated photos of wildlife after dark: leaping deer under surveillance. The blacks are inky, although there are layers to the darkness; some pictures reward close viewing with murky outlines of yet more peepers farther back. The photos are staggeringly strange."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 12/7/2019
These 2018 Iwan Baan photographs of Amdavad Ni Gufa exhibition space, built for renowned Indian artist Maqbool Fida Husain in 1994 in Ahmedabad, are reproduced from Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People, the most comprehensive monograph ever published on Doshi, winner of the 2018 Pritzker Architecture Prize. Exquisitely designed, this 400-page clothbound hardcover from Vitra Design Museum features 450 color and black-and-white images printed on two different uncoated papers. Newly commissioned photo essays are mixed in with copious, well-edited archival materials, while an assortment of scholarly essays and an interview of the architect by Hans Ulrich Obrist are framed by an illustrated biography and writings by Doshi himself.
LACY SOTO | DATE 12/7/2019
Saturday, December 7 at 3 PM, Artbook @ Hauser & Wirth LA Bookstore and Radius Books present the book launch for 'Lake Lahontan/Lake Bonneville.' Photographer Michael Light will appear in conversation with writers Charles Hood and Leah Ollman, followed by a book signing.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 12/6/2019
Featured photograph—taken by iconic Italian architect, designer, photographer, writer, skier, race car driver and stunt pilot Carlo Mollino—is of Mimì Schiagno (c. 1952-55), the first female race car driver in Italy and one of Mollino's many stand-out paramours. It is reproduced from Silvana's highly anticipated new survey of Mollino's photographs, 1934-1973, a treasure trove collecting 500 reproductions, many of which have never been published before. Read Jason Farago's review and see other New York Times Critics' Picks here!
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 12/5/2019
Featured image is reproduced from Polar Bears, the infectious new book of German vintage photography from Jochen Raiss, the collector behind perennial bestseller Women in Trees. "It is said that in times of climate change, the polar bear is the most popular animal in the world," Norbert Thomma writes. "In the 1920s, people presumably had less sympathy for it, but it was admired for its savage exoticism. It is not known who first came up with the idea of photographs of people posing with polar bears. A successful ad campaign by Steiff, the German manufacturer of stuffed animals, may have provided the inspiration, or maybe it was billboards for a large zoo. Jochen Raiss… considers both theses improbable. He believes some clever photographer at a seaside resort on the Baltic Sea must have been the first to discover polar bears as a business model, had his assistant get into a costume, and take photographs at popular tourist sites, which were then quickly developed by a second assistant." See other Staff Pick Stocking Stuffers here!
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 12/4/2019
Featured images—Ignacio Zuloaga's Portrait of María del Rosario de Silva y Gurtubay, Duchess of Alba, 1921, and a Balenciaga evening gown in taffeta, 1952—are reproduced from Balenciaga and Spanish Painting, the deluxe exhibition catalogue from Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza featuring a variety of special papers, exquisite printing, sewn-in black-and-white booklets of vintage documentary photographs and portraits, newly commissioned photography and a wealth of historical paintings that influenced the master couturier. "Feel," Eloy Martínez de la Pera writes. "Feeling Velázquez, Balenciaga created the most beautiful feminine silhouettes of twentieth-century couture. Feeling El Greco, he used iridescent silk satins, sateens and taffetas draped with the most vibrant colors. Feeling Sánchez Coello and Pantoja de la Cruz, he dyed wool and velvets black, elevating the absence of color to the peak of elegance. Feeling Zurbarán, he designed emblematic volumes with gazar in all his creations and eliminated seams in order to purify a wedding dress to the maximum. Feeling Goya, he rendered a handmade lace embellished by transparency. Feeling Zuloaga, he found pride in 'Spanishness' that emerged in each of his layers, in each of his toiles. Feeling art, he honored art itself, seeking the perfection of a stitch, the legacy of a simple seamstress from Getaria: Martina Eizaguirre, his mother."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 12/2/2019
Featured spread is from Eva Hesse: Oberlin Drawings. An extraordinary 2019 title, this 428-page collection of more than 350 drawings in the collection of the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College is a two-inch-thick brick of a book with creamy, matte paper and exquisite reproductions. "Rather than saying that drawing expresses Hesse's deepest feelings," Briony Fer writes, "maybe we could say that it was a way of articulating her frustration—that is, the shortfall between the wanting and the having, the thwarting and the satisfaction, that is vital to creative life. In this sense the need to draw is—not so simply—the drive to carry on making work. Doing things on paper was not a substitute for doing supposedly more important things like make a painting or a sculpture—but what Hesse did because she was an artist (and not just a doodler)."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 12/2/2019
Monday, December 2 at 6:30 PM, Open House New York and Rizzoli Bookstore present a discussion about 'The Future of Transportation,' the new volume from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill's SOM Thinkers series, with Emma Fitzsimmons, Transit Reporter, 'The New York Times;' Olin McKenzie, Director, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; and Amy Plitt, Editor, 'Curbed NY;' moderated by Henry Grabar, Staff Writer, 'Slate.'
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 12/2/2019
Thursday, December 5 from 12–1PM, Vitra Design Museum and Design Miami/ 2019 present the US launch of 'Atlas of Furniture Design,' the new encyclopedic publication on 200 years of furniture design. Editor Mateo Kries will appear on a panel with Humberto Campana, Eames Demetrios and Libby Sellers, followed by a reception.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 12/1/2019
Featured spread is from Get Out, the complete annotated screenplay by game-changing (and Oscar-winning) filmmaker Jordan Peele, featuring not just copious annotations by Peele himself, but deleted scenes and an essay by noted novelist and scholar Tananarive Due. "So why do Black people love horror so much?" Due asks. "As Get Out shows us explicitly, horror is an excellent mechanism to visualize, confront, and try to overcome racial trauma… 'Get Out is a documentary,' Peele famously tweeted. Like all great art, it's powerful because it's so true."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 11/30/2019
Clément Hurel's 1960 poster for Jean-Luc Godard's A bout de soufflé, aka Breathless, is reproduced from French New Wave: A Revolution in Design, a staff pick Holiday Gift Book for the cinephile in your life. One of two very different posters produced by Hurel for this singular film, it is an exquisite example of photomontage in poster design, according to Alison Elangasinghe's text on the work. Hurel uses a seemingly simple stylistic device—rotating the original photo of Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg kissing, as well as the film's title, by ninety degrees counterclockwise—to great effect. "This twist is jarring and intended: is the couple fighting or loving each other?"
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 11/29/2019
This 1965 poster for Jean-Luc Godard's dystopian sci-fi thriller Alphaville was produced by painter, illustrator, comic and collage artist Andrzej Krajewski for the Polish release of the film. It is reproduced from staff favorite Holiday Gift Book, French New Wave: A Revolution in Design, featuring over 150 posters from more than 20 countries, organized A–Z by designer. "As a mass medium in Poland, the poster was under state censorship yet the individual artist had a remarkable degree of creative freedom," Alison Elangasinghe writes. "The poster as artform flourished in Poland from the mid-1950s onwards. Free of capitalist constraints, images of the stars—usually a big selling point in the West—were subordinated to highly original concepts. This 'Polish poster school' of artists that emerged effectively turned the street into their own gallery. Designs were striking and colorful; often disturbing and surreal; frequently poetic and humorous, with a vitality in stark contrast to the turgid backdrop of the Eastern Bloc."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 11/28/2019
Featured photograph, of Sam and Sam Clark’s grilled quail with date syrup, is reproduced from A House with a Date Palm Will Never Starve, the new date-syrup-centric cookbook compiled by recent Nasher-prize-winner Michael Rakowitz. Though this book certainly has a critical/political component—an Iraqi-American Jew, Rakowitz is known for work that draws attention to issues surrounding cultural heritage, appropriation and the history of postcolonial displacement—it really is what it says it is: a cookbook, and a superb one at that. Other contributors include Yotam Ottolenghi, Alice Waters, Claudia Roden, Reem Kassis, Prue Leith, Jason Hammel, Nuno Mendes, Thomasina Miers, Giorgio Locatelli and Marcus Samuelsson, to name a few. “We never really cook anything the same twice,” the Clarks write. “You are only as ever as good as your last meal, and you have to really expose yourself and put yourself on the line. It is like a new performance each time. This simple quail recipe, adapted from a previous favorite in the restaurant, is improved by using one’s hand to devour it.”
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 11/27/2019
"In the edible—and even in the inedible—there is a joyful possibility of swallowing the world," Emmanuel Guigon writes in Staff Favorite Holiday Gift Book for Food Lovers, Picasso's Kitchen. "Picasso had this taste for the world and for all that is concrete, to the point of biting into it: 'I can no longer bear this miracle, that of knowing nothing of this world and having learned nothing but to love things and eat them alive.' His continual inventions and the euphoria of his imagery bear witness to an insatiable appetite: Picasso enters the arena of the kitchen and commences his great ceremony. As Heraclitus said: 'the gods are in the kitchen.'" Featured image is "The Bottle of Wine" (1926).
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 11/25/2019
If you recognize this cover for the first English-language edition of Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle, you're probably going to want a copy of The Detroit Printing Co-op: The Politics of the Joy of Printing, Danielle Aubert's enlightening new book on the DIY leftist Motor City printing cooperative founded by Fredy Perlman in 1969. Originally active under the name Revolutionary Printing Co-operative, the endeavor was formed to provide typesetting and printing "without censorship or pressure," to provide "a means of subsistence for individuals who refuse to accept the bureaucratic organization of a capitalist enterprise," and "to make available a small stock of means of production to a restless population's growing needs for self-expression." Aubert quotes one of the group's founding statements: "The printing coop is not its own goal. Attempting to survive within the capitalist carcass, its activity is restricted by the laws of capitalist commodity production. But survival within capitalism is not its aim (nor is this activity an efficient way to survive within capitalism). Its aim is to contribute to the junking of the capitalist carcass, and thus of itself as an activity which survived within it."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 11/25/2019
A book so beautiful, so direct and simple, but also so raw, is rare. Love, Icebox: Letters from John Cage to Merce Cunningham is an historic document, as well as a guilty pleasure. Published by the John Cage Trust, with Foreword, Commentary and Afterword by its longtime director and former assistant to Cage, Laura Kuhn, this book is filled with emotional, euphoric, devastated and unguarded love letters from the pioneering composer to his muse and partner, the equally game-changing choreographer. In addition to the letters and Kuhn's invaluable commentary, the book is filled with photographs of the couple's 18th Street loft and objects from their lives–from cookbooks to board games, toys to ornaments, instruments and timepieces. This particular letter, postmarked July 22, 1944, ends with the wistful query, "pardon the intrusion: but when in september will you be back? i would like to measure my breath in relation to the air between us."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 11/24/2019
Featured spread—juxtaposing W.E.B. Du Bois' graph showing the "Proportion of Freemen and Slaves among American Negroes" from 1790 through 1870 with a portrait captioned "Young woman, head and shoulders portrait"—is from Black Lives 1900: W.E.B. Du Bois at the Paris Exposition, a beautifully designed, oversized book of supreme intrinsic power that belongs on every art or American history bookshelf. Combining the photographs and hand-drawn infographics documenting the state and statistics of black lives in America that Du Bois presented at the Paris Exposition of 1900, it contains writing by Jacqueline Francis, Stephen G. Hall, David Adjaye and Henry Louis Gates Jr.. "I find this lush and exquisitely produced book essential to my understanding of a historical event that did much to change my perception of DuBois, and his brilliant expansiveness," Hilton Als writes. "It's marvelous to have this 'lost' material between covers now, and forever."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 11/23/2019
Saturday, November 23 at 2:15, during 'Unwrapped: A Holiday Artist Showcase,' MCA Chicago presents artist and 'A House with a Date Palm Will Never Starve' author Michael Rakowitz and chef Jason Hammel demonstrating a recipe that Hammel contributed to the book. The demonstration will be followed by a book signing.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 11/21/2019
Featured image is reproduced from Peter Berlin: Icon, Artist, Photosexual, the first major monograph on the artist and gay icon whose astonishing body was his medium. In his Introduction, Berlin, aka Armin Baron von Hoyningen-Huene, writes, "From the early days of puberty I was intrigued by the sexiness of boys and since I was one I was excited by my own image. At the beginning, I felt surprised and intimidated by this self-love so I kept it a secret but my passion for revealing clothes, especially tight-fitting pants, seemed to heighten my excitement. Being desired for sex and the lustful look of men in public while cruising became an obsession.…
I did what girls and boys all over the planet do today by the millions, now with their smartphones, turning the lens on themselves to produce self-portraits, which are now called ‘selfies.’ This is the most natural thing for them to do. Though it still surprises me, what began for me in the late 1960s—the nudity, the eros, the raw sexuality—is still considered taboo today.
Back then, my young mind told me to freeze my image on film, first for my own pleasure and later (at the urging of friends) to share with the world. It was that drive to show myself off that produced two films, Nights in Black Leather and That Boy, whose main character required a name. As a result, almost half a century ago, PETER BERLIN was born and lives on through these images."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 11/21/2019
Thursday, November 21 from 6–8 PM, Bookmarc New York presents gay icon Peter Berlin signing 'Icon, Artist, Photosexual,' his new book from Damiani.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 11/20/2019
"Girl with Glass, Paris" (1961–67) is reproduced from Dennis Hopper: In Dreams, a collection of mostly unpublished photographs gathered by Michael Schmelling from a vault that had not been touched since Hopper's painful divorce from actress Brooke Hayward in 1969. "I was trying to forget," Hopper is quoted. "The photographs represented failure to me. A painful parting from [daughter] Marin and Brooke, my art collection, the house that I lived in and the life that I had known for those eight years." Schmelling has created a poetic selection that reads like a dream-memory.
They're cute, they're small, they're surprising and affordable. Here are 15 staff picks for the stockings on your list »
The must-have art books of 2019 »
A few of our favorite 2019 monographs and surveys by Modern and contemporary photographers »
Gifts for design devotees: your guide to the top new architecture and design books for the 2019 holidays »
Whether you love to cook, eat or ponder the politics of food, here are our staff pick food and cooking gift books of 2019 »
Our staff favorite 2019 books on black art and history »
Impress your favorite armchair astronomers with wonderful gift books on the cosmos »
Our staff favorite holiday fashion gift books for 2019 »
Five must-have 2019 reading books for the literature lovers on your list »
Our staff feels love for these top film and music books of 2019 »
Our staff favorite 2019 books on or by LGBTQ artists »
This is a year of escape fantasy for many Americans, and we've got just the right book for every world traveler on your list »
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.
This weekend, the world lost jazz and civil rights champion Nat Hentoff, one of the greatest and most passionate music journalists of all time. In memoriam, we are honored to present Hentoff's eloquently direct text, 'Jazz Festivals and the Changing of America,' from 'Jim Marshall: Jazz Festival' by Reel Art Press.