CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 7/5/2020
Featured spreads are reproduced from the undisputed bookseller favorite of Spring 2020, John Cage: A Mycological Foray—Variations on Mushrooms, releasing today from Atelier Éditions. "I have come to the conclusion that much can be learned about music by devoting oneself to the mushroom," Cage writes in Music Lovers' Field Companion, reproduced in the book alongside other writings and a wealth of mushroom-themed compositions by Cage, photographs, illustrations, ephemera and a second volume reproducing Cage’s 1972 portfolio, Mushroom Book. "For this purpose, I have recently moved to the country," Cage continues. "Much of my time is spent poring over 'field companions' on fungi. These I obtain at half price in second-hand bookshops, which later are in some rare cases next door to shops selling dog-eared sheets of music, such an occurrence being greeted by me as irrefutable evidence that I am on the right track. The winter for mushrooms, as for music, is a most sorry season. Only in caves and houses where matters of temperature and humidity, and in concert halls where matters of trusteeship and box office are under constant surveillance, do the vulgar and accepted forms thrive. American commercialism has brought about a grand deterioration of the Psalliota campestris, affecting through exports even the European market. As a demanding gourmet sees but does not purchase the marketed mushroom, so a lively musician reads from time to time the announcements of concerts and stays quietly at home…"
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 7/4/2020
“That crazy feeling in America when the sun is hot on the streets and music comes out of the jukebox or from a nearby funeral, that’s what Robert Frank has captured in tremendous photographs taken as he traveled on the road around practically forty-eight states in an old used car (on Guggenheim Fellowship) and with the agility, mystery, genius, sadness and strange secrecy of a shadow photographed scenes that have never been seen before on film. For this he will definitely be hailed as a great artist in his field… Robert Frank, Swiss, unobtrusive, nice, with that little camera that he raises and snaps with one hand he sucked a sad poem right out of America onto film, taking rank among the tragic poets of the world. To Robert Frank I now give this message: You got eyes.” —Jack Kerouac, The Americans.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 7/3/2020
"Untitled" (2017) is reproduced from Stanley Whitney: Afternoon Paintings, Lisson Gallery's new collection of the artist's small paintings made late in the day with the paint left over from his larger canvases. Essayist Lynne Tillman writes, "Whitney tells me after working carefully crafting big pieces, he likes to paint smaller ones, because, at the end of the day, 'I’m more relaxed, more loose, more carefree, and I’m kind of tired, too.' Seriously, I had never heard an artist say he works when he’s tired. I ask why, when tired: 'Because after working so hard and being serious, after struggling with is it right or is it wrong, I feel I open up, then I can see what happens, not putting pressure on myself.' Also, he explains, the shifts in size allow him 'to think differently. And to move differently.' I think about how in writing size shapes it too—a long work compared with a short one, duration and concision. These different exigencies do make artists think differently. Scale must always be considered, it makes its own demands."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 7/1/2020
Celebrated American graphic designer Milton Glaser produced "Dylan," one of the most iconic posters of the twentieth century, for Capitol Records in 1966. Reproduced from the chapter Overwhelm the Eye, featuring other psychedelic-era designers like Bonnie MacLean, Wes Wilson and Victor Moscoso, it is one of 150 exquisite examples selected by Ellen Lupton for the Cooper-Hewitt's 2015 exhibition on How Posters Work. Lupton writes, "This is not a book about posters. It is a book about how designers see. The works assembled here show how dozens of different designers—from prominent pioneers to little-known makers—have mobilized principles of composition, perception and rhetoric. Each poster enacts ways of thinking and making, and each poster wants to be seen. How do we look at graphic design, and how, in turn, does graphic design look back at us?"
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 6/30/2020
Artbook | D.A.P. is proud to announce our new YouTube Channel featuring Book Trailers from our publishers, Book Reviews by our West Coast correspondent Tosh Berman, and Flip-Through Videos from our in-house team that let you experience the material qualities of the books wherever you are. Watch an ever-evolving list of videos on this page via these three master playlists, or choose individual videos from the categories of Gift Picks, Art, Photography, Architecture & Design, Exhibition Catalogs, Music & Film, Fashion and Graphic Design.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 6/26/2020
Featured image is reproduced from Mechanical Fantasy Box, a Staff Pick for Pride Weekend 2020. Collecting electronic dance music legend Patrick Cowley's homoerotic journal entries, 1974–1980 (he died of AIDS-related illness in 1982), this volume can be seen as an historic document, offering an unfiltered glimpse into San Francisco's hardcore gay disco scene in its heyday. Cowley's entry for June 26, 1977 reads:
"A red letter day. The Gay Rights parade, Christopher St. A day of total ecstasy & celebration with complete men & women. The faces that go with the images in these pages passed before me filled with the spirit of our basic need. My family from the Citoi had me Brazilian hips between the bubble machines and Robert & I beaming our beauty and love overflowing into the streets and finally to the source the sun the sun the sun & my arms & hands outstretched in
communion & worship. The revelation of a martyr. Search the mere facts of his path to sainthood.
LIVING IN THIS BRAND NEW WORLD
MAY BE A FANTASY
BUT IT’S TAUGHT ME TO LOVE
AND THAT’S REAL
REAL TO ME."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 6/25/2020
"Self Portrait—Distortion" (c. 1930) is reproduced from Fundacíon Mapfre's beautiful new duotone-printed Berenice Abbott monograph, Portraits of Modernity. Collecting Abbott's portraits of the most exciting, provocative and often gender-bending intellectuals of her time, her fearless photographs of all corners of 1930s New York and her documentation of scientific phenomena, including experiments with plants, gears, lenses, pendula, magnets and more, this 264-page clothbound volume is the perfect overview. It's also a glimpse into the pioneering spirit of the early twentieth century avant-garde and its gender-defiant underground.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 6/19/2020
"Some Bright Morning" (1963) is reproduced from Melvin Edwards: Lynch Fragments, a 50-year retrospective of the artist's riveting, politically-charged steel sculptures. "Edwards’ personal memories and biography, stemming from his growing up in the highly racist and segregated United States, are part and parcel with the collective stories surrounding that cultural environment in the mid-20th century," Rodrigo Moura writes. "Shovels, axes, rakes, and horseshoes evoke the rural context of the U.S. South, where the artist’s ancestors settled and where he spent part of his childhood, at his grandmother’s house in the Fifth Ward of Houston, Texas, a community of African descendants and Latino immigrants. The relationships between body and machine are present through the use of structures resembling gears that also suggest an intricate relationship between the individual and society. The artist is the subject of memories that relate to a broad historical panel of cultural exchanges and power relations involving the peoples of Africa, America and Europe. The notion of fragment is fundamental: the sculptures are pieces of life and shards of history."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 6/19/2020
Featured image is one of 70 photographs documenting Art Is…, the 1983 performance staged by Lorraine O’Grady (aka Mademoiselle Bourgeoisie Noire) as part of the Harlem African American Day Parade. The piece was inspired by a friend’s comment, “avant-garde art doesn’t have anything to do with Black people.” Mademoiselle’s response, according to Soul of a Nation curator Zoé Whitley, was to hire 15 dancers to carry gold frames, "disembarking from the float to interact with the crowd. The performance lasted for eight hours. As the float traversed the several miles-long parade route, the parade announcer mocked, ‘They tell me this is art… I don’t understand that stuff.’ But some members of the crowd responded enthusiastically, ‘Frame me! Frame me! Make me art!’ And ‘That’s right. That’s what art is; we’re the art!’”
REILLY DAVIDSON | DATE 6/17/2020
Published to accompany a landmark larger survey at London’s Hayward Gallery,
this book of photographs from French-Algerian artist and activist Kader Attia celebrates Paris’ Algerian transgender community of the late 1990s. Throughout 140 intimate and enlightening photographs, Attia’s lens avoids objectification in favor of an honest portrayal of his subjects’ lives. Documenting moments of sadness, passion and chaos as he follows their narratives from home to street to club, he represents the unrepresented with a remarkable sensitivity that is also reflected in the essays. As noted by essayist Tarek El-Ariss, “These photographs go beyond the colonial past and its indelible traces. In these images, tears of abandonment and betrayal mix with tears of joy and too much laughter. Tears shed over Arcadia Voladkar’s ‘last man,’ who drowned off the coast of Beirut, or over the stories about how clumsy and dull the last man was—these draw new paths that the make-up sometimes covers, and sometimes accentuates.”
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 6/15/2020
Zanele Muholi's "Phila I, Parktown" (2016) is reproduced from Kiss My Genders, the Hayward Gallery's critically-acclaimed exploration of—and challenge to—traditional gender categories. For Muholi, photography is "a space for people to be visible, respected and recognized." In the Somnyama Ngonyama: Hail the Dark Lioness self-portrait series from which this work is drawn (2012–present), Muholi uses everyday, domestic materials—including rubber gloves, clothes pegs and scouring pads—to craft elaborate costumes or backdrops that hold deep psychological importance. "Muholi has deliberately altered the contrast of these black-and-white images in order to enhance the dark tones," Lucy Biddle writes. "Speaking of this series, Muholi has said: 'I'm reclaiming my blackness, which I feel is continuously performed by the privileged other.'"
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 6/14/2020
Featured image is reproduced from Alvin Baltrop: The Piers, collecting the former-sailor-turned-taxi-driver's photographs of the notorious, anonymous NYC cruising spot made 1975–86. Baltrop’s photographs of the piers are "an important, gripping, poignant and often raw series, sitting historically between the Stonewall Riots and the emergence of AIDS in the gay community, and showing a scene long since vanished from New York City," editors James Reid and Tom Watt write in the Introduction. "The images, while sometimes loose and grainy, contain unsettling, powerful scenes—lone figures disappearing into dark spaces, bodies half-glimpsed through windows and doorways, candid male nudes, and clandestine, hardcore sex in mangled metal; and also the darker side of pier life—arson, crime, and death. Ironically it was the powerful content of his photographs which put off most galleries from showing Baltrop’s work during his lifetime, meaning he remained on the fringes of the photographic world until his death, and his images were virtually unseen…"
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 6/12/2020
"Racquel Reclining Wearing Purple Jumpsuit" (2015) is reproduced from Mickalene Thomas: I Can’t See You Without Me, published by the Wexner Center. Essayst Nicole R. Fleetwood writes, "Thomas's reclining nudes and their interior staging are acts of world making—the origins of a universe—through the oeuvre of a black female artist and centered on black women's erotic exchanges, fantasies and performative identification… As Thomas's art so adroitly reminds us, every rehearsal and reimagining of black female erotic identification is a practice of purposeful becoming."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 6/11/2020
"Dr. Blowfin’s Black Storm" (2014) is reproduced from Accidental Records, a concise but powerful artist's book by Ellen Gallagher that doubles as the catalogue to her recent exhibition at Hauser & Wirth, Los Angeles, where she presented new works dealing with the history of the four-century triangular slave trade known as the Middle Passage. "Whether through her playful photomontages, or glistening veneered black paintings, or chromatic Sea Bed paintings (featured here), Ellen Gallagher provides vectors to consider the ways in which abstraction, Orientalist genre painting, and desire converge as portraits of historical, social and personal imaginaries," Adrienne Edwards writes. "Her speculative approach sieves a broad range of seemingly incommensurable references as concrete fragments that we cannot easily trace or fully comprehend, but nevertheless, must. She engages the paradoxes she sets up and upon which she depends through a mode of archaeological extraction of history and matter. In her artworks, Gallagher relies upon what she has described as a 'jitter,' a mode of becoming in which radical aesthetic possibilities emerge from seismic cracks in the surface of things; connoting unsteady movement, unreliability, impossible alignments, blind spots and opacity as a means of escape and flight."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 6/8/2020
Featured image is from Gordon Parks: Muhammad Ali, the extraordinary new monograph from Steidl, the Gordon Parks Foundation and Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, featuring iconic and previously unpublished photographs from a 1966 Life magazine photo essay and more. "When Gordon Parks photographed and profiled Muhammad Ali for Life magazine in 1966, and then photographed him again in 1970, in some ways he might just as easily have been making self-portraits and writing about himself," fellow sports and civil rights hero Kareem Abdul-Jabbar writes in his Introduction. "Both men were tenacious fighters. Both men bore the scars of lifelong racism. Both men were internationally acclaimed, yet both were more devoted to speaking out for social justice than seeking out personal success. And though both were celebrated for their nonverbal art—Ali's balletic boxing and Gordon's poignant photography—what truly bound them together was their powerful use of words, specifically poetry, to express their optimism for the promise of America—and frustration with the reality. And, more important, to inspire positive change."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 6/5/2020
Titled "We Here Aunt Emmy Got Us Now," this 2010 quilt is reproduced from Faith Ringgold, a recent survey of paintings, political posters, tankas and story quilts published on the occasion of the artist's 2019 exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery—astonishingly, her first exhibition ever in a European institution. For Ringgold, "the political is personal and the personal is political," Hans Ulrich Obrist writes. In addition to an interview with Obrist, this book includes an essay by the artist’s daughter, Michelle Wallace.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 6/3/2020
“I feel it is my moral obligation as a black artist to try to graphically document what I feel socially,” David Hammons said in 1969, one year before he made this haunting double self-portrait. Titled “Black First, America Second” (1970), this body print and silkscreen on paper presents one version of the self that “clings to the stars of the national flag,” according to Soul of a Nation originating curators Mark Godfrey and Zoé Whitley, “while the other self appears almost painfully cleaved by its stripes… [It] is an image both timely and resolutely of its time.” This work and 235 others are featured in Soul of a Nation, the exhibition catalog of the decade and a timely reminder of the power of art in an age of Black Power.
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."
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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.