CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/19/2020
Featured spreads are from photographer Michael Turek's new book, Siberia. Made over three years, the first of which was spent traveling the region with The Lost Pianos of Siberia author Sophy Roberts, the photographs in this collection side-step the clichés of simply being "cold, cruel, impenetrable, abandoned, scored with desperate romance and ill-fated rebellions," she writes. Turek avoids forming conclusions, allowing for photographs that are "totally without pretension. They linger on the pause between words, the silence of a snowstorm and the stillness between trees… Turek’s images create the space for us to question our fixed assumptions about what Siberia is and isn’t, was and wasn’t, then and now. Above all, his work reflects an elusive region with accuracy and profound sensitivity." She concludes, "I was there for nearly every step of Turek’s journey. His Siberia is not always the same Siberia I saw—but the broad themes are shared: the dark and light, surprise and predictability, savage nature and intimate domesticity."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/17/2020
Featured drawing is reproduced from Poor Richard by Philip Guston, the artist's legendary political satire of the second most egregious President in recent American history. For anyone looking for a graphically absorbing diversion from today's overwhelmingly confusing election politics, this book is perfection. "Nixon critics tend to associate his name not just with lying and abuse of power," Sebastian Smee writes in the Washington Post, "but also with maudlin sentimentalism and elaborate excuse-making. A half-century later, as we approach the end of the first term of a president who, for many people, has taken these same characteristics to a new and rarefied level, Guston’s Nixon drawings look freshly relevant."
LACY SOTO | DATE 9/16/2020
Wednesday, September 23 at 7PM EST, join Artbook @ MoMAPS1 Bookstore and Bad Dimension Press for an online book launch, discussion, and signing with artist Peter Saul, who will be in conversation with Aaron Curry and Dan Nadel, discussing his new book 'Peter Saul: Professional Artist Correspondence, 1945–1976.' This event is free with registration. Order your signed copy today!
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/15/2020
Featured spreads are from KAWS: He Eats Alone, the highly-anticipated new release from Silvana and Qatar Museums. Featuring deluxe papers, dozens of gatefolds and iconic printed paper edges, this beautifully printed clothbound volume also features a stellar essay by the authoritative art historian and curator, Germano Celant. KAWS's figures, Celant writes, "are inflected in the world through a system of global communication and distribution. They are delicate, original forms that joyously graft onto one another in every earthly context. They bear witness to the cosmopolitan spirit of an art 'without place,' that is able to convey an imaginary universe always aware of having to negotiate its presence with the already existing market of signs. This is an acknowledgment of the iconic materials in circulation that have led us to a nomadic, and now virtual, culture. KAWS crystallizes a lot of them, uprooting them from their mass profitability and, through their individuality, making them alternative, in keeping with a human perspective connected to the feelings of suffering and pain, boredom and sadness, which enable us to resist mass flattening and annihilation."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/14/2020
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. It accompanies the newly opened exhibition of Doshi's work at the Chicago architecture exhibition space, Wrightwood 659. 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. In a text about Amdavad Ni Gufa, Doshi describes an event that took place when the building was consecrated. "The tribals who had worked to construct it were so deeply affected by the technique of construction, the forms of the building, and the way changes could be made naturally, that they felt they were living their own ancient ritual of Pithora Bava (a form of ritual painting). So what they did was to perform a dance following a puja (prayer ritual) and the sprinkling of sacred colors. These nocturnal rituals lasted for nine days. But on the first day, after hearing the chant of Sheshanaga (the thousand-headed cobra that is Lord Vishnu's resting place), Husain suddenly stood up and, holding a long brush, climbed up on the domes, where he feverishly painted a cobra connecting the two large rotundas. He then asked me to get this cobra glazed in black mosaic. On the ninth day, the tribals declared that prana, the breath of life from Pithora Bava, had now entered the Gufa. The Gufa has now become a place celebrating the first ever collaborative acts of painting and architecture."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/12/2020
Featured spread is from Alison Saar: Of Aether and Earthe, published to accompany an upcoming exhibition at the Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College. The title Of Aether and Earthe suggests transformation of elemental properties, Rebecca McGrew writes, "with aether representing the spiritual and non-material, and earthe—in the archaic spelling—suggesting a rootedness in physical materials. The words have esoteric, alchemical connotations that stem from ancient and medieval science. Aether represented the fifth element—a cosmic essence that exists in and around the other elements of earth, water, air and fire. Aether was thought to be the source of the philosopher's stone, and scientists believed it was the material through which light moved."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/11/2020
Featured photograph is reproduced from Necessary Fictions, Debi Cornwall's new book investigating American military bases where role-players enact highly realistic training exercises in a fictional country called “Atropia.” Cornwall tells the following story. "In the years after September 11, an American friend of mine traveled for the first time to a Muslim country. Malaysia, maybe. Or Indonesia. He was awakened by the early-morning azan as muezzins around the city lifted their voices to call the faithful to prayer. It terrified him, he confided.
For all the mosques in the 'ville, I have never heard a call to prayer here. Five times a day, action does not stop. The faithful do not gather, wash, place their shoes outside, and kneel side by side to pray.
On my last rotation I encounter a fellow civilian, carrying a radio and a notepad. A consultant, he says. His job is to report back on how the scenarios play out, how realistic they are, where there is room for improvement.
'If the 'ville is a stand-in for Afghanistan or Iraq,' I ask, 'why no call to prayer?' 'Interesting,' he replies, nodding. 'That's a good idea.'"
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/11/2020
"Insurgent" is reproduced from Necessary Fictions, Debi Cornwall's new book of conceptual documentary photographs related to highly realistic role-playing exercises at American military training camps. A book that is provocative and fascinating in the revelatory strangeness of its subject alone, like all Radius books this is also a beautiful piece of photobook publishing, featuring copious supporting primary text materials, several deluxe papers, exquisite printing, a bound-in booklet containing transcript from a 2009 training exercise gone awry, and an envelope containing studio portraits of soldiers dressed for their roles as injured or deceased combatants. We learn that contemporary combat training includes not only exposure to "the visual stimulation of MST prosthetics," but scent oils that "simulate scents in the most unpleasant of scenarios." These include Decaying Flesh, Dead Body, Feces, Gunpowder, Burnt Flesh, Vomit, Urine and Car Bomb. Islamic prayer beads for Ramadan are sourced; authentic meals are cooked by Iraqi role-players; realistic remains are identified. "Cornwall's photographs demonstrate the paradox of this fictional mode," Makeda Best writes: "the photographs are not 'authentic' documents, but they are documents. They are documents of the fictions of this ongoing conflict and the fiction of photography as something that could tell us the truth about war."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/10/2020
Featured spreads are from Kyle Meyer: Interwoven, a 2020 staff favorite 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 9/9/2020
"At Magic City" (c. 1932) is reproduced from Fondacion Mapfre's superlative 368-page Brassaï survey, published to accompany a recent show at SFMOMA. "I was eager to penetrate this other world," Brassaï is quoted, "this fringe world, the secret, sinister world of mobsters, outcasts, toughs, pimps, whores, addicts, inverts. Rightly or wrongly, I felt at the time that this underground world represented Paris at its least cosmopolitan, its most alive, its most authentic, that in these colorful faces of its underworld there had been preserved from age to age, almost without alteration, the folklore of its most remote past."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/8/2020
Paul Mpagi Sepuya's "Darkroom Mirror Study (0X5A1531)" (2017) is reproduced from Young, Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists, our best-selling new release this month. The artist writes: "The suggestive and overlapping meanings in the term darkroom—both the historical origin of the photographer’s craft as well as the privileged yet marginalized site of queer and colored sexuality and socialization—lie at the center of this body of work… Within my photographs, I inhabit the obscuring fabric, or as my stand-in, a reflected glimpse of the camera or tripod. My hands touch, manipulate, and adjust. I move from in front of the camera, to behind it, to reflected in the mirror. In 'Darkroom Mirror Study (0X5A1531)', the cloth, my body, and the black figure of the camera tripod throw into relief the latent bodily accumulations on the mirror’s surface. I inhabit an ambiguous place within these images. My role as photographer is one of negotiation—oscillating between the precision of the photographic apparatus and the loss of rationality within erotic excess."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/7/2020
The end of summer is always bittersweet. Especially now, with so much up in the air. Sunsets come earlier, mornings are cooler, and all of the questions you've been dreading—about school, and work, and real life—such as it is—loom. We’re holding on to these last dreamy, end-in-sight days with Daniel Heidkamp’s time-stopping paintings from Landscape Painting Now. Featured image, from the chapter on Post-Pop Landscapes, is “Red Veranda” (2017).
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/4/2020
Congratulations Siglio Press, publisher of Bernadette Mayer: Memory, extensively reviewed in this week's New Yorker, where Dan Chiasson calls the book "a new and beautiful embodiment" of Mayer's 1971 conceptual project that "speaks uncannily to our particular time." We are so moved by this searching, prescient, open-ended book, which Chiasson describes elegantly. "Nostalgia—for the carnal, improvised mood of 1971, but also for the halcyon days of, say, last summer, before we were afraid of communal life—has become the work’s dominant key. Yet Memory, also seems ahead of its time: a database of half-captured meals, barns, bodies—a kind of analog Internet. The visual images are underexposed, overexposed, and double-exposed. Objects are edged half into or half out of the frame; scenes are never complete. The text propels you past tantalizing sights and experiences. It’s all too much, in ways that seem very familiar to anyone who watches stimuli whiz by in a feed."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 8/26/2020
We are delighted to announce the release of Young, Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists, presenting the renowned Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection of Contemporary Art. Pictured here are spreads featuring work by Jordan Casteel, Sadie Barnette and Paul Mpagi Sepuya—all artists in their thirties. Other artists, spanning several generations, include Mark Bradford, David Hammons, Glenn Ligon, Kerry James Marshall, Julie Mehretu, Adam Pendleton, Pope.L, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Henry Taylor, Mickalene Thomas, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Christina Quarles and Jacolby Satterwhite, to name just a few. Published to accompany an exhibition making stops in New York; El Paso; Chicago; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Davis, California; and Denver, this beautifully-produced book is also a call to action, documenting not just an exemplary, collection but a full-fledged support system driven by passion, personal history and a commitment to promoting not just artists but writers and curators of color throughout their careers. Edited by Antwaun Sargent, it features writing by Graham C. Boettcher, Jessica Bell Brown, Connie H. Choi, Anthony Graham, Lauren Haynes, Jamillah James, Thomas J. Lax, Hallie Ringle, Adeze Wilford, Gordon Dearborn Wilkins and Matt Wycoff, curator of the traveling exhibition. Studio Museum Director and Chief Curator Thelma Golden contributes an interview with the driving force behind the collection, Bernard Lumpkin.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 8/24/2020
"Death of Pompey," made in Rome, 1962, is reproduced from Cy Twombly: Making Past Present, published to accompany MFA Boston's forthcoming exhibition pairing a selection the artist's paintings, drawings and sculptures alongside works of classical antiquity—some of which were in Twombly's own collection. "Cy Twombly was fascinated by ancient Greece and Rome. This much is incontestable," Brooke Holmes writes. "But when it comes to what we should make of Twombly's lifelong engagement with 'the ancients,' critics have found far less to agree on. What is the status of his knowledge? Erudition? Inspiration? What is the mode of his engagement? Ambition? Play? Affection? Escapism? Iconoclasm? Given the integral place of classical antiquity in Twombly's work—and his move to Italy in the late 1950s—the terms of his reception were, for much of his career, yoked to the broader fortunes of some of the more troubled terms of later twentieth-century criticism: humanism, classicism, aesthetics. The result is that conjugating Twombly with 'the ancients' has tended to sharpen the contrast between two opposed Twomblys: one sited firmly within the canon, alive to timeless truths but inured to the present; the other consummately anticanonical—the 'irreverent schoolboy' who, bored in Latin class, carves the names of dead poets into his desktop, or the Zen master who pricks 'the humanist turgescence.' Twombly's work has always forced a negotiation between the classical and the contemporary…"
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 8/23/2020
This 1950s H. Armstrong Roberts photograph of an American woman sunbathing by the side of a pool is one of 200 vintage and contemporary images collected in Summertime Staff Favorite, The Swimming Pool in Photography. "Water is a metaphorical gift, of course," Francis Hodgson writes. "In mythology, it is routinely the place where transformation happens: sirens and selkies and mermaids and baptism and the birth of Venus… no need to hammer home the point… Even in the relative tameness of a pool, water is a gift to a photographer: it gives near-nudity, and it gives light, both at the same time. No wonder photographers love pools."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 8/22/2020
Featured spreads are reproduced from Henri Cartier-Bresson: Le Grand Jeu, Marsilio's highly anticipated new release featuring Cartier-Bresson's "master set" of photographs, presented for the first time alongside selections by Annie Leibovitz, Wim Wenders and others. Leibovitz, who chose the photographs on both spreads here, writes, "Seeing Cartier-Bresson’s work made me want to become a photographer. I was a young painting student at the San Francisco Art Institute when I looked at The World of Cartier-Bresson, which had just been published. Maybe it was something about the word 'world,' as well as the pictures, that seduced me. The idea that a photographer could travel with a camera to different places, see how other people lived, make looking a mission—that that could be your life was an amazing, thrilling idea…"
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 8/21/2020
Featured spreads are from The Irascibles: Painters Against the Museum (New York, 1950), the first documentation of the legendary 1950 showdown between 18 leading abstract expressionists and the Metropolitan Museum of Art—made famous by a Nina Leen's group portrait for Life magazine. "Dear Sir," they wrote to Metropolitan president, Roland L. Redmond, "The undersigned painters reject the monster national exhibition to be held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art next December, and will not submit work to its jury. The organization of the exhibition and the choice of jurors by Francis Henry Taylor and Robert Beverly Hale, the Metropolitan’s Director and the Associate Curator of American Art, does not warrant any hope that a just proportion of advanced art will be included. We draw to the attention of those gentlemen the historical fact that, for roughly a hundred years, only advanced art has made any consequential contribution to civilization. Mr. Taylor on more than one occasion has publicly declared his contempt for modern painting; Mr. Hale, in accepting a jury notoriously hostile to advanced art, takes his place beside Mr. Taylor. We believe that all advanced artists of America will join us in our stand." The letter was signed by twenty-eight artists, among them William Baziotes, James Brooks, Fritz Bultman, Jimmy Ernst, Adolph Gottlieb, Hans Hofmann, Weldon Kees, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, Richard Pousette-Dart, Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko, Theodoros Stamos, Hedda Sterne, Clyfford Still and Bradley Walker Tomlin. Collecting 18 paintings by the artists, images from Leen’s photoshoot and extensive documentation of the letter-writing process with relevant catalogs and magazines, this is a fitting book to consider as artists continue to protest museums with problematic power structures today.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 8/19/2020
No Man's Land (2012) is reproduced from Lisa Yuskavage: Wilderness, published by Gregory R. Miller & Co. to accompany the exhibition currently on view—at last!—at Aspen Art Museum, en route to the Baltimore Museum of Art. But why organize a show of landscapes by an artist known for her paintings of female bodies in extremely vulnerable (or available) positions, former Aspen Art Museum Director Heidi Zuckerman asks. Yuskavage's response: "The figures in my works are the actors, and when I pull the camera way, way back, I can see what else is happening.… All of a sudden, there are sunsets, sunrises, mountains, farmlands, and farmers. I was just playing all these things out and letting them run amok. The landscape was more about the inclusion of other things; it was opening up the frame." So while this beautifully produced volume does include conventional landscape paintings, there are also works in which, in Zuckerman's words, "the body itself becomes a landscape, where breasts look like mountains and nether regions like haystacks, and we can speak of Monet or Courbet references."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 8/16/2020
Fred Herzog left Germany as a young man in 1952. His mother had died in 1941; his father died right after the war. He worked odd jobs in Toronto before moving to Vancouver to be a medical photographer at St. Paul's Hospital. There, he began to shoot with a Leica 35mm camera to capture the "engagingly seedy and colorful" city that would become his lifelong subject.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 8/15/2020
Featured spreads are from Mungo Thomson: Mail, a new artist's book published by Inventory Press to document one aspect of Thomson's 2008 exhibition at the Hammer Museum, during which every letter, package, notice, magazine, flyer, restaurant menu, exhibition postcard, vendor catalog and piece of junk mail that came to the museum was collected, unopened, to be documented at the end of the show. "Beyond being another example of correspondence art or art that uses correspondence as a material, Thomson’s Mail is a byproduct of accretion and accumulation," Aram Moshayedi writes. "Entropy and decay are terms that are often evoked in discussions of art. Works of art are, after all, like all living things, prone and vulnerable to time. The institutions of conservation and preservation tend to deny this, promising that paintings and sculptures are stable and frozen in permanent stasis. Mail, by contrast, supplies this tendency with something of a rejoinder."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 8/11/2020
"Francesca Woodman’s photographs are the work of a young woman," Anna-Karin Palm writes in Koenig Books and Moderna Museet's beautifully-designed, unusually intimate-feeling 232-page survey, Francesca Woodman: On Being an Angel. "There are some things a young person sees more clearly, when she hasn’t yet grown accustomed to compromise and gray areas. Everything is more apparent, more sharply lit, feelings carved from the flesh. The sincere compass needles of questions through the body, those truly large questions that demand courage, intelligence, and an awakened presence in order to be asked. Fundamental research questions." Featured image is "Untitled, New York" (1979).
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 8/10/2020
Saturday, August 15 at 3PM PDT / 5PM CST / 6PM EST, join Artbook @ Hauser & Wirth LA Bookstore and Inventory Press for a live stream with artist Mungo Thomson, in conversation with Tosh Berman, discussing Thomson's new book, 'Mail.' This event is free with registration!
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 8/10/2020
August 13–18, please join ARTBOOK | D.A.P. in the Aesthetic Movement Showroom from 10AM–6PM daily at the Atlanta Gift Market to view a curated selection of new books on art and culture! Please note, capacity is limited and appointments are strongly advised.
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 8/9/2020
Featured portrait, made by Oresti Tsonopoulos of artist Luchita Hurtado in her studio in 2019, is reproduced from I Live I Die I Will Be Reborn, the beautiful, clothbound first-major-monograph on the 99-year-old Venezuela-born, California-based painter who is finally getting the recognition she has long deserved. A book that sold out immediately upon its first release in the Spring 2020 season, this essential 256-page volume includes 137 reproductions, an in-depth interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist, wonderful texts by a host of other curators, artists and art historians, and a poetic tribute to "the invisible parts of life" by Hurtado's son, the artist Matt Mullican. "Life with my mother has always been enlightening," he concludes. "She has always engaged us in a world that lays beyond the world that we see around us."
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 8/7/2020
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 on the west coast Saturday, August 8 at Artbook @ Hauser & Wirth Bookstore Los Angeles, where the editors, Christopher M. Reeves and Aaron Walker, will appear in conversation with Tosh Berman. In a YouTube book review, 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 proper taste." In contrast, the Portsmouth Sinfonia orchestra approached classical music as an adventure, Berman states. "And this book conveys this new adventure in its highest form."
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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.