1) Intermedia, Fluxus and the Something Else Press: Selected Writings from Dick Higgins A little known contributor to the art world, Dick Higgins was a poet, composer, artist, writer, performer and theorist who published the legendary Something Else Press. Higgins and his publishing press produced singular books by icons such as Gertrude Stein, John Cage, Dieter Roth, and George Brecht, as well as the Great Bear Pamphlet series and the Something Else newsletter. These published works sustained a mission statement that supplied audiences with avant-garde writings and art that was rarely promoted within the mainstream. Dick Higgins restored "intermedia" to the art world, the fuzzed boundary line between traditional art forms and new forms that could not be defined. Higgins used his writings and that of his contemporary peers to explore this space and expand its presence. In this selection of his work, Higgins can be seen as a modern visionary, one who explored theory and practice, experimentation, and intellect.
2) Fray: Art and Textile Politics | Julia Bryan-Wilson In the first expansive survey of fine art and the handmaking of fiber and textile art, Wilson examines textile art from the 1970s - 90s and their part in sociopolitical movements. Namely looking at both fine artists and amateurs, Wilson argues that both turned to textiles during a time of rapid global manufacturing, feminist empowerment movements, and gender identity awareness. These parallel events construct numerous scenarios that include fiber and textile art as protest material, as well as fine art. Wilson discusses textile art as a tool that can be seen within decades of political events and movements. As a rarely discussed medium that is integral to our everyday lives, Wilson's observations and connections prove a fresh viewpoint on historical events that are so familiar.
3)Social Forms: A Short History of Political Art | Christian Viveros-Faune Renowned art critic and curator, Christian Viveros-Faune examines 50 representative pieces of artwork from the past 150 years, and their historical framework. Each entry is accessible and provides art history foundation of the piece, the artist and their historical references, and the iconography that showcases the political intention. Looking at examples such as Picasso's Guernica (1937) or Jenny Holzer's Truisms (1977-79), each examination offers a glimpse into the time period and the artist as reactionary and icon. In doing so, Viveros-Faune creates a comprehensive survey of 150 years of artists as agents of social change at the forefront of political movement.
Take a break from that summer reading list and enjoy some of our top rated new release art books!
1) The Printed Image: The Flowering of Japan's Wood Block Print Cultureby Matthi Forrer A comprehensive look at the history of internationally renowned medium, the Japanese wood block print, The Printed Image showcases this very popular and familiar medium. Perhaps the most recognizable art form of East Asia, the Japanese wood block was considered not only a centuries-old, technological wonder, but a social one as well. Produced at a low cost with high quantity, the print could be distributed to the masses by both individuals (artisan hand made) or businesses. The popularity of the medium was seen as a cultural and social revolution within Japan itself and throughout history, these images have influenced many fashion, interior, and lifestyle designs, as well as progressing printing technology internationally. In this new release book, over 100 images and text cover the historical significance of the medium and the cultural movement of the Japanese wood block print.
2)Whitewalling: Art, Race, and Protest in 3 Acts by Aruna D'Souza Inspired by recent events in the contemporary art world, Whitewalling discusses the responsibility that art institutions and organizations have as stewards between artists and the public. Using three incidents involving specifically museums, D'Souza reflects on the struggle these institutions face with concepts of free speech, agency and constructive censorship. Spanning from 1969 to 2017, each incident involved issues of race, and consequently created public protest and outrage. These examples provide a small view of the larger racism that continues to run rampant throughout the United States. A small arena within a wider discussion, Whitewalling showcases that inclusion and diversity are a priority in the stories these institutions tell, but also the significance of the person who tells it.
3)Conversations with Filmmakers: Movie Columns, 1961 - 1975 by Jonas Mekas Between 1958 and 1977, a weekly column in the famous Village Voice featured interviews orchestrated by artist, poet and filmmaker Jonas Mekas and an impressive slew of fellow pioneering filmmakers. As a lead voice in the art scene of the 1960s and 70s, Mekas provided a unique look at the avant-garde film scene. Interviews with artists such as Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Susan Sontag, Carolee Schneemann and Michael Snow were all recorded on camera, but were transcribed for the book. Film stills of his original interviews present a full picture of the final productions. In this rare look at some of his most significant dialogues, Conversations with Filmmakers presents a historical snapshot for the foundation of what we think of as film and cinematography today.
1) Philip Guston: Nixon Drawings 1971 & 1975 During a truly tumultuous time in United States history, the early 1970's saw aftermath of the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy, the continuing violence of the Vietnam War, and of course the infamous reign of Richard Nixon and Watergate. This comprehensive collection features 180 satirical works by Philip Guston. In the late 1960's, Guston was creating his now famous pictorial language that included enlarged body parts, cigarettes, and usually vulgar imagery. At the peak of this stylistic shift, Guston was inspired by the 37th President of the United States in all of his political downfall. Spurned by the lies and controversy, Guston produced critical cartoons dedicated to Nixon's many career moments. A rare look into a series that captured America's disturbance and frustration during this historic period.
2)Interviews on Art | Robert Storr A museum curator, critic, editor, and academic, Robert Storr has encountered many major artists over the past couple of decades. In this amassed body of interviews, Storr presents 60 fully illustrated discussions, some that have never before been published or haven't been published in full. Conducted between 1981 and 2016, interviewees include Richard Serra, Gabriel Orozco, Jeff Koons, and Kara Walker (among many more!). The collection focuses on the artist and the work being discussed, but also examines the interview as a medium, its ethics, and its techniques and limitations. By just reading the cover of the book and viewing the immense roster of artists, Storr's collection of interviews presents a unique and exciting look into the personal studios of some of the world's contemporary greats.
3) Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the term, "black power" officially being used. On this timely anniversary, this survey on the art that was produced during that time examines this period of radical change during 1963-83 and how young black artists were questioning art, politics, and identity. Soul of a Nation features substantial essays focusing on such subjects as the Black Arts Movement, black feminism, AfriCOBRA, and other social contexts and debates during that time. Through showcasing these works, this book also explores previously neglected histories presented by these artists including Sam Gilliam, Faith Ringgold, Melvin Edwards, and Senga Nengudi. This art-historical framework offers an opportunity to view the struggle that black artists at the time had. To make art that was engaging, innovative, and original, but that also spoke about the concerns and experiences as a Black American.