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Art Design

Color Problems: A Republished Tome Reveals the Color Wisdom and Poetics of 19th-Century Artist Emily Noyes Vanderpoel

July 19, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

In 1901 artist and historian Emily Noyes Vanderpoel (1842-1939) published the painting manual Color Problems: A Practical Manual for the Lay Student of Color under the guise of flower painting and decorative arts, subjects that were appropriate for a woman of her time. The study provided an extensive look at color theory ideas of the early 20th-century. Her research-based techniques were later used and circulated by men without mention of her name, and are now commonly used in art curriculums. Many of the included studies predict design and art trends that wouldn’t occur for several decades, such as a concentric square format that predates Joseph Albers’s Homage to the Square by fifty years.

In addition to color lessons and guides, the 400-page book features an extensive collection of her original and intently poetic methods of color analysis, from detailing the color relationships in quotidian objects like a found teacup and saucer, to color swatches of wool sorted by a color-blind man. There is also a watercolor series that poignantly observes the nuanced color of her private moments, such as the bruised colors found in a shadow on white ground or the inherent tones of woods that lay on the edge of a meadow.

Vanderpoel was vice president of the New York Watercolor Club, an organization founded in response to the American Watercolor Society’s policy to not accept women as members. Despite the history and visual wisdom detailed in her color guide, the tome never received the audience it deserved. Brooklyn-based publisher The Circadian Press along with their collaborators Sacred Bones Records aim to change this with a new print of the 118-year-old guide. The project just raised funding for more than five times its initial goal on Kickstarter, and plans to go into production in the fall.

 

 



Art Illustration

A Centuries-Old Art Form Hides Within the Gilded Pages of Antique Books

July 17, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Martin Frost creates paintings in places that people can’t see, or can only find if they know exactly where to look. The UK-based artist is a fore-edge painter, which means he produces elaborate designs and scenes along the edges of gilded books. The works are discovered only when you fan the pages in a certain way, and become hidden by the book’s gold edges as soon it is closed. “It is a discrete painting,” Frost tells Great Big Story. “It is only there when you know how to unlock it.”

Vanishing fore-edge painting dates back to about 1660, but didn’t become popular until the 18th-century. Frost has practiced the rare art form for the last 40 years, and as far as he knows, is the last commercial fore-edge painter in the world. You can view more of his hidden paintings, in addition to a series of illuminated miniatures, on his website. (via Great Big Story)

 

 



Amazing Photography

French Bookstore Invites its Instagram Followers to Judge Books by Their Covers

July 2, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

In addition to laying claim to the title of France’s first independent bookstore, Librairie Mollat has carved a unique niche on Instagram with its #bookface portraits. The Bordeaux-based bookstore regularly features photographs of book covers held up in front of perfectly scaled, dressed, and nose-shaped people (presumably, some are customers, though some repeated faces seem to indicate a few photogenic employees). You can see more from Mollat—and perhaps even get your next book recommendation—on Instagram. If you enjoy this, also check out Album Plus Art. (via Hyperallergic)

 

 

 



Art Photography

Swirls of Electrifying Ink and Found Crystal Formations Transformed into Hair by Lorna Simpson

May 23, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Brooklyn-based artist Lorna Simpson combines images of black men and women pulled from vintage advertising photos with bright ink washes to give her subjects kaleidoscopic hairstyles erupting with color. The photographs are snipped from old issues of Ebony and Jet magazines and are either layered with ink or found textbook imagery like crystalized growths to explore the deep and varied language of hair. In one piece the subject is adorned with a thick slab of rock, while in another a cross-section of a human brain acts as the subject’s coiffed hairstyle.

Over 150 of these collages have been compiled in her recent book Lorna Simpson Collages, out early next month through Chronicle Books. The volume contains an artist’s statement and an introduction by poet, author, and scholar Elizabeth Alexander who explains, “Black women’s heads of hair are galaxies unto themselves, solar systems, moonscapes, volcanic interiors.”

You can currently preorder the book on Amazon, and view more collages by Simpson on her website.

 

 



Design

Miniature Installations Transform Bookshelves into the Back Alleys of Japan

May 18, 2018

Johnny Strategy

The back alley bookends, on display at Design Festa in Tokyo. Photo by twitter user @riku_ton

If you’ve ever wandered around Tokyo on foot you’ll know that it can sometimes be like a spider web of side streets and back alleys. It’s one of the things that makes Tokyo so unique and therein lies the allure of exploring the massive city. Now, one designer has brought that magic to bookshelves by designing back alley bookends.

The clever idea is the brainchild of a Japanese designer who goes by the name monde. Based in Tokyo, monde creates objects inspired by the city but also animals and insects. The back alley bookends come in a pair and can be used together to replicate a small back alley, or they can be used individually, exposing the intricate stepping stones, A/C units, piping, plants and other details that have been carefully recreated by hand.

Monde exhibited the back alley bookends, along with other works, last weekend at Design Festa, a Tokyo-based arts & crafts event where artists, both amateur and professional, come together to exhibit their artwork. The event has since ended but the next dates (August 2-4 and then November 10-11, 2018) have already been announced. If you’re interested, you can also try reaching out to the artist directly. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

Photo by monde

Photo by twitter user @riku_ton

 

 



Art

Minima Muralia: A Collection of 15 Years of Murals by Street Artist Blu

March 23, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

The newly published book Minima Muralia condenses more than 200 larger-than-life murals painted by Blu (previously) into one 288-page collection. The compendium covers every piece made by the Italian street artist over the last 15 years, including backstage shots and unreleased works pulled from his archive. A special edition of the book has also been released, featuring a 32-page zine, two posters, and a specially-designed book casing. You can order both releases on Zooo Print & Press.

In addition to putting out this recent compilation of his works, Blu has also painted a new mural in the town of La Punta, just outside of Valencia, Spain. The piece was created as a part of the Sensemurs Project, a group of muralists attempting to raise awareness about the preservation of peri-urban orchards in towns affected by rapid urbanization across Europe. You can see this new mural, along with work by Borondo and Daniel Munoz SAN, over on Juxtapoz.

 

 



Photography

Dazzling Chickens Strut for the Camera in a New Photo Book by Moreno Monti and Matteo Tranchellini

March 6, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs by Moreno Monti and Matteo Tranchellini, courtesy of the artists.

Italian photographers Moreno Monti and Matteo Tranchellini have created a glamorous book of dozens of chicken portraits, photographed in a sleek, high-fashion inspired style. The endeavor began in 2013, when the artists were inspired by the beauty of these domesticated birds at an avian exhibition in Milan. It has since evolved into a 190 page book featuring 85 high-resolution photos of some of the world’s most eye-catching avians. The photos were shot on location at the exhibition, and the photographers worked with chickens who are groomed as show birds; they struck their photogenic poses at will. Chicken is currently funding on Kickstarter. You can also follow the project on Instagram. (via My Modern Met)