Monday, July 12, 2010


Jonas Mekas: To Petrarca (Zagzig)
Paperback w/ CD
Starting with personal film archives, the New York experimental filmmaker Jonas Mekas here offers a CD of an original bilingual French/English sound piece conceived as a retrospective diary--extended with drawings, photos and texts within the book.

Yoshitomo Nara: Nothing Ever Happens
Featuring essays and short fiction by a range of contemporary writers, punk musicians and cultural critics, as well as writings by Yoshitomo Nara himself, the cult artist's book Nothing Ever Happens--available through D.A.P. for the first time--examines both Nara's work and the subjects it addresses. Readers are invited into a world where emotions are not expected to be filtered, make-believe is not equated with lunacy and the world is both fantastic and terrifying.
One of the most important and best-loved Japanese contemporary artists, Nara distinctively transcends a national style to offer a universal psychological narrative of childhood. In this beautifully designed book with cool paper changes and pitch-perfect image selection, Nara's work is paired with writings by Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney, writer Dave Eggers, Deborah Harry (Blondie), Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock) and others of equally interesting stature.

Vito Acconci: Diary of a Body 1969 -1973
Between 1969 and 1973, Vito Acconci's creative output was focused on body pieces and performances, many of them seminal works now firmly lodged in the art historical canon of the time. Whether he was transforming space by masturbating under a platform extension of the gallery floor or transforming the body by tucking his genitals between his legs, Acconci promoted a radical, corporeal method of working with the human presence that has remained relevant in these less performative times. This publication traces the development of Acconci's early work through his own writings and documentations from that time. Rather than a critical study, it offers invaluable primary source materials: For each of the approximately 200 performances/works included, Acconci drafted meticulous notes, mapping out his ideas and describing the specifications of each piece. Many of the artist's works were ephemeral performances and actions, and these primary source materials are now the only extant artifacts from the work. Thus the book's contents come directly from Acconci's personal archives, and include his notes and documentations, plus photographs, where available. An introduction by Gregory Volk provides historical context and addresses the issues of body art and performance still relevant today.

Home Delivery: Fabricating The Modern Dwelling
As the world’s population swells and the need for sustainable ways of living grows ever more urgent and obvious, prefabricated architecture has taken center stage. Even before our current predicaments, the mass-produced, factory-made home had a distinguished history, having served as a vital precept in the development of Modern architecture. Today, with the digital revolution reorganizing the relationship between drafting board and factory, it continues to spur innovative manufacturing and design, and its potential has clearly not yet come to fruition. Home Delivery traces the history of prefabrication in architecture, from its early roots in colonial cottages though the work of such figures as Jean Prouvé and Buckminster Fuller, and mass-produced variants such as the Lustron house, to a group of full-scale contemporary houses commissioned specifically for the MoMA exhibition that this book accompanies. In addition to an introductory essay by Barry Bergdoll, Chief Curator in the Museum’s Department of Architecture and Design, this volume contains essays on prefabricated housing in Japan and in Nordic countries by Ken Tadashi Oshima and Rasmus Waern, respectively. It also includes focused texts on approximately 40 historical projects and five commissions, as well as a bibliography.

Richard Prince
For 30 years now, the American artist Richard Prince has been considered one of the most forward-thinking and innovative artists in the world. In 1977, his deceptively simple act of re-photographing advertising images from The New York Times Magazine and presenting them as his own ushered in an entirely new, critical approach to making art--one that questioned notions of originality and the privileged status of the unique aesthetic object. Prince's technique involves appropriation, and he pilfers freely from the vast image bank of popular culture to create works that simultaneously embrace and critique a quintessentially American sensibility, with images stemming from the Marlboro Man, muscle cars, biker chicks, off-color jokes, gag cartoons and pulp fiction novels, among many other sources. Organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, this major traveling retrospective brings together Prince's photographs, paintings, sculptures and works on paper in the most comprehensive examination of his work to date. While previous examinations of Prince's work have emphasized its catalytic role in Postmodernist criticism, this volume also focuses on the work's iconography and how it registers prevalent themes in our social landscape, including a fascination with rebellion, an obsession with fame and a preoccupation with the tawdry and the illicit.
Highlighting key examples from the all the major series of Prince's oeuvre, this fully illustrated volume also debuts works created specifically for the exhibition. It features a critical overview by the Guggenheim Museum's Nancy Spector and an essay by Artforum Editor-at-Large Jack Bankowsky, which discusses Prince's environmental installations, including the Spiritual America Gallery, his First House and Second House, and his Library in Upstate New York. In addition, cultural commentator Glenn O'Brien contributes a series of interviews with popular culture initiators like Annie Proulx, Phyllis Diller, John Waters, Michael Ovitz, Kim Gordon and Robert Mankoff, among many others, providing a composite portrait of Prince's themes alongside an insider's view of the formation of mass-cultural taste.

Rachel Whiteread
The newly founded gallery Haunch of Venison inaugurates its opening with an exhibition by internationally acclaimed sculptor Rachel Whiteread. The exhibition and accompanying publication feature Whiteread's newest work, Untitled (Domestic), a massive sculpture cast from the fire escape staircases of Haunch of Venison's premises--a 3-storey building constructed in the late eighteenth century that was originally the home of Admiral Lord Nelson. Reincarnating the staircase in its negative form, the imposing white sculpture invokes the building's past while reflecting the artist's interest in the formal and purely architectural qualities of sculpture. This inaugural publication features installation views of the exhibition, including additional work dating from 1995 to the present day, as well as two amply illustrated essays and a complete bibliography. The first text considers Whiteread's immense public commissions in relation to their environment; the second outlines the history and techniques involved in creating the cast staircase sculptures.

Fred Sandback
American Minimalist sculptor Fred Sandback (1943-2003) created spare, sculptural compositions from lengths of metal or yarn stretched horizontally, vertically or diagonally in a variety of rectangular, triangular, vertical or U-shaped configurations; when installed, these produce "perceptual illusions while activating the surrounding pedestrian space," as Sandback called it. Though his sculptures have a seemingly light touch, in 1975 Sandback countered a notion that still clings to his work: "I don't make 'dematerialized art.' I complicate actual situations, and this is as material as anything else." In addition to a selection of drawings, the works documented in this well-edited monograph range from smaller-scale metal works made while Sandback was a student at Yale to later installations that engage entire rooms, demonstrating the development of his signature vocabulary of forms from 1969 to 2001.

Richard Serra: The Matter Of Time
Richard Serra, renowned for his challenging and inventive work, is widely considered to be one of the greatest sculptors of the contemporary era. The Matter of Time documents Serra's recent commission by the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao of seven monumental sculptures for the largest gallery of the museum. Together with “Snake” (1994-97), the work that Serra created for the museum's grand opening, the sculptures create a permanent, site-specific installation of a scale and ambition unrivaled in modern history. Through a revealing interview-essay by noted critic Hal Foster, and writings and statements by the artist about his recent series Torqued Ellipses and the present, unprecedented commission, the book discloses the last 25 years of this sculptor's oeuvre and the evolution of his sculptural vocabulary as it relates to this installation. Other writings by Carmen Giménez and a chronology by Kate Nesin help contextualize Serra's work.

Manuel Manilla: Mexican Engraver
Horned, animated human skeletons, nineteenth century circus figures, devils, demons, card sharps, conjurers, bullfighters and boxers are just some of the 600 images that populate this exquisitely tactile first book in English devoted entirely to the Mexican engraver Manuel Manilla--a remarkably original artist in his own right, and an influence on his more famous colleague and successor, José Guadalupe Posada. Manilla's illustrations for newspapers, broadsides, posters, chapbooks, pamphlets and games are the work of a sensitive portraitist of Mexican social mores, an artist of magical imagination and a master engraver. Richly illustrated with examples of every aspect of Manilla's extremely diverse work, the volume includes an authoritative text on Manilla by Mercurio López Casillas. In addition to offering an overview of the work of this still little-known artist, the essay clarifies the often tangled publishing history of the images and deals with the difficult questions of authorship and attribution in the world of late-nineteenth-century broadside, periodical and penny press publications. A useful chronology of Manilla's life and work is also included. Finally, a special feature of the book, whose striking design recalls the famous Mexican Folkways monograph devoted to Posada in 1930, is the reprint of a text by the 1920s mural painter Jean Charlot, one of the first artists to recognize the importance of Manilla in the aftermath of the Mexican Revolution.

Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell
No artist ever led a stranger life than Joseph Cornell, the self-taught American genius prized for his disquieting shadow boxes, who stands at the intersection of Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism and Pop art. Legends about Cornell abound--as the shy hermit, the devoted family caretaker, the artistic innocent--but never before Utopia Parkway has he been presented for what he was: a brilliant, relentlessly serious artist whose stature has now reached monumental proportions. Cornell was haunted by dreams and visions, yet the site of his imaginings couldn't have been more ordinary: a small house he shared with his mother and invalid brother in Queens, New York. In its cluttered basement, he spent his nights arranging photographs, cut-outs and other humble disjecta into some of the most romantic works to exist in three dimensions. Cornell was no recluse, however: admired by successive generations of vanguard artists, he formed friendships with figures as diverse as Duchamp, de Kooning, and Warhol and had romantically charged encounters with Susan Sontag and Yoko Ono--not to mention unrequited crushes on countless shop girls and waitresses. All this he recorded compulsively in a diary that, along with his shadow boxes, forms one of the oddest and most affecting records ever made of a life. It is from such documents, and from a decade of sustained attention to Cornell, that Deborah Solomon has fashioned the definitive biography of one of America's most powerful and unusual modern artists.

William N. Copley: Among Ourselves
The life and career of William N. Copley (1919-1996) spans an exciting (if little-known) period in American art. As a gallerist, Copley established a powerful presence for Surrealism on the West Coast, exhibiting René Magritte, Max Ernst, Yves Tanguy, Joseph Cornell and Man Ray, before deciding, in 1947, to become a painter himself. He then moved to Paris, where he developed his own unmistakable style, a style which has come to be recognized as the native link between Surrealism and Pop art. In his emphasis on bold wavy outline and occasional use of text, Copley is now also considered a forerunner of the graffiti art practiced by the likes of Keith Haring. This important monograph reproduces a broad selection of Copley's paintings, inspired by everyday American circumstances: his cowboys and pin-up girls, his erotic and pornographic fantasies and his set pieces from everyday life.

These books, and thousands of others, can be purchased from:

Brickbat Books
709 South Fourth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

215 592 1207

Open every day, 11am to 7pm.

We accept Visa, MC, Amex, Paypal and cash.

We ship anywhere.

No comments: