Friday, July 30, 2010

FEATURED: Simenon's Maigret


While the NYRB re-issues of Simenon's existential noir have been receiving much well-deserved attention, his series based around the dry, thoughtful Inspector Maigret appear to have fallen out of print.
Available are a baker's dozen. An ideal antidote to all of you suffering from noir-inspired heat-stroke.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

FEATURED: Four by Tana Hoban




Born and raised in Philadelphia and educated at Moore College of Art, Hoban first came to the attention of Edward Steichen who included her photographs of children in an exhibition mounted at the Museum of Modern Art. She went on to write, design and illustrate over one hundred books, many for children.

"My books are about everyday things that are so ordinary that one tends to overlook them...I try to rediscover these things and share them with children. But there is more to each picture than a first look reveals. I always try to include something new, something to reach for." -Tana Hoban




Push, Pull, Empty, Full (out of print)
Hardcover, $19.95





circles, triangles and squares (out of print)
Hardcover, $19.95







over, under & through (hardcover is out of print)
Hardcover, $19.95





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.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

FEATURED: Two by David Rees

Rees's collection of comic strips are still surprisingly entertaining, rekindling the rage felt during the Bush era while never failing to induce oxygen depleting laughter. It might be the only literature about the era still worth reading. The guy should have won a Pulitzer, but they apparently save those for bad caricaturists who draw humorless gag panels without punchlines.





Get Your War On II
Paperback, $6.95















my new fighting technique is unstoppable
Stapled wraps, $175.00
Very rare. The original self-published version of "my new fighting technique is unstoppable". Near Fine stapled wraps. This was the book Rees self-published at work, for a few friends, prior to "Get Your War On". It was eventually re-printed by Riverhead Books.

Monday, July 26, 2010

FEATURED: Mondrian's Plastic Art and Pure Plastic Art


Piet Mondrian, Plastic Art and Pure Plastic Art
$45.00 (out of print)

from The Documents of Modern Art series, Robert Motherwell, editor
Wittenborn, Schultz, Inc, 1951
Cover design by Paul Rand

Thursday, July 22, 2010

FEATURED: Hardcover Boards

All the more beautiful because of their varying states of decay, below are the ruins of four fabulous books.





Les Oeuvres de Mr. Le Noble (Eustache le Noble, Baron de St. Georges & Tenneliere), Tome XII (1718)






Minutes of the Common Council of the City of Philadelphia (1847)






Alice Glasgow, Bright Tiger! (1930)





Cicero, Orationes (1816)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

FEATURED: More Music Books...

These three music books have nothing in common with each other, thus making an integral part of a well-rounded library.






The Band: A Musical History (Hardcover w/5 cds & 1 dvd), $65

Informative text and excellent photos of the best rural rockers ever. From the early days backing Ronnie Hawkins to Dylan and Woodstock and finally ending at the Last Waltz, it's all here. Comes with 5 cds and 1 dvd full of obscurities and proper lp tracks.





All Ages: Reflections on Straight Edge (pb), $8.95

Collection of somewhat vague and humorless memories and opinions about straight edge hardcore. While the late 80s heyday of this stuff is truly awesome, these interviews are pretty inarticulate. Many cool photos though, and an inexpensive volume for the Unit Pride (not featured) fans out there.






I'm with the Band (hb), $44.95

Rare and funny memoir by a Zappa protegee. More goofy and touching than you'd expect a real-life tale of groupie-dom to be, which is not a bad thing. Has some negative things to say about Wild Man Fischer but who doesn't these days?



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.

Monday, July 19, 2010

NEW ARRIVALS: Francois le Lionnais


Time by Francois le Lionnais
Hardcover, $19.95 (out of print)

A lavishly illustrated cultural history of Time. Out of print for close to half a century, it is one of only two books by mathematician, engineer, chess player, regent of the College of Pataphysics, and Oulipo founder Lionnais to be translated into English.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

FEATURED: Three Ladies By The Sea


Rhoda Levine & Edward Gorey, Three Ladies By The Sea
Hardcover, $14.95

"Wickedly funny and delightfully sad, Three Ladies Beside the Sea is a tale of love found, love lost, and love never-ending. Edward Gorey’s off-kilter Edwardian maidens are the perfect accompaniment to opera librettist Rhoda Levine’s lilting text."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

EVENT: Thur, July 22nd: Bill Orcutt & Blues Control

Thursday, July 22nd, 8pm
at
Brickbat Books

Bill Orcutt
Blues Control




Bill Orcutt
"Been receivin more'n my share've emails from folks askin me my thoughts about Bill Orcutt's new lp. That & sendin me recaps've lengthy pastey-pie reviews & dandy doodle retorts. Shit, lookin at all the fancy name droppin & arid commentary, it kinda took me back to one of them Norman Mailer/Gore Vidal spats on David Susskind! That & them editorial hissy fits what Phillip Rahv 'n Delmore Schwartz'd get into at the Partisan Review. No matter high up the brow you get, it's never not entertainin.
But that's them. As for me, I'm sizin up 'A New Way To Pay Old Debts' from a number've angles, a somewhat modernized Pincer Movement you might say. First, it's hard not to give it a broad (yet accurate) stroke as Harry Pussy Unplugged. Cheap as that assessment might be, it's hard to deny.And what's wrong w/that? They was as formidable & broke down the genus of Rock as much as Blll does here to Blues (which begets____). Bearin that in mind, it's sort've like them Planet Of The Apes movies, you know, where the present is the future & you have to work backwards to see how it all came to pass. Right? Sounds good to me!
Or just dump it in the lap've Rabelais, THEE greatest satirist of all time. That same sort've reverse narrative skippers the Gargantua books. Ye, lest I get tangential, what I'm harpin on is whiles some of these string benders can be downright "Catholic" in technique 'n delivery, I sees this lp as an embodiment of the 'Do What Thou Wilt' sentiment expressed by Pantagruel & his buds. Some's find it astonishing. Me? I'm enlightened. And (at times) amused. Dr. Orcutt cuts a plucky rug as a regular goddamn Neo-Renaissance humanist. But I wouldn't expect anything less.
And there's the whole Archangel notion; various sacred pickers 'n players metaphored as Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, Uriel (benders to halo's of your choosin), etc. Go ahead, call'em out; Fahey, Reichel, Bailey, Hopkins, it ain't like I's come up w/this on my own. Hell, (get it?), I'm taken ol' Bill here as Lucifer. Not that he's been cast out've nowhere, in fact, it would appear that the Huggers of Hollowbody Heaven can't behold him enough! But there's somethin devilish in the playin on this & you don't have to be no Father Merrin to hear them licks.
An that's alls I got to say on this tater. I know it's just a bunch've bugaboo, but ya gotta admit, it beats workin for a livin!
So dig this; A New Way To Pay Old Depts. It's a fine record, whether you get it or not." -Roland Seward Woodbe, Siltblog
http://www.palilalia.com/






Blues Control
"Blues Control might just be the missing link between Van Halen and Henry Flynt. They are a duo. Lea Cho plays swank but grounded atmospheric keyboard parts [think Harold Budd] for guitar player and manipulator of assorted junk-on-table Russ Waterhouse to cut through, whittle and lay waste to. It's a hazy, spaced world that exists between fuzzed distortion, jabbering electronics, a lazy stay-in-bed psychedelic glaze, with rhythmic keyboards pulsating below it all a la a guy named Florian-and you can choose which one you want..." -Holy Mountain

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

NEW ARRIVALS: Photography


Manuel Alvarez Bravo: Eyes in His Eyes
Hardcover
Frida Kahlo leans against a concrete wall, looking somberly down while an ankle-length skirt flutters around her. Elsewhere, the tight screws of plough blades stack interlocked on a warehouse floor, utilitarian subjects coalescing into a heady abstract pattern. From his first days as a photographer--with the backing of such greats as Tina Modotti, Edward Weston, Paul Strand and Henri Cartier-Bresson--Manuel Alvarez Bravo worked over a wide range of styles and subject matter--formalist abstraction, architecture, interiors, landscapes, still lifes, and portraits--with a consistent focus on the landscape and social geography of Mexico. In his concise vision of his homeland, it was both a real and symbolic landscape populated with subjects detained in dream world tableaux of desire, solitude, candor and foreboding. Eyes in His Eyes reintroduces some of the artist's overlooked masterpieces, and reveals, for the first time, a broad selection of never-before-seen images from his private archives. In his 80-year career, Alvarez Bravo printed, published and exhibited only a thousand images. This portfolio, culled with the help of the artist himself, and completed after his death, is full of unfamiliar abstractions, portraits, landscapes and street photography. It provides an invaluable re-entry into the visual poetry of one of Mexico's most gifted artists and a Modern master of photography.






Susan Meiselas: Nicaragua: June 1978-July 1979
Hardcover
Originally published in 1981, Susan Meiselas' Nicaragua is a modern classic--a seminal contribution to the literature of concerned photojournalism. John Berger praised the work for its ability to, "take us right inside a revolutionary moment... Yet unlike most photographs of such material, these refuse all the rhetoric normally associated with such pictures: The rhetoric of violence, revolutionary heroism and the glorification of misery." Nicaragua forms an extraordinary narrative of a nation in turmoil. Starting with a powerful and chilling evocation of the Somoza regime during its decline in the late 1970s, the images trace the evolution of the popular resistance that led to the insurrection, culminating with the triumph of the Sandinista revolution in 1979. The 2008 edition includes Pictures from a Revolution, a DVD in which Meiselas returns to the scenes she originally photographed, tirelessly tracking down the subjects and interviewing them about the reality of post-revolution Nicaragua. The DVD booklet features a new interview with Meiselas in which she discusses the history of the project.






Wallace Berman: Photographs
Hardcover
The quintessential visual artist of the Beat generation, Wallace Berman's influence has continued to radiate throughout the American art scene and in our popular culture since the 1950s. As an artist, Berman worked in relative obscurity up until his premature death, at the age of 50, in 1976. Since then, however, interest in his work, and recognition of its importance, have steadily increased. The subject of the recent--and highly lauded--traveling exhibition and accompanying catalogue, Semina Culture: Wallace Berman & His Circle, he was the central and binding figure in a diverse community of artists, poets, actors and musicians, and was revered for his wisdom as well as his achievements as an artist, publisher and filmmaker. However, until the 1999 discovery of an archive of his photographic negatives, very few people have known that Berman was also an extremely accomplished photographer. He documented the West Coast Beat culture of the 1950s, the first stirrings of the hippie culture that took root in the canyons of Southern California in the 60s and the diverse cast of characters who passed through his famously creative world with amazing intimacy and candor. Berman's photographs are gathered here for the first time ever.







Mary Ellen Mark: Ward 81
Hardcover
In 1975, photographer Mary Ellen Mark was assigned by The Pennsylvania Gazette to produce a story on the making of Milos Forman's film of Ken Kesey's 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, shot on location at the Oregon State Hospital, a mental institution. While on set, Mark met the women of Ward 81, the only locked hospital security ward for women in the state: The inmates were considered dangerous to themselves or to others. In February of 1976, just before the ward closed (it ceased to exist in November of 1977, when it became the female section of a coeducational treatment ward), Mark and Karen Folger Jacobs, a writer and social scientist, were given permission to make a more extended stay, living on the ward in order to photograph and interview the women. They spent 36 days on Ward 81, photographing and documenting. Jacobs recalls their slow, inevitable assimilation: "We felt the degeneration of our own bodies and the erosion of our self-confidence. We were horrified at the thought of what we might become after a year or two of confinement and therapy on Ward 81." This new hardcover edition adds 10 pictures to the original.






Surfing San Onofre to Point Dume: Photographs by Don James
Hardcover
Back in print and available from D.A.P. for the first time, this beloved best-seller tells the story of the heady and innocent years of Santa Monica's nascent surf scene just prior to America's entry into World War II. Beautifully designed, this intimate, album-sized collection of photographs, printed in rich duotones and evocative color, captures the optimism and experimentation, the styles, the flirtatiousness and the freedoms taken--all from an insider's point of view. They were made by the young Don James, a teenager who documented the scene with his father's old Kodak folding camera when he wasn't up on a longboard himself. Out in the surf, down on the sand, aboard somebody's boat, dancing around a campfire, back-flipping off the lifeguard stand, collecting lobster, drinking at the bar and generally wearing as little as possible, here are the regulars of the southern California beach scene, un-self-conscious and perpetually glamorous, alongside loving portraits of the beach and the ocean themselves.






Unknown Weegee
Hardcover
The viewing public's image of Weegee is of the prototypical New York tabloid news photographer: tough, garrulous and on the scene, ready to cover two murders in one night. But the inventive Jewish immigrant Arthur Fellig (1899-1968), who assumed the self-mocking nickname Weegee, was also one of the most original and creative photographers of the twentieth century. His work for The New York Times, the Herald Tribune, World-Telegram, Daily News, Post, Journal-American and Sun, his images of the masses at Coney Island, the confrontation of wealth and poverty at opening night at the opera, and the aftermath of brutal crime scenes are, by now, classics. But beyond the iconic images that have been so widely circulated, what do we know of Weegee the photographer--his history, his methods, his meaning? Drawing on ICP's unique archive of nearly 20,000 prints by this celebrated master, Unknown Weegee presents 120 photographs that have never been made available to the public. They reveal a politically astute and witty social critic and attest to the seriousness and self-consciousness of his photographic endeavors. With essays by Luc Sante and ICP curator Cynthia Young.






Robert Frank: Zero Mostel Reads a Book
Hardcover
The female subject absorbed in a book has prompted masterworks from Vermeer, Monet, Vuillard and Matisse, among many others. Less often portrayed are men in the act of reading--even Manet’s portrait of Émile Zola depicts the writer staring away from his open volume. Is it the supposed passivity of this act that has discouraged men from modeling it? This mini-genre remains even less explored yet by photographers, though it surely offers the supreme opportunity for coaxing subjects of either sex into unself-consciousness, if not outright reverie. In Zero Mostel Reads a Book, Robert Frank takes a male comic actor for his subject but flouts the genre’s quietist sobriety in every way possible. Mostel is depicted in cartoonish dimensions, bemused, baffled and apoplectic, as he makes his way through an unidentified hardback volume, while seated at a table or on a sofa in a large lounge area. First published in 1963 by The New York Times “for the fun of it” and a collector’s item ever since, this lovely publication relates a series of theatrical and playful vignettes in which Mostel’s most famous roles--Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Max Bialystock in The Producers--are clearly signaled. It is a delightful moment of slapstick in the Frank oeuvre.






Malick Sidibe: Chemises
Paperback
That the beginnings of Malick Sidibé’s career as a photographer coincided with Mali’s independence from France (in 1960) was serendipitous, and he was certainly the right man to portray the country’s postcolonial euphoria. Sidibé focused on the explosion of youth culture and music in 1960s Bamako, photographing all the happening events and ceremonies, including football matches, weddings, Christmas Eve celebrations and parties at clubs like Los Cubanos, Les Caïds, Les Las Vegas--names that convey the influx of Western music into Mali. Visiting as many as five of these venues in one evening, Sidibé would capture Bamako’s youth in a close-up snapshot style that conveys the joyful conviviality of this era, and the blending of African and western cultures in dances like the Mali Twist, and in curious combinations of traditional and European clothing. Sidibé would then display his carefully numbered index prints, glued onto administrative folders, on his studio walls for customers--usually the subjects of his photographs--to peruse. These are the “chemises” of this book’s title. As an invaluable document of 1960s Mali, and as a large portion of Sidibé’s oeuvre, Chemises is an essential volume for anyone interested in contemporary African photography.
Born in Mali in 1935, Malick Sidibé opened his own studio in Bamako in 1958. His photography is now exhibited around the world, and he is considered one of Africa’s greatest portrait photographers.






Henri Cartier-Bresson: Mind's Eye: Writings on Photography and Photographers
Hardcover
Henri Cartier-Bresson's writings on photography and photographers have been published sporadically over the past 45 years. His essays--several of which have never before been translated into English--are collected here for the first time. The Mind's Eye features Cartier-Bresson's famous text on “the decisive moment” as well as his observations on Moscow, Cuba and China during turbulent times. These essays ring with the same immediacy and visual intensity that characterize his photography.








Raymond Depardon: Manhattan Out
Hardcover
Acclaimed French photographer, filmmaker and journalist Raymond Depardon arrived in New York in the winter of 1980. He came to visit a friend who had just taken a job in the city, and to kill time he strolled around the streets with his Leica. As a self-imposed constraint, and to encourage serendipitous results, he decided to take pictures without ever using the camera's viewfinder. Working incognito throughout the nooks and crannies of New York City, Depardon amassed two or three rolls a day--but when the time came to assess the results, he was thoroughly disappointed. He never mentioned the experiment to anybody and has only now decided to unveil these "blind" pictures to his public. Reexamining the work some 27 years "after the photographs were taken, Depardon was surprised to discover that most of his subjects were aware that they were being photographed, and that consequently the images contain more artifice than he had expected. His subjects project an affect of indifference in their knowing glances towards the camera lens, thereby immortalizing the very spirit and charm of 1980s New York, a period for which there is increasing fondness and nostalgia today. With an essay by the great philosopher Paul Virilio, this monograph opens up an exciting and hitherto lost chapter in Depardon's storied career.






May Ray: Fotografie/Photographs 1925-1955
Hardcover (out of print)







Thomas Ruff: Jpegs
Hardcover
How much visual information is needed for image recognition? A pretty small quantity of data will go a long way for the brain and the computer, both of which take shortcuts for the sake of speedy comprehension. In the Jpegs series, German photographer Thomas Ruff exploits this imprecision in digital technology, locating online jpegs and enlarging them until the pixels emerge in a chessboard pattern of near abstraction. A closer look at these images reveals that, in addition to the degeneration of the image into a digital grid, the color and brightness generated by the algorithms of the compression also become visible. Many of Ruff's works in this series focus on idyllic, seemingly untouched landscapes, or conversely, on scenes of war and nature disturbed by human manipulation--subjects ill suited to disruptive pixelation, and therefore perfect for Ruff's purposes. Taken together, these images constitute an encyclopedic compendium of contemporary visual culture that also engages the history of landscape painting. A fittingly deluxe and oversize volume, Jpegs is the first monograph dedicated exclusively to this monumental series.






Robert Frank: Black, White and Things
Hardcover
Inscribed with the quote, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly / what is essential is invisible to the eye,” by writer and pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Robert Frank's handcrafted 1952 book, Black White and Things, was made in an edition of three identical copies designed by Werner Zryd, each with a spiral binding containing original photographs of Frank's travels to cities including Paris, New York, Valencia and St. Louis. First reprinted for an exhibition at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., in 1994, this edition has now been designed in a smaller format by Frank. The three categories “black,” “white” and “things,” are shaped more by mood than subject matter: vastly different images—Frank's first wife reclining with their newborn baby, peasants squatting against a flaking wall in Peru and a business man strolling past a snow-filled tree in London—are all gathered in the “white” section, for example.






Walker Evans and the Picture Postcard
Hardcover
The American postcard came of age around 1907, when postal deregulations allowed correspondence to be written on the address side of the card. By 1914, the craze for picture postcards had proved an enormous boon for local photographers, as their black-and-white pictures of small-town main streets, local hotels and new public buildings were transformed into handsomely colored photolithographic postcards that were reproduced in great bulk and sold in five-and-dime stores in every small town in America. Postcards met the nation's need for communication in the age of the railroad and Model T, when, for the first time, many Americans often found themselves traveling far from home. In the Walker Evans Archive at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, there is a collection of 9,000 such postcards amassed by the great American photographer, who began his remarkable collection at the age of 10. What appealed to Evans, even as a boy, were the vernacular subjects, the unvarnished, "artless" quality of the pictures and the generic, uninflected, mostly frontal style that he later would borrow for his own work. The picture postcard and Evans' photographs seem equally authorless, appearing as quiet documents that record a scene with both economy of means and simple respect. This volume demonstrates that the picture postcard articulated a powerful strain of indigenous American realism that directly influenced Evans' artistic development.
Walker Evans (1903-1975) was the progenitor of the documentary tradition in American photography. American Photographs (1938), published to accompany his first retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, is widely considered the monograph against which all other photography books must be judged.






Dayanita Singh: Sent a Letter
Limited Edition Slipcased Set
Dayanita Singh has been making small photo journals of her travels in India for some years now. Each book is made with a certain person in mind, either one she has made the journey with or one that was on her mind on her travels. She makes two handmade copies, one remains with her (she calls this her kitchen museum) and the other with the friend it was made for. A diary with coded images of a time shared. SENT A LETTER contains 7 of these diaries including one of Nony Singh’s photographs of her daughter growing up. The diaries are in accordion folds and open into a mini private exhibition in her friends’ homes. They are presented in a handmade cloth box.






Kurt Hollander: Sonora
Hardcover
Known locally as the “witchcraft market,” the Sonora Market in Mexico City undoubtedly has the cure for what ails you. According to pilotguides.com, Sonora has “rattlesnake skins, desiccated hummingbirds and dried fox skins as well as the live articles like iguanas, frogs and squirrels...” It houses what is arguably the highest concentration of shamans, santeros, voodoo and natural remedies in the world. Stalls are flooded with a seemingly infinite variety of powders, sprays, soaps and incense that claim, through bright colors and delightfully kitschy illustrations, to help one find a job, money or love, to ward off evil spells or help children do well in school. Though much of the appeal of this volume comes from the numerous reproductions detailing the pop aesthetic that has been developed to advertise these aids, a look at the instructions and prayers that accompany the products reveals a darker world of extreme economic, spiritual and sexual suffering. The book contextualizes these advertisements within a culture where magical thinking offers hope to those in desperate search of a panacea.
Editor and writer Kurt Hollander is originally from New York City, and has been living in Mexico City since 1989. He writes for The Guardian and The New York Times. He is also the author of El Super (2006), a visual study of Mexican consumer products.






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.

Monday, July 12, 2010

NEW ARRIVALS: Art


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
Paperback
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
Hardcover
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
Hardcover
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
Hardcover
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
Hardcover
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
Hardcover
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
Hardcover
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
Paperback
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
Paperback
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
Hardcover
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.

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Friday, July 9, 2010

FEATURED: Two by Ludwig Bemelmans


The Castle No. 9
Hardcover (out of print)
$150.00

Baptiste travels across Austria to Castle No. 9, home of the unnamed Count, who proceeds to rename the creatures and objects around him. Disaster ensues and a lesson is learned. Originally published in 1937, it has been out of print for seventy years and is quite scarce.




To The One I Love Best
(Episodes from the life of Lady Mendl)
Recounts Bemelmans friendship with the aging Elsie de Wolfe
Hardcover (out of print)
$24.95




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.