Fall is the perfect season to curl up with a great book, and what better thing to read about than art! We have put together a list of new and upcoming art books to read and put on your bookshelf this November.
Included in this month’s Art on the Shelf list of art book releases are: “Mass Effect: Art and the Internet in the Twenty-First Century,” “Roy Lichtenstein: Drawing First,” “Abstract Bodies: Sixties Sculpture in the Expanded Field of Gender,” “Frank Stella: A Retrospective,” “Picasso Sculpture,” “Kerry James Marshall: Look See” and “Irrational Judgments: Eva Hesse, Sol LeWitt, and 1960s New York.
“Mass Effect: Art and the Internet in the Twenty-First Century (Critical Anthologies in Art and Culture)”
Since the turn of the millennium, the Internet has evolved from what was merely a new medium to a true “mass” medium—with a deeper and wider cultural reach, greater opportunities for distribution and collaboration, and more complex corporate and political realities. Mapping a loosely chronological series of formative arguments, developments, and happenings, “Mass Effect” provides a guide to understanding the dynamic and ongoing relationship between art and new technologies.
“Mass Effect” brings together nearly forty contributions, including newly commissioned essays and reprints, image portfolios, and transcribed discussion panels and lectures that offer insights and reflections from a wide range of artists, curators, art historians, and bloggers. Among the topics examined are the use of commercial platforms for art practice, what art means in an age of increasing surveillance, and questions surrounding such recent concepts as "post-internet." “Mass Effect” re-launches a publication series initiated by the MIT Press and the New Museum in 1984, which produced six defining volumes for the field of contemporary art. These new volumes will build on this historic partnership and reinvigorate the conversation around contemporary culture once again.
BASIC FACTS: “Mass Effect: Art and the Internet in the Twenty-First Century (Critical Anthologies in Art and Culture)” is written by Lauren Cornell (Editor) and Ed Halter (Editor). Published by The MIT Press. Co-published with the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. Release Date: October 30, 2015. Hardcover; 528 pages; $44.95.
“Roy Lichtenstein: Drawing First”
Written in close collaboration with the Roy Lichtenstein Estate and Foundation, this monograph presents a selection of over 200 works on paper by the American artist, from the National Gallery of Washington, DC; the MoMA and the Whitney Museum, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as from public and private European and American collections.
Devoted to his works on paper that represent the most private and poetic aspect of Roy Lichtenstein’s production, this volume provides the reader with a unique perspective for getting to know and appreciate the artist’s oeuvre through the “first works,” namely the original ideas that were to be the source of inspiration for his world-famous art. The works on paper are also paired with some important paintings and sculptures, as well as a selection of photographs documenting the artist at work. The volume includes texts by Danilo Eccher, Dorothy Lichtenstein, Bernice Rose, Jack Cowart, Thomas Zacharias (“Lichtenstein Draws”), and Andrea C. Theil, a chronology (by Clare Bell), and a list of exhibitions in Italy.
BASIC FACTS: “Roy Lichtenstein: Drawing First” is written by Danilo Eccher. Published by Skira. Release Date: November 3, 2015. Hardcover; 264 pages; $60.00.
“Abstract Bodies: Sixties Sculpture in the Expanded Field of Gender”
“Abstract Bodies” is the first book to apply the interdisciplinary field of transgender studies to the discipline of art history. It recasts debates around abstraction and figuration in 1960s art through a discussion of gender’s mutability and multiplicity. In that decade, sculpture purged representation and figuration but continued to explore the human as an implicit reference. Even as the statue and the figure were left behind, artists and critics asked how the human, and particularly gender and sexuality, related to abstract sculptural objects that refused the human form.
This book examines abstract sculpture in the 1960s that came to propose unconventional and open accounts of bodies, persons, and genders. Drawing on transgender and queer theory, David J. Getsy offers innovative new interpretations of artworks and critical writing about four major artists—Dan Flavin (1933–1996), Nancy Grossman (b. 1940), John Chamberlain (1927–2011), and David Smith (1906–1965). “Abstract Bodies” makes a case for abstraction as a resource in reconsidering gender’s multiple capacities.
BASIC FACTS: “Abstract Bodies: Sixties Sculpture in the Expanded Field of Gender” is written by David J. Getsy. Published by Yale University Press. Release Date: November 3, 2015. Hardcover; 392 pages; $65.00.
“Frank Stella: A Retrospective”
This catalogue presents a retrospective study of Frank Stella (b. 1936), one of the most important figures in 20th-century American art. Showcasing works from all of his major series, the book surveys the full sweep of Stella’s career, from his artistic beginnings in high school and college to today.
“Frank Stella: A Retrospective” contains a plate section comprised with more than 100 works, including paintings, sculptures, reliefs, and works on paper. Notable inclusions are his seminal “Black Paintings,” recent high-relief aluminum works, and a selection of drawings, maquettes, and digital renderings—many of which are reproduced here for the first time—that offer fresh insight into Stella’s thinking and process. An interview with Stella conducted by American painter Laura Owens allows Stella to illuminate his artistic practice in his own words. Additional resources include a chronology with extensive bibliographic and exhibition references.
“Frank Stella: A Retrospective” is on view at the Whitney Museum of Art, New York through February 7, 2016.
BASIC FACTS: “Frank Stella: A Retrospective” is written by Michael Auping. Published by Yale University Press. Release Date: November 17, 2015. Hardcover; 250 pages; $65.00.
Published in conjunction with the first large-scale retrospective of Picasso's sculpture in the US since The Museum of Modern Art's historic show of 1967, “Picasso Sculpture” is a sweeping survey of the artist's innovative and influential work in three dimensions. Over the course of his long career, Picasso devoted himself to sculpture wholeheartedly, if episodically, using both traditional and unconventional materials and techniques. Unlike painting, in which he was formally trained and through which he made his living, sculpture occupied a uniquely personal and experimental status in Picasso's oeuvre. He kept the majority of his sculptures in his private possession during his lifetime, and it was only in the late 1960s that the public became fully aware of this side of the artist.
“Picasso Sculpture” presents approximately 150 sculptures, alongside a selection of works on paper and photographs. Organized into chapters that correspond to distinct periods during which Picasso devoted himself to sculpture, the publication features an introduction by the exhibition curators as well as an illustrated documentary chronology focusing on the sculptures included in the exhibition. A comprehensive bibliography and list of historic exhibitions related to Picasso's work in sculpture closes the volume, advancing the understanding of Picasso's practice and lifelong commitment to constant reinvention.
“Picasso Sculpture” is on view at the Museum of Modern Art, New York through February 7, 2016.
BASIC FACTS: “Picasso Sculpture” is written by Luise Mahler and Virginie Perdrisot. Published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Release Date: November 24, 2015. Hardcover; 352 pages; $85.00.
“Kerry James Marshall: Look See”
Over the course of almost three decades, Kerry James Marshall (born 1955) has produced a complex body of work exploring the representation of African Americans in society, culture and art history. Working across various media in portraits, interiors, nudes and landscapes, Marshall conflates actual and imagined events from African American history and culture and integrates a range of stylistic influences to address the limited historiography of black art.
Produced on the occasion of the artist's first exhibition at David Zwirner in London, this volume features reproductions of 14 new paintings (the majority of which are portraits of subjects whose disassociated stares suggest the differences between "looking" and "seeing"), as well as preparatory drawings, details and new scholarship by Robert Storr and Hamza Walker. Taken all together, the range of materials included in “Kerry James Marshall: Look See” constitutes a vibrant portrait of Marshall's original and ever-evolving practice.
BASIC FACTS: “Kerry James Marshall: Look See” is written by Robert Storr. Published by David Zwirner Books. Release Date: November 24, 2015. Hardcover; 112 pages; $65.00.
“Irrational Judgments: Eva Hesse, Sol LeWitt, and 1960s New York”
“Irrational Judgments” examines the close friendship and significant exchange of ideas between Eva Hesse (1936–1970) and Sol LeWitt (1928–2007) in New York City during the 1960s. Taking its title from LeWitt’s statement “Irrational judgments lead to new experience,” this book examines the breakthroughs of the artists’ intertwined careers, offering a new understanding of minimal, post-minimal, and conceptual art amid the era’s political and social upheavals.
Kirsten Swenson offers the first in-depth discussion of the early critical developments of each artist: LeWitt’s turn from commercial design to fine art, and Hesse’s move from expressionist painting to reliefs and sculpture. Bringing together a wealth of documents, interviews, and images—many published here for the first time—this publication presents an insightful account of the artists’ influence on and support for each other’s pursuit of an experimental practice. Swenson’s analysis expands our understanding of the artists’ ideas, the importance of their work, and, more broadly, the relationship of the 1960s New York art world to gender politics, the Vietnam War, and the city itself.
BASIC FACTS: “Irrational Judgments: Eva Hesse, Sol LeWitt, and 1960s New York” is written by Kirsten Swenson. Published by Yale University Press. Release Date: November 27, 2015. Hardcover; 200 pages; $50.00.
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