This month marks the official arrival of summer! There are plenty of great art books slated to be released throughout June that make perfect summer reads. Expect to find books spotlighting women artists, including Cindy Sherman, Sara VanDerBeek and many others. Also on our list are books revealing technological-driven art making processes, a focus on Joseph Beuys, an unusual connection between two historic artists and more. We hope these books inspire and intrigue you all through June 2016. 

“Mapplethorpe + Munch”

“Mapplethorpe + Munch”

This catalogue delves into the many affinities shared between two widely renowned and discussed artists, Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) and Edvard Munch (1863-1944), whose intensely studied work has never been considered in relation to one another. “Mapplethorpe + Munch” reveals how these two figures relate on an existential level, the ways they dealt with questions concerning sexuality, and their use of self-portraiture as a means to explore issues of personal identity. The catalogue was published in support of "Mapplethorpe + Munch" exhibited at The Munch Museum (Oslo, Norway) earlier this year. The exhibition was the fourth show in the museum's +Munch exhibition series.

The catalogue features essays that examine the exhibition's thematic impulses including a previously unexplored association between two equally contentious art figures, while working to impart alternative perspectives and new insight into their respective outputs. Although distinct in their legacies, Mapplethorpe and Munch remain remarkably intertwined.

BASIC FACTS: “Mapplethorpe + Munch” is written by Jon-Ove Steihaug (Editor). Published by Mercatorfonds. Release Date: June 7, 2016. Hardcover; 256 pages; $60.00.

“Art in the Making: Artists and their Materials from the Studio to Crowdsourcing”

"Art in the Making: Artists and their Materials from the Studio to Crowdsourcing"

Today, artists are able to create using multiple methods of production―from painting to digital technologies to crowdsourcing―some of which would have been unheard of just a few decades ago. Yet, even as our means of making art become more extraordinary and diverse, they are almost never addressed in their specificity. While critics and viewers tend to focus on the finished products we see in museums and galleries, authors Glenn Adamson and Julia Bryan-Wilson argue that the materials and processes behind the scenes used to make artworks are also vital to current considerations of authorship and to understanding the economic and social contexts from which art emerges.

This wide-ranging exploration of different methods and media in art since the 1950s includes nine chapters that focus on individual processes of making. Detailed examples are interwoven with the discussion, including visuals that reveal the intricacies of techniques and materials. Artists featured include Ai Weiwei, Alice Aycock, Isa Genzken, Los Carpinteros, Paul Pfeiffer, Doris Salcedo, Santiago Sierra, and Rachel Whiteread

BASIC FACTS: “Art in the Making: Artists and their Materials from the Studio to Crowdsourcing” is written by Glenn Adamson and Julia Bryan-Wilson. Published by Thames & Hudson. Release Date: June 7, 2016. Hardcover; 256 pages; $39.95.

“The Essential Joseph Beuys”

“The Essential Joseph Beuys”

“The Essential Joseph Beuys” locates the artist’s oeuvre as he saw it: part of a larger, philosophically based practice emphasizing direct democracy, free access to education, and the restructuring of society to meet ecological requirements. A total of 152 works from Beuys’s many fields of activity―drawings and watercolors, prints and multiples, sculptures and objects, spaces and happenings―arranged in chronological order demonstrate the artist’s formal versatility, creative richness, and conceptual depth. The peculiar poetry of the materials Beuys used―felt, grease, honey, wax, copper, and sulfur―emerges along with the gentle melancholy that suffuses the work.

Alain Borer analyzes the world of Beuys’s thoughts and imagination with special reference to the artist’s written and spoken statements. This survey is an introduction to the work and conceptual world of Joseph Beuys that will appeal to anyone interested in twentieth-century art.

BASIC FACTS: “The Essential Joseph Beuys” is written by Alain Borer. Published by Thames & Hudson. Release Date: June 7, 2016. Hardcover; 240 pages; $60.00.

“Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life”

“Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life”

This book encompasses the full scope of Cindy Sherman’s career, with a special focus on the cinematic quality of her oeuvre. Known for slipping seamlessly behind the rotating masks of fairy tale characters, centerfold models, historical figures, and clowns, Cindy Sherman tackles popular tropes in her photographs and dismantles the stereotypes surrounding the roles she embodies. Featuring illustrations that draw from the Broad collection, the world’s largest collection of Sherman’s photography, as well as other sources, this book traces Sherman’s most important works from 1977 to the present.

Curator Philipp Kaiser, taking his cue from Sherman’s choice to title the book and exhibition after Douglas Sirk’s 1959 film Imitation of Life, analyzes Sherman’s work from the standpoint of cinema and traces how such a reading can impact the critical discourse around her photographs. The book also features a conversation between director Sofia Coppola and Cindy Sherman, which centers on Sherman’s use of filmic techniques to examine women’s roles and identities across a wide array of popular representations.

BASIC FACTS: “Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life” is written by Philipp Kaiser. Published by Prestel. Release Date: June 11, 2016. Hardcover; 160 pages; $49.95.

“Women of Abstract Expressionism”

"Women of Abstract Expressionism"

The artists Jay DeFeo, Helen Frankenthaler, Grace Hartigan, Elaine de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, and many other women played major roles in the development of Abstract Expressionism, which flourished in New York and San Francisco in the 1940s and 1950s and has been recognized as the first fully American modern art movement. Though the contributions of these women were central to American art of the twentieth century, their work has not received the same critical attention as that of their male counterparts. 

“Women of Abstract Expressionism” is a long-overdue survey. Illustrated with full-color plates emphasizing the expressive freedom of direct gesture and process at the core of the movement, this book features biographies of more than forty artists, offering insight into their lives and work. Essays by noted scholars explore the techniques, concerns, and legacies of women in Abstract Expressionism, shedding light on their unique experiences. This book reveals the richness of the careers of these important artists and offers keen new reflections on their work and the movement as a whole.

BASIC FACTS: “Women of Abstract Expressionism” is written by Irving Sandler. Published by Yale University Press. Release Date: June 14, 2016. Hardcover; 216 pages; $65.00.

“Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women 1947-2016”

Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women 1947-2016

“Revolution in the Making” traces the ways in which women artists deftly transformed the language of sculpture. The volume seeks to identify the multiple strains of proto-feminist practices, characterized by abstraction and repetition, which rejected the singularity of the masterwork.

Divided into four sections, the book will feature approximately thirty artists and nearly 100 works in total: the postwar era (the late 1950s) including such historically important predecessors as Ruth Asawa, Lee Bontecou, Louise Bourgeois, Claire Falkenstein, and Louise Nevelson; the 1960s and 1970s, highlighting a generation of post-minimalist artists who ignited a revolution in their use of process-oriented materials and methods; the 1980s and 1990s, the period that moved beyond singular, three-dimensional objects toward architectonic works characterized by repetition, structure, and design; and post-2000 works by artists who created installation-based environments, embracing domestic materials and craft as an embedded discourse.

BASIC FACTS: “Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women 1947-2016” is written by Elizabeth Smith and Anne Wagner. Published by Skira. Release Date: June 21, 2016. Hardcover; 256 pages; $55.00.

“This Is a Portrait If I Say So: Identity in American Art, 1912 to Today”

This Is a Portrait If I Say So: Identity in American Art, 1912 to Today

This book traces the history of portraiture as a site of radical artistic experimentation, as it shifted from a genre based on mimesis to one stressing instead conceptual and symbolic associations between artist and subject. Featuring over 100 color illustrations of works by artists from Charles Demuth, Marcel Duchamp, Marsden Hartley, and Georgia O’Keeffe to Janine Antoni, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Roni Horn, Jasper Johns, and Glenn Ligon, this timely publication probes the ways we think about and picture the self and others. With particular focus on three periods during which non-mimetic portraiture flourished—1912–25, 1961–70, and 1990–the present—the authors investigate issues related to technology, sexuality, artist networks, identity politics, social media, and explore the emergence of new models for the visual representation of identity.

Taking its title from a 1961 work by Robert Rauschenberg—a telegram that stated, “This is a portrait of Iris Clert if I say so”—this book unites paintings, sculpture, photography, and text portraits that challenge the genre in significant, often playful ways and question the convention, as well as the limits, of traditional portrayal.

BASIC FACTS: “This Is a Portrait If I Say So: Identity in American Art, 1912 to Today” is written by Anne Collins Goodyear, Jonathan Walz and Kathleen Campagnolo. Published by Yale University Press. Release Date: June 23, 2016. Hardcover; 264 pages; $60.00.

“Sara VanDerBeek”

"Sara VanDerBeek"

The photographic and sculptural arrangements of Sara VanDerBeek (born 1976) emulate a poet’s economic use of structure, phrasing and rhythm, to suspend images and multiple processes within a rigorously shaped framework. This first book-length study presents close readings of VanDerBeek’s experimentation with photographic capture, printing, cast-concrete forms and built environments that draw on diverse material cultures.

Ultimately, the book distills VanDerBeek’s experiences and recollections of visits to Detroit, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Rome, Paris, Naples, Rotterdam and New York between 2006 and 2016. Contributions by international scholars and curators offer an oblique angle not only into VanDerBeek’s vital practice, but also the ways that VanDerBeek is shaping current debates on the relationship between image and object in contemporary art.

BASIC FACTS: “Sara VanDerBeek” is written by Ina Blom. Published by Hatje Cantz. Release Date: June 28, 2016. Paperback; 176 pages; $50.00.


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