Thursday, 24 May 2018

New Books for 24 -31 May

Extra/ordinary : craft and contemporary art
745.5/BUSZ

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Contemporary artists such as Ghada Amer and Clare Twomey have gained international reputations for work that transforms ordinary craft media and processes into extraordinary conceptual art, from Amer’s monumental stitched paintings to Twomey’s large, ceramics-based installations. Despite the amount of attention that curators and gallery owners have paid to these and many other conceptual artists who incorporate craft into their work, few art critics or scholars have explored the historical or conceptual significance of craft in contemporary art. Extra/Ordinary takes up that task. Reflecting on what craft has come to mean in recent decades, artists, critics, curators, and scholars develop theories of craft in relation to art, chronicle how fine-art institutions understand and exhibit craft media, and offer accounts of activist crafting, or craftivism. Some contributors describe generational and institutional changes under way, while others signal new directions for scholarship, considering craft in relation to queer theory, masculinity, and science. Encompassing quilts, ceramics, letterpress books, wallpaper, and textiles, and moving from well-known museums to home workshops and political protests, Extra/Ordinary is an eclectic introduction to the “craft culture” referenced and celebrated by artists promoting new ways of thinking about the role of craft in contemporary art.

Kiki Smith procession
709.2/SMIT

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Artist Kiki Smith has produced an astoundingly varied body of work that deals powerfully with the political, social, philosophical, and spiritual aspects of human nature-especially in the way they relate to women. Smith's earlier works reflect the social discourse of the 1980s, particularly focusing on death and the AIDS epidemic. She later turned to issues of feminism, abortion rights, and animal rights. This comprehensive book provides an overview of Smith's artistic development, focusing on her sculpture, from the early 1980s to the present day. Images of her radical, unflinching work reveal an artist who is not afraid to explore subjects such as the human body or a society's archetypes. Filled with the beauty, vitality, and charm that are the hallmarks of Kiki Smith's art, this book urges viewers to think and feel.

Feminism and art history now : radical critiques of theory and practice
704.042/HORN
Feminism and Art History Now : Radical Critiques of Theory and Practice - Victoria Horne
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Four decades of feminist art history have prompted a radical rethinking of the discipline. This volume asks how feminism's interventions and propositions are relevant to contemporary scholarship today. To what extent have developments in global politics, artworld institutions, and local cultures reshaped the critical directions of feminist art historians? The significant new research gathered here engages with the rich inheritance of feminist historiography since around 1970, and considers how to maintain the forcefulness of its critique while addressing contemporary political struggles.

Taking on subjects that reflect the museological, global and materialist trajectories of twenty-first-century art historical scholarship, the chapters address the themes of Invisibility, Temporality, Spatiality and Storytelling. They present new research on a diversity of topics that span political movements in Italy, urban gentrification in New York, community art projects in Scotland and Canada's contemporary indigenous culture. Individual chapter analyses focus on the art of Lee Krasner, The Emily Davison Lodge, Zoe Leonard, Martha Rosler, Carla Lonzi and Womanhouse. Together with a synthesising introductory essay, these studies provide readers with a view of feminist art histories of the past, present and future.


Tacita Dean
778.58092/DEAN

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With films, drawings, photographs, audio recordings and installations, Berlin-based English artist Tacita Dean explores the ways that chance and coincidence influence daily life, constructing narratives that connect past and present, fact and fiction, private histories and larger events. Across one archipelago of works - Disappearance at Sea (1996), Disappearance at Sea II (1996) and Teignmouth Electron (1999) - Dean documents the tragic account of Donald Crowhurst and his attempts to fake a solo voyage around the globe, which culminated in his eventual loss of sanity and his death at sea. The works tell the story through various fragments and landscapes, including a magnificent sea vista from a lighthouse beacon that produce what the artist refers to as a 'missing narrative' reminiscent of an atmospheric nineteenth-century seascape painting.
Art and cinema theorist Jean-Christophe Royoux uses his Survey to dissect the multiple layers of time - durational and historical - at play in Tacita Dean's work. In the Interview, writer and art historian Marina Warner talks to the artist about the remarkable origins of several of her works, highlighting their charmed relationship to chance. Literature and culture critic Germaine Greer uses the Focus to examine the man and the building at the heart of the three-part film installation Boots (2003). For Artist's Choice, Dean has selected a 1939 poem by W. B. Yeats and a passage from a 1995 novel by W. G. Sebald that both capture the elegiac spirit of her own work. Artist's Writings range from a reflection on the distant South Atlantic Island Tristan da Cunha to a very personal obituary Dean wrote about the Italian artist Mario Merz. Also included are project notes on a half dozen of the artist's key works.

Luc Tuymans : Intolerance
759.9493/TUYM
Luc Tuymans: Intolerance
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Belgian painter Luc Tuymans (born 1958), one of the key figures in the 1990s revival of figurative painting, is also one of contemporary art’s great history painters, tackling historical traumas and their representations in a restrained—though resolutely painterly—style and pale, muted palette. Far from accepting painting as obsolete or inadequate, throughout his career Tuymans has used painting to engage with the most painful, urgent subjects of the past and present, from the aftermath of the Second World War and Belgium’s colonial past to the War on Terror. "I still indulge in the perversity of painting," said Tuymans, "which remains interesting." Luc Tuymans: Intolerance, published to accompany a major retrospective at the Qatar Museums in Doha (the artist’s first show in the Gulf region), surveys Tuymans’ work from the past 25 years. Comprehensive and richly illustrated, it contains more than 800 reproductions: studies, archival material and installation photographs, as well as 60 drawings and 100 paintings (including Tuymans’ new body of work, The Arena, created for the exhibition). Also included are texts by Jan Avgikos, Nicholas Cullinan, Jenevive Nykolak, Nicholas Serota and exhibition curator Lynne Cooke, offering new insights into Tuymans’ oeuvre from the past three decades.

The best is not too good for you : new approaches to public collections in England 
708.2/THEB

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Ceramics and Pop Art sit in these pages alongside magic lanterns, demarcating the early origins of cinema, before moving on to an exploration of new technologies. Documenting four unique exhibitions at the Whitechapel Gallery over the course of a year, this publication includes newly commissioned texts exploring the complexity of collecting, exhibiting and curating in England today. With contributions from: Anna Colin, Matthew Darbyshire, Helen Kaplinsky, Helen Rees Leahy, Ingrid Swenson and Gaia Tedone.

Nigel Cooke
759.2/COOK

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Nigel Cooke is known for his complex paintings, which thematically explore the meeting point between creative labour, consciousness, art history, consumer culture, and nature. Primarily centred on meticulously painted, large-scale urban landscapes, which he calls 'hybrid theatrical spaces', Cooke's work employs disparate styles, often integrating trompe l'oeil miniature rocks and trees with backdrops of graffiti-marked buildings, to create scenes conveying obscure and macabre narratives. This survey of Cooke’s career to date explores the artist's style, approach, and impact on contemporary art and includes his very latest works, completed shortly before publication.

Art for All: The Color Woodcut in Vienna around 1900
769.92/COLL VIEN

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At the turn of the 20th century, amid the domed grandeur of Vienna, a group of Secession artists reclaimed the humble woodblock. The gesture, though short-lived, and long overlooked by established art histories, may be seen as a decisive social, as well as aesthetic, moment. Elevating a primarily illustrative, mass-production medium to the status of fine art, the woodblock revival set a formal precedent for Expressionism while democratizing an art for all.
Through figure studies, landscapes, patterns, and typographical treasures, the featured works are accompanied by detailed captions, as well as essays exploring their aesthetic and ideological implications, and biographies for the more than 40 artists. Examining their stark contours, stylization of the surface per se, and tendency towards contained color areas we evaluate the Viennese woodblocks as essential harbingers, and benchmarks, of the 20th century modernism to come. At the same time, we assess how the dissemination of the woodblock substantiated the Seccessionist claim for a democratized, all-encompassing art, while adding to their reappraisal of originality, and authenticity, and convention.

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