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Forthcoming Books Seen This Week 24 April 2015

Art

                Go to reception and ask for Sara in red felt tip by Holly Pester. Using anecdote as a method to generate a collection of poetry, critical fictions and literary fragments this book performs a response to the history and function of the Women’s Art Library. The stories segue through the archive of personal correspondence, artists’ slides and administrative papers, as well as a poster archive documenting exhibitions, parties and activism in 1980s Feminist art movements. Anecdotal, gossiped and mistreated histories form aberrant narratives as a result of an inverted mode of archival research.

                Portland has been shaped and hollowed out over centuries by convicts and quarrymen to provide stone for some of London’s best-known buildings – one million square feet of Portland stone is said to have been quarried for St Paul’s Cathedral alone. Katrina Palmer has undertaken her own excavations into this elemental island, marked by unsettling absences, deviant goings-on and a writer who has gone missing. End Matter accounts for the loss of Portland's stone, through the mysterious work of The Loss Adjusters, based on Portland, and responsible for accounting and balancing the material and historical shifts of the island’s being. Reporting these losses in the form of reports, their work overlaps, and becomes disrupted by, the presence of a writer and her production of unreliable narratives set in the tunnels, paths and hollowed out quarries of the island, and presented – like the stone itself – as absences from the narrative; end matter, whose body is missing.

                In the early 2000s, Saul Leiter came to the fore as one of the most accomplished and surprising colour photographers of the 20th century. Books were published, films made and exhibitions launched. While it was never a secret, few of those who are familiar with Leiter's photography are aware that over the years he created, in his own unhurried way, a yet-to-be appreciated and equally formidable body of paintings and painted photographs. As the first ever publication dedicated to this largely unknown part of Leiter's oeuvre, Painted Nudes offers a selection of more than 70 painted photographs - intimate, brilliantly coloured pieces that marry Leiter's two artistic passions. Produced over the course of four decades, these fiercely expressive nudes are a testament to Leiter's intuitive sense of colour and composition, and showcase a great 20th century artist at his resplendent best. Painted Nudes seeks not only to celebrate, but to illuminate this unique body of work by juxtaposing the painted nudes with a selection of quotes from works of literature. Taking its cue from Leiter's own work, the book straddles the boundaries between genres, inviting readers to discover their connections and resonances. Lush, evocative and associative, Painted Nudes is as stimulating to the eye as it is for the mind.

                Since the 1970s Raymond Pettibon has created a vocabulary of symbols that reappear consistently if enigmatically across his oeuvre. These range from baseball players, vixens, light bulbs and railway trains to the cartoon character Gumby and infamous murderer Charles Manson. But the most poetic and revealing of Pettibon's symbols may be the surfer, the solitary longboarder challenging a massive wave. In his "surfer paintings," viewers ride along with a counterculture existentialist hero who perhaps is the artist's nearest proxy. Almost all of the works included in this volume depict an ocean roiling with chaotic swells, accompanied by nonsequiturs, quotations and bits of poetry in the artist's handwriting. Among these works are early small-scale, monochrome India ink paintings; numerous paintings from the 1990s when the artist introduced color to his work; and a group of rare, large-scale paintings.

 

 

Design

                Jasper Morrison has the ability to bestow things with a distinctive style. His signature style is evident in many of the everyday objects that surround us. His repertoire of essential designs is characterised by simplicity yet complexity, as well as a sense of poetry and humour. Morrison works on a global scale and is one of the most influential product designers in the world today. A Book of Things is a collection of products and projects across the broad spectrum of his activities and demonstrates the continuity of his interests and methods, which he describes in succinct texts. Following on from Everything but the Walls, A Book of Things is a continuation of Morrison’s intense examination of the world of things that accompany our lives and shape our environment.

 

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