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Books: Bauhaus: A Conceptual Model

This year the Bauhaus School celebrates 90 years since its founding, and Berlin is hosting an exhibition of around 1,000 artifacts, objects and artworks, the exhibition takes place in the Martin Gropius-Bau building before traveling to MoMA in New York.

Founded in Weimar in 1919, located in Dessau beginning in 1925, and closed in Berlin in 1933 the Bauhaus continues to be the most effective and successful export article of twentieth-century German culture. Even more than seventy years after it was closed, this interdisciplinary school for art, architecture, design, and theater has not lost any of its currentness.

A book will accompany the exhibition, documenting some of the most important works, including the newly re-discovered Marcel Breuer and Gunta Stölzl’s early Bauhaus African Chair and Laszlo Moholy Nagy’s Light Space modulator – a kinetic sculpture from the 1930′s; paintings and sculpture by Kandinksy, Albers and Klee as wells as works by Walter Gropius, Hannes Mayer and Mies van der Rohe.

This profusely illustrated, comprehensive publication with around four hundred color illustrations re-examines and re-evaluates the art school’s history and influence. In this collaborative project by the three leading institutes at the former sites of the Bauhaus’s activities–the Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin, the Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau, and the Bauhaus-Museum der Klassik Stiftung Weimar–the historic Bauhaus and the trail of its reception are closely examined and analyzed based on sixty-eight selected highlights, including the hitherto neglected aspects of the Bauhaus during the period of National Socialism as well as its international propagation and commercialization.

Exhibition schedule: Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, July 22–October 4, 2009 – Museum of Modern Art, New York, November 3, 2009–January 18, 2010

Bauhaus: A Conceptual Model, Edited by Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin, Klassik Stiftung Weimar, Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau, introduction by Annemarie Jaeggi, texts by Barry Bergdoll, Klaus von Beyme, Regina Bittner, Gerda Breuer, Magdalena Droste, Peter Hahn, Christine Hopfengart, Christoph Ingenhoven, Michael Siebenbrodt, Klaus Weber u.a.,
English, 376 pages, 302 Illustrations, 236 in color, 29.9 x 26.6 cm, Hardcover, ISBN 9783775724159, Publisher: Hatje Cantz
Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Papercraft: Design and Art with Paper

Papercraft is an extensive and timely survey of innovative art and design work crafted from paper. It explores the astounding possibilities of paper craft in all shapes and sizes – some are playful, whimsical and quick to produce while others are far more intricate and created in painstaking detail. From the most basic techniques including cutting, folding, gluing and collage to the use of cutting-edge technology like embossing and laser cutting, paper and cardboard-crafted works are reaching new artistic heights.

The book gathers the most extraordinary creations from small objects and figures to large-scale art installations and urban interventions as well as three-dimensional graphic sculptures from a vast spectrum of artistic disciplines ranging from character design, urban art, fine art, graphic design, illustration, fashion, animation and film. Adding even more value, this illustrated book also includes a DVD with printable templates for creating your own paper characters and toys as well as a curated selection of the best stop-motion animations.

Papercraft: Design and Art with Paper, Editors: R. Klanten, S. Ehmann, B. Meyer,
24cm x 30cm, 256 pages, full colour, hardcover, including DVD, ISBN: 9783899552515
Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Norman Mailer, MoonFire: The Epic Journey of Apollo 11

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, TASCHEN has paired Norman Mailer’s seminal text with spectacular photography–from the archives of NASA and LIFE magazine and many other sources-to create a unique tribute to the defining scientific mission of our era.

It has been called the single most historic event of the 20th century: On July 20, 1969 Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins met John F. Kennedy’s call for a manned Moon landing by the end of the 1960s. A decade of tests and training, a staff of 400,000 engineers and scientists, and a $24 billion budget climaxed with the launch of the most powerful rocket ever built, and an unprecedented event watched by millions the world over. And nobody captured the men, the mood, and the machinery like Norman Mailer.

MoonFire: The Epic Journey of Apollo 11 by Norman Mailer, Colum McCann,
Published by TASCHEN, Limited Edition of 1957 copies, No. 1–1957, Hardcover in a box + framed print, 36.5 x 44 cm, 350 pages ISBN: 9783836511797
Update: Now available as a standard hardcover edition.

Buy it here: Amazon, or Standard Hardcover Edition

Books: Never Use White Type on a Black Background

In design school you will encounter people who revel in ridiculous design rules, like the graphic design professor I had, who I still quote today: “When in doubt, use a drop shadow.” Anneloes van Gaalen has gathered some of the better known rules as they relate to the design discipline, including fashion, typography, art and advertising. The illustrated book is peppered with quotes from the famous and not-so-famous; like a condensed version of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, but for design professionals.

Design has many rules that claim to be big truths and full of wisdom. Designers all go by rules that work for them. However, their rules may not work for someone else, or for a particular piece of design work. As Tibor Kalman once said, “Rules are good. Break them.”

Here are some quotes from the book, by some of our favorite people:

“The client may be king, but he’s not the art director.”
- Von R. Glitschka

Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple.”
- Charles Mingus

“Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.”
- Oscar Wilde

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
- Samuel Beckett

Never Use White Type on a Black Background: And 50 Other Ridiculous Design Rules, Edited by Anneloes van Gaalen, BIS Publishers, Hardcover, Dimensions: 12 x 17 cm, Pages: 160 ISBN: 9789063692070

Buy it here: Amazon

Ingrid Siliakus—Paper Architect

Paper Architecture is the art of creating an object out of a single piece of paper. Before the final design is finished, something like 20 to 30 (sometimes even more) prototypes are made by Ingrid Siliakus. Drawing paper architecture designs to Ingrid is as building: first one layer, with a single shape, will be drawn and than layer after layer are added. To design a pattern from scratch, the artist needs the skills of an architect to create a two-dimensional design, which, with the patience and precision of a surgeon, becomes an ingenious three-dimensional wonder of paper.

“A growing number of papercraft artists are enjoying the exquisite art of architectural origami, where a single sheet of paper is cut and folded into an intricate miniature structure. Here, three of the world’s leading proponents provide instructions and templates for recreating twenty of the world’s great buildings, from the Taj Mahal to the Rialto Bridge. There are basic principles to start you off, as well as galleries of the finest architectural origami from around the world.”

The Paper Architect, Marivi Garrido (Spain), Joyce Aysta (America) and Ingrid Siliakus (Netherlands), Hardcover, 110 pages (70pp plus 40pp templates), 23cm X 28cm,
ISBN: 9780307451477

Buy it here: Amazon

Books: House: Work by House Industries

House Industries is famous for their impeccable tongue-in-cheek takes on American popular culture, on comic influences such as Ed “Big Daddy” Roth and on modern design classics from Neutra to Charles Eames. Based in Delaware, its members have been producing premier league typefaces and designs for a devoted fan base since 1993.

Because their font and design work deftly meld cultural, musical and graphical elements, one becomes part of a concept and a way of life by
buying a House product. Their prize-winning font families, for example, are lovingly packaged to match the overall font theme in wallets, bowling bags, UFOs, etc. Their unique type products can be seen internationally on anything from your favourite brand of cereal to highly circulated magazines and television shows.

House by Andy Cruz, Ken Barber, Rich Roat, 24cm x 30cm, 240 pages,
ISBN: 978-3-931126-20-9

Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Calder 1898-1976

When the final tally of key movers in the plastic arts of this century is compiled, there is no doubt that maestro of movement Alexander Calder (1898-1976), the man who put the swing into sculpture, will be near numero uno. Calder took it off the plinth, gave it to the wind, and left us kinetic playgrounds of the spirit. He operated at the point where Modernity and nature fused, developing an environmental art that changed the medium forever. Visiting his Paris atelier in 1932, Duchamp coined the term “Mobiles” for Calder’s delicate wire and disc pieces, constructions that would soon become immensely popular.

But he didn’t rest on his innovations. Friends with Miro, Mondrian and Leger, Calder also turned his hand to painting, drawing, gouaches, toys, textiles and utensil design. A graphic master who sketched as much in air as in ink, the Sixties and Seventies saw Calder take on the monumental, translating the dynamics of cities into both his Mobiles and “Stabiles”. At a time when sculpture was perceived to be the antithesis of movement, Calder unmade gravity and freed the elements in a body of work that is still sending a wind of change through the art world today.

Calder, 1898-1976, by Jacob Baal-Teshuva, 96 pages, Soft cover.
Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Fragiles: Porcelain Glass & Ceramics

Not long ago, porcelain, glass and ceramics were almost exclusively used to make ostentatious objects best suited for display in grandmother’s cabinet. But now these classic materials are experiencing a renaissance. Today, they are increasingly being utilised in playful ways by a new wave of designers and artists, who are inspired by Modernism’s clear forms as well as an ironic depiction of figures, kitsch and the Romantic. Armed with these influences and an expanded repertoire of forms made possible by technological developments such as rapid prototyping, these designers and artists are manifesting their creative visions in unconventional objects made of these fragile materials.

Fragiles is an eclectic collection of such contemporary work. This book presents industrial applications made from porcelain, glass and ceramics such as the exclusive, futuristic tableware now in use in avant-garde restaurants around the world. It also features artistic glass objects by Arne Quinze and Jerszy Seymour as well as striking porcelain products by Jurgen Bey, Marcel Wanders and Jaime Hayon. In addition to these projects by renowned creatives, Fragiles also contains an exciting selection of recent cutting-edge work by emerging talents.

Fragiles: Porcelain, Glass and Ceramics, Edited by, R. Klanten, S. Ehmann, S. Grill,
280 pages, full colour, hardcover

Buy it here: Amazon

Monograph: Jeff Koons

Koons For The Poor!
Jeff Koons’s entire oeuvre to date, at a decidely unKoonsian price. From kinky to kitsch via conceptual, Jeff Koons’ art is anything but conformist. Since he stunned the art world in the 1980s with basketball sculptures and stainless steel blow-ups, Koons has been contemporary art’s bad boy—a reputation he (ahem) nailed in the early 90s via works depicting him in flagrante delicto with then-wife Cicciolina, the Italian porn star-cum-politician. He followed these with Puppy, a 40-foot tall floral terrier installed at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Koons’ exploitation of the banal, and aggrandizement of kitsch and pop imagery, has become his trademark. Despite his many critics, the work commands millions at auction and Koons’ position at the forefront of contemporary art is indisputable.

This exhaustive monograph includes a biographical essay by Ingrid Sischy, an Eckhard Schneider essay on Koons from a European perspective, and Katy Siegel’s detailed and scholarly analysis of his work. Arranged chronologically, with hundreds of large format images, it traces Koons’ career from 1979 to today. Not merely a sumptuous objet d’art, this is the most comprehensive study of Koons’ work yet published.

Jeff Koons, Edited by Hans Werner Holzwarth, 592 pages.
Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Alinea by Grant Achatz

The Chicago restaurant Alinea has its own molecular gastronomy wunderkind in Grant Achatz as he takes food in previously unimagined directions. This cookbook presents the exact recipes, grouped by season, from the restaurant kitchen, such as Yolk Drops with Asparagus, Lemon and Black Pepper or Bison with Beets, Blueberries and Burning Cinnamon, along with gorgeous closeup photographs of these jaw-droppingly fanciful creations. The book opens with essays by food world elder statesmen, including Michael Ruhlman and Jeffrey Steingarten, who lavish praise on Achatz’s approach, and Michael Nagrant, who explores the Alinea philosophy through a dish called “Black Truffle Explosion.” Achatz himself eloquently explains 10 techniques he uses at the restaurant to achieve his culinary goals, from “bouncing flavors” to custom service ware and aroma manipulation.

Though readers are encouraged to make the recipes, or at least interpret them so as to “craft an experience similar to dining at the restaurant,” where every minute involves intensive engagement with the food, most people will value the book more as a beautifully produced insight into Achatz’s creativity and perhaps a spur to their own, even when they are not making spheres of beet juice or mozzarella balloons. Purchase includes access to a companion Web site with video demonstrations, interviews and an forum with Achatz and his team. (Publishers Weekly)

Alinea Book by Grant Achatz, 416pp, Hardcover

Buy it here: Amazon

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