33 Artists in 3 Acts - Sarah Thornton

If meeting 33 Artists in 3 Acts (W.W. Norton, $26.95) seems dizzying, relax. As introduced by Sarah Thornton, author of the acclaimed Seven Days in the Art World, each of these creators comes across as unique and fascinating. Thornton knows today’s art world intimately and discusses its politics and markets as informatively as she presents its leading figures, from Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst to Ai Weiwei and Zeng Fanzhi, Marina Abramovic and Andrea Fraser to the entire Dunham clan—paterfamilias Carroll, his wife Laurie Simmons, and their multi-talented daughter, Lena. In a format that effectively puts her subjects in dialogue with one another, Thornton starts each interview with the question: What is an artist? She elicits a wide array of responses: an artist may be “a myth,” a “product designer,” an “internal other,” a “particular instance of the possible”; all are “hard workers.” As is Thornton, whose rich descriptions of personalities, relationships, and works—paintings, installations, films, sculptures, and less easily categorizable creations, such as Abramovic’s “immaterial energy”—belie the short chapters in which she tours studios and galleries, auditoriums and auction houses.

33 Artists in 3 Acts By Sarah Thornton Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393240979
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - November 3rd, 2014

33 Artists in 3 Acts By Sarah Thornton Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393351675
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 8th, 2015

Group f.64 - Mary Street Alinder

“Striving to define photography as an art-form by a simple and direct presentation through purely photographic methods” exclusive of ideals derived from other fine arts, the seven members of Group f.64 (Bloomsbury, $35) proclaimed the future of photography in 1932. Much in this manifesto seems a given now, but when Adams, Weston, Imogen Cunningham, and others united in the name of the camera’s small aperture setting, what photography could and should do was hotly debated. In her combination history and group biography, Mary Street Alinder chronicles the mainly West Coast “pure photography” movement, revisiting exhibits and arguments as the form came into its own. Her book is as much a chronicle of the 1930s themselves as it is of photography, as she documents the rigors of the Great Depression. Dedicated to making beautiful pictures, the artists also confronted the suffering around them and, inspired foremost by Dorothea Lange, widened the scope of photography’s mission to include social engagement. A photographer herself, Alinder illuminates the technical side of her subject with details about cameras, lenses, exposure times, and paper. She has worked directly with several of the original Group f.64 members, and her portraits convey the wonderfully vivid figures behind the images.

Group f.64: Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, and the Community of Artists Who Revolutionized American Photography By Mary Street Alinder Cover Image
ISBN: 9781620405550
Availability: Backordered
Published: Bloomsbury USA - November 4th, 2014

Group F.64: Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, and the Community of Artists Who Revolutionized American Photography By Mary Street Alinder Cover Image
ISBN: 9781620405567
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Bloomsbury USA - June 7th, 2016

Six Drawing Lessons - William Kentridge

In 2012, South African artist William Kentridge delivered the Norton Lectures, joining a list of great artists, writers, and musicians. Each of these presentations, together called Six Drawing Lessons (Harvard, $24.95), begins with a work—whether Kentridge’s animated film (made up of hundreds of charcoal drawings on a single sheet of paper) charged with images of mining or a set design of The Magic Flute—which Kentridge brilliantly connects to topics such as shadows and silhouettes—think Plato’s cave—the depiction of animals, colonial revolts in Africa, translations of Rilke, and the creative possibilities of the studio (“Making a Safe Space for Stupidity”). The book is beautifully designed, with type set in black and burnt umber on ivory paper, and featuring many color photos of Kentridge’s work. It is worth tracking down videos of the actual lectures; Kentridge’s performance is a treat, as is the chance to see the many short films he incorporated in his talks.
Six Drawing Lessons (Charles Eliot Norton Lectures #55) By William Kentridge Cover Image
ISBN: 9780674365803
Availability: Backordered
Published: Harvard University Press - September 1st, 2014