Lettering Large: Art and Design of Monumental Typography
By Steven Heller and Mirko Ilic
Big type used to be known as ‘Supergraphics,’ a high visibility offshoot from late period modernism when the building started evolving into a billboard. But where the Supergraphic genre was brash and commercial, the more artistic expressions of big scale type design are rarely chronicled. Heller and Ilic’s new monograph, Lettering Large, corrects the balance, assembling a huge overview of installations, inscriptions and artworks that use the power of the printed work to make their point. Whether letters are cut, carved, painted or punched, the book looks at ways in which typography and the built (and natural) environments have come together, with new works supported by plenty of historical precedents.
Published by The Monacelli Press, $45
Writer: Jonathan Bell
From the book: the Korean Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo 2010, Shanghai, China
The Movement Café, London, UK, 2012
Der geschriebene Garten (The Written Garden), Berlin Marzahn-Hellersdorf, Germany, 2011
Minneart Building, Utrecht, The Netherlands, 1997, designed by Neutelings Riedjik Architecten. Photography: Mark Van Raai
The Artists' Colouring Book of ABCs
By Charlotte Colbert, Alix Janta and Lauren Jones
Twenty-six artists were inspired by something very elementary to encourage new audiences to embrace contemporary art: the alphabet. A new book incorporating letter-based works by artists including Tracy Emin, Yinka Shonibare, Grayson Perry and Alex Katz engages young readers in a way that transcends the basic ABCs. The original artworks were auctioned off this month at London's Serpentine Gallery to benefit the Kid's Company Charity.
Published by Humpty Dumpty Publishing, £15.99
Writer: Mariel Reed
The opening spread from the colouring book is a tribute by Tracey Emin to her cat in the artist's characteristic scrawl
'O is for Jake & Dinos Chapman', 2013
'P is for Grayson Perry', 2013
After You Left / They Took it Apart (Demolished Paul Rudolph Houses)
By Chris Mottalini
Chris Mottalini’s photographic documentation of the work of Paul Rudolph has had a long life on the Internet. Ironically, this is the first physical publication of a set of imagery dealing with places and things that have long since disappeared. The fetish for photographing modern ruins makes for depressing viewing, and perhaps we should question quite why Rudolph’s oeuvre should be quite so susceptible to the wrecking ball. After all, he was an acclaimed architect of rare spatial originality, yet perhaps it was his innovation and experimental approach that made these demised designs simultaneously so fragile and suited only for a very specific owner.
Published by University of Chicago Press, $50
Writer: Jonathan Bell
From the book: Twitchell house in Florida is one of three Paul Rudolph-designed residences documented by photographer Chris Mottalini in his new tome. Located approximately fifty feet from the Gulf of Mexico, the Twitchell residence sustained substantial weather and flood-related damage over its sixty-six year lifespan
Although the home's original owner intended on restoring the home, nothing new has ever been built. Mottalini says: 'This palm tree still stands, but it is as if the house never existed'
'A Rudolph-designed desk left these rings in the carpet', says Mottalini of this image shot inside the Micheels house in Connecticut. 'The desk was apparently stolen of or removed sometime before I arrived at the house'
Of another photograph from the same house, he adds: 'The broken glass was still crackling loudly when I took this photograph'
Jane & Serge: A Family Album
By Andrew Birkin
Taking the form of a family photo album, Taschen's new tome captures the love affair between Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg through the lens of Jane's brother, Andrew. The series of previously unpublished images offers a voyeuristic insight into the couple’s early life together, and features intimate photographs of Kate Barry (Jane’s daughter from her first marriage, who prematurely passed away this month), and their daughter together, Charlotte. The book includes an introduction by Jane, a fold-out poster and five loose photo prints – completing Andrew's homage to the most public of romances.
Published by Taschen, £34.99
Writer: Katrina Israel
From the book: 'Jane and Serge', 1969 © Andrew Birkin / Taschen
'Jane and Charlotte', 1971 © Andrew Birkin / Taschen
'Serge in Jane's house in Cheyne Row', 1978 © Andrew Birkin / Taschen
'Kate Barry and Charlotte adored their rabbits...', 1979 © Andrew Birkin / Taschen
The Story of Design
By Charlotte and Peter Fiell
The AD890 Viking ship accompanying the introduction sets the tone. Charlotte and Peter Fiell’s illustrated tome is a history of design dating back to Palaeolithic times, whose rudimentary cutlery and arrowheads were precursors to tableware by Alessi and garden tools from Heal’s. Naturally, though, things get more interesting with the Industrial Revolution and prettier in the Modernist stage. All along, though, are highly readable anecdotes that get behind our everyday products and magnificent archival imagery that transports us to a simpler time.
Published by Goodman Fiell, £30
Writer: Ellen Himelfarb
From the book: 'SK4 record player designed by Dieter Rams and Hans Gugelot for Braun, 1957, nicknamed 'Snow White's Coffin'
'Ferrari 250 TR' racing car styled by Sergio Scaglietti, 1957
The Chrysler Building in New York City designed by William Van Alen, constructed 1928-30, is the ultimate skyscraping expression of the American Art Deco style
'Model No.3107' chair designed by Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen, 1955, from Jacobsen's landmark Series 7 range
Storytelling on Steroids: 10 stories that hijacked the pop cultural conversation
By John Weich
Regular Wallpaper* contributor John Weich knows a thing or two about the evolution of modern day marketing. Storytelling on Steroids is Weich’s take on ten strokes of marketing genius, all filtered through that most contemporary of devices, storytelling. Essentially a multi-platform way of getting a message into the mainstream, storytelling is about seeding stories so that your audience does the rest of the legwork. While obviously pitched at industry types, Storytelling on Steroids will give even the most ad-hardened civilians a great insight into how the modern world works.
Published by Bis Publishers, €19 euros
Writer: Jonathan Bell
Storytelling on Steroids is John Weich’s take on ten strokes of marketing genius
A spread from the book provides the book launch of 'Decode Jay-Z' as one example of clever marketing. It was released via a massive interactive urban scavenger hunt
By Soon Is Now
The phenomenon of websites spawning books is now well-established, with creative work increasingly making the leap from pixel to paper. TheInstaPaper #edit2 differs from its peers in that it sources its content from Instagram, the site that can claim credit for a major chunk of the estimated three trillion photographs taken since the start of time. Drawing on the feeds of creative types from around the world, #edit2 gives these fleeting visual vignettes their own place in space and time. Just 1,000 copies will be printed.
Published by Soon Is Now, £27
Writer: Jonathan Bell
A spread from the book shows Kenzo creative director Humberto Leon's visual vignettes
Atlanta-born photographer Tierney Gearon's Instagram shots chronicle her environment and family
Photographer Dirk Bakker - who goes by the handle of @macenzo on Instagram - hones in on the lines of Amsterdam
Ercol: Furniture in the Making
By Lesley Jackson
The race to snatch up every last piece of unwanted mid-century furniture from thrift stores and junk shops around the world has nearly been run. Amongst all the pieces that have been liberated from abandonment and can only be found at hugely inflated prices are the chairs and tables made by the Buckinghamshire firm of Ercol. Set up by Lucian Ercolani in 1920, Ercol is still proudly manufacturing today, and it was Ercolani’s mastery of craft and form that made its pieces so enduring. Lesley Jackson’s monograph is filled with archive imagery and a comprehensive overview of the company’s many ranges.
Published by Richard Dennis Publications, £25
Writer: Jonathan Bell
From the book: '391 All Purpose Windsor Chair', 1957
'455D Windsor Sideboard', '823 Ladderback Chairs', '821 Saville Table', 810 Windsor Bookcase', all from 1982
The Wallpaper* Chair Arch installation, designed by Martino Gamper, at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2009. The arch, commissioned by Wallpaper* as part of the London Design Festival, revived a 19th century tradition and incorporated 392 Ercol stacking chairs
By Anouk Kruithof
Artist Anouk Kruithof Googled the word ‘stress’, enlarged the resulting images by 3200% and installed them as a series of framed prints on the busy pavement of New York City’s Wall Street. Engaging with passers-by, she asked them to take a moment to look at the installation and if they would like to purchase one of the prints. While peddling her prints, Kruithof gave away 8 of the 14 prints in imaginary sales. The social project has now been documented in a new book, Pixel Stress, which includes loose glossy pages of the artworks as well quotes from her curbside conversations.
Published by RVB Books, €28
Writer: Mariel Reed
A spread from the book depicts 'stress-workplace-top-reasons.jpg', by Anouk Kruithof, 2013
'Stressed_man.jpg', by Anouk Kruithof, 2013
Lucio Fontana: Catalogo ragionato dell'opera su carta
By Luca Massimo Barbero
The drawings of Lucio Fontana, an Italian painter, sculptor and theorist who was best known as the founder of Spatialism, is the focus of a weighty new publication by Skira. Edited by Luca Massimo Barbero - associate curator at the Guggenheim in Venice - the catalogue is ordered chronologically and is divided according to the wide-ranging creative activities explored by the artist. Experimentation on paper was, in fact, Fontana’s favourite medium to explore new ideas and the hefty three volumes reveal a fascinating take of his entire oeuvre.
Published by Skira, £335
Writer: Jessica Klingefuss
From the book: 'Lacrime (Study for work within a project for the exterior of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Tears in Syracuse', by Lucio Fontana, 1956
'Ambiente spaziale (Spatial Environment)', by Lucio Fontana, 1952
Paris Photo 2017: the unmissable highlights
For sculptor David Annesley, ‘colour is like taste’
Kuehn Malvezzi’s thoughtful Saarland museum extension opens
David Rockwell designs graphic tiles for Bisazza
John Pawson's 'Spectrum' book hits shelves
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