Top shelf: 10 new books to flick through this autumn

Art Studio America: Contemporary Artist Spaces book
(Image credit: press)

Art Studio America: Contemporary Artist Spaces
Edited by Hossein Amirsadeghi and Maryam Eisler

The creative process is endlessly fascinating, and this new photographic venture looks at the working lives and spaces of more than 100 contemporary artists, including key players from Chuck Close to Raymond Pettibon, Thomas Demand to Taryn Simon. The most striking variation is scale, ranging from the industrial-sized production houses of Jeff Koons right down to the many takes on the traditional garret.

Published by Thames & Hudson (opens in new tab), £65

Rackstraw Downes moving virtual landscapes against the real, carrying his painting of a BOB

From the book: Rackstraw Downes moving virtual landscapes against the real, carrying his painting of a BOB ('battery on border'), the world's largest sodium-sulfur-battery storage system

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Francesco Clemente dons one of his painted masks

Francesco Clemente dons one of his painted masks, which he uses to explore the notion of duplicity, in the kitchen of his NoHo, New York, studio

(Image credit: press)

New York skyline

Hiroshi Sugimoto against the New York skyline post-Hurricane Sandy, the city still darkened under a partial blackout, one consequence of the devastating storm

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This Is Mars

Edited and designed by Xavier Barral

NASA has always been generous with its rich bounty of space imagery; it's mostly available online for all to see. But to really soak up the science, strangeness and sheer delight to be found in space exploration, you have to see the images on the page. This Is Mars assembles 150 images of the red planet (albeit in black and white), taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter over the past few years. Put together by designer Xavier Barral, they create a compelling portrait of the geology of an alien world. Experts are on hand to reveal the science behind the forms.

Published by Aperture (opens in new tab), $100

'This Is Mars' book

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Mars plains of black sand and punctuated by dunes

From the book: the Ganges Chasma, where sediments containing sulfates are surrounded by plains of black sand and punctuated by dunes

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Mars soil

A swarm of hectometric impact craters from a meteor (left) and the floor of the Ismenius Lacus crater (right)

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Mars terrains and soil

A spread of a view that plunges into the canyon of Ius Chasma showing raised terrains on the left and and fine stratifications on the right

(Image credit: press)

Eyemazing: The New Collectible Art Photography

By Susan Zadeh

With the contemporary art boom showing no sign of slowing, there have been a slew of publications aiming to inform and educate about negotiating the market. Penned by Susan Zadeh, the founder of Dutch photography magazine Eyemazing, the book combines a survey of established names (including Bettina Reims and Sally Mann) with recommendations for the future, all filtered through the experienced eyes of someone at the epicentre of a dynamic genre. 

Published by Thames & Hudson (opens in new tab), £65

Eyemazing: The New Collectible Art Photography book

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picture of indoor cloud

From the book: 'Cloud' by Pablo Genovés, 2010. Genovés uses a collage style mixed with digital photography to offer a new perspective on an apocalyptic future

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vintage photograph of people

'Grand Central Terminal' by Paul Himmel, 1947. The artist collaborated with his wife, Lillian Bassman, for over 70 years

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Eyemazing: The New Collectible Art Photography

'021' by Chris Earnshaw, who believes that all great photography is 'a luminous pool that reflects, if not explains, the evanescent beauty of life itself'

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Inside The Rainbow: Russian Children's Literature 1920-35: Beautiful Books, Terrible Times
Edited by Julian Rothenstein and Olga Budashevskaya

While illustrated children's books are still a creatively rich publishing niche, back in the early days of Soviet Russia the genre combined two major facets of the emerging Soviet society: propaganda and aesthetic innovation. The Rainbow publishing house enjoyed a brief flowering in the 1920s, the period when the Russian avant garde was riding high on the first wave of optimism and poetry, literature and art could come together to create books with an unprecedented visual sophistication. It didn't last, of course, with many of the artists and authors showcased in this fascinating volume falling victims to the purges that followed.  

Published by Redstone Press (opens in new tab), £35

Inside The Rainbow: Russian Children's Literature 1920-35: Beautiful Books, Terrible Times

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book content

From the book: for A Sparkle, An Easy ABC, written by M Teryaeva, 1930

(Image credit: Alexander Deineka)

image of children from book 'he Journey inside the Electric Lamp'

Photography and photomontage by M Makhalov for The Journey inside the Electric Lamp, written by N Bulatov and P Lopatin, 1937

(Image credit: M Makhalov)

Illustration for Where Am I

Illustration for Where Am I? (an unpublished book of hidden images) by Tatiana Glebova, 1928

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Common Pavilions: The National Pavilions in the Giardini of the Venice Biennale in Essays and Photographs

By Diener & Diener Architects with Gabriele Basilico

Visitors to the Venice Biennale will be familiar with the rich but highly focused cluster of modern architecture in the Giardini, where national pavilions stand as perfectly realised microcosms of their country's dominant architectural ideology. For the 2012 Biennale, Basel-based architects Diener & Diener collaborated with photographer Gabriele Basilico to produce an installation about the pavilions, and these images are now being published in book form, together with the original essays on the history and background of each individual structure.

Published by Scheidegger & Spiess (opens in new tab), €58

Book on Common Pavilions: The National Pavilions in the Giardini of the Venice Biennale in Essays and Photographs

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Austrian Pavilion picture

From the book: Austrian Pavilion, built in 1934, designed by Josef Hoffman and restored by Hans Hollen in 1984. Essay by Hermann Czech.

(Image credit: Gabriele Basilico)

Vintage picture of Russian Pavilion

Russian Pavilion, built in 1914, designed by Aleskey Shchusev. Essay by Alexander Brodsky.

(Image credit: Gabriele Basilico)

Book Pavilion, built in 1991

Book Pavilion, built in 1991 by James Stirling, Michael Wilford and Associates, with Tom Muirhead. Essay by Martin Steinmann.

(Image credit: Gabriele Basilico)

Pierdom
By Simon Roberts

The pier has become emblematic of decline. The fading fortunes of British seaside towns are often outlived by the mighty Victorian architecture and engineering that underpin these impressive structures. Simon Roberts has undertaken a photographic survey of the 58 British piers that survive (down from about twice that number in their heyday). Shot using a traditional 4x5 camera, Roberts's beautiful images capture the ethereal strangeness of these buildings, their detachment from reality and their fragility in the face of the elements.

Published by Dewi Lewis Publishing (opens in new tab), £35

Pierdom By Simon Roberts

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Weston-Super-Mare Birnbeck

From the book: Weston-Super-Mare Birnbeck, regarded as Britain's most threatened pier

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Great Yarmouth Wellington

Great Yarmouth Wellington, named after the famous duke, who died the year before its completion, in 1852

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book picture

Clevedon, described by Sir John Betjeman as 'delicate as a Japanese print in the mist, and like an insect in the sunlight'

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beach bridge

Boscombe Pier once displayed the skeleton of a 65-foot whale that had washed up on a nearby beach in 1887

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Déserteurs
By Stéphanie Solinas

Part book, part artwork, Stéphanie Solinas's Déserteurs is an edition of 100 books, each containing 100 images and made unique with a Braille imprint. Incorporating a series of elegiac images on tombstones in Paris' Père Lachaise Cemetery, the oeuvre features faded grave portraits. Each book has a single, different geo-location embedded in Braille. 

Published by RVB Books (opens in new tab), €350

Book Déserteurs

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Book photographic portratis

From the book: Stéphanie Solinas captures the remnants of photographic portratis that adorn the tombs in the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris

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Tombstones and a mausoleum at the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris

Tombstones and a mausoleum at the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris

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tomb photograph

Braille wording engraved on the photographs marks the geographical location of each tomb

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Old Buildings New Forms: New Directions in Architectural Transformations
By Françoise Astorg Bollack

Hidden behind the shiny sight of bold new buildings lies a rather quieter architectural story, that of renovation, restoration and re-use. Old Buildings New Forms is a survey of the very best in rebuilding, with nearly 30 projects from around the world divided up into typologies, including 'parasites', 'wraps', 'insertions' and 'weavings'. The most charismatic of the latter is the cover star: Chipperfield's Neue Museum in Berlin, which remains a masterclass in how to combine sensitive restoration, modern insertions and a respect - almost fetish - for patina and history. 

Published by The Monacelli Press (opens in new tab), £40

book Old Buildings New Forms: New Directions in Architectural Transformations

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addition of Pratt Institute's Higgins Hall

From the book: The addition of Pratt Institute's Higgins Hall, which connects the north and south wing of the architecture school

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The entry hall of the Neue Museum in Berlin juxtaposes new and old materials

The entry hall of the Neue Museum in Berlin juxtaposes new and old materials

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Interior of the Royal Ballet School's Bridge of Aspirations, looking toward the opera house

Interior of the Royal Ballet School's Bridge of Aspirations, looking toward the opera house

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Entrance façade of the Wohlfahrt-Laymann House

Entrance façade of the Wohlfahrt-Laymann House. The original building is a sandy beige while the new construction is grey

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The New English Landscape 
By Ken Worpole, with photographs by Jason Orton

This journey through the world we've created, almost inadvertently, through the rise of the post-industrial landscape, is scattered with pockets of Arcadian optimism or scoured by the demands of trade, technology and the military. Jason Orton's photographs provide an almost forensic insight into a shifting landscape, while Ken Worpole's texts take you inside the strange histories of these emotionally remote spaces. The highly engaging travelogue feels and reads like a journal from a forgotten land. 

Published by Field Station (opens in new tab), £15

The New English Landscape Book

(Image credit: Jason Orton)

lat arable countryside surrounded by estuaries

From the book: Horsey Island, Essex, features flat arable countryside surrounded by estuaries

(Image credit: Jason Orton)

vast exposed area at low tide

Revealing a vast exposed area at low tide, the intertidal zone can extend out a mile or more

(Image credit: Jason Orton)

countryside landscape

Like a Rorschach test, Horsey Island, Essex, leaves many interpretations of the land

(Image credit: Jason Orton)

Still Here
By Lydia Goldblatt

Photographer Lydia Goldblatt has assembled a collection of very personal, intimate images for her new book from Hatje Cantz. Still Here is a meditation on death and decay, its diptych-style presentation adding a spiritual luminosity to a series of photographs that have Goldblatt's own ageing parents at their heart. There's love and tenderness here, but also the unkindness of ageing and decay and the uncertainty of imminent death. 
 

Published by Hatje Cantz Publishers (opens in new tab), €28

Still Here book

(Image credit: Lydia Goldblatt)

sunlit form of a bee

From the book: Goldblatt's works are often limited to a single detail. In this image she focuses on the sunlit form of a bee

(Image credit: Lydia Goldblatt)

Picture of Photographer Lydia Goldblatt's father

This series explores the fragility of human life and the invisible bonds of love, particularly between the artist and her elderly father

(Image credit: Lydia Goldblatt)

photograph of woman sitting in skirt with red shoes

Goldblatt bathes her intimate photographs in warm light, tracing the fleeting shadow of personal existence onto more enduring human narratives

(Image credit: Lydia Goldblatt)

Photographer Lydia Goldblatt's mother

A portrait of the artist's mother expresses admiration for her friendship, courage, acceptance and collaboration

(Image credit: Lydia Goldblatt)

Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.