Monday, November 24, 2014

12 Art Books to buy for Christmas

1 Bailey's East End (Steidl)
Bloody hell this three volume book of photos is incredible. These city shots paint an entirely different image of Bailey. For anyone interested in cities, the documentation of gentrification, London in any way and the photographic medium at all - buy this book.

Five Hundred and Thirty Books from Southend Central Library
There are only 1000 copies of this artwork cum book and my god its good. Hundreds of juxtaposed images from book sleeves, back covers, title pages, inserts. Its an approach Nelson has done before in print form but never to this level. Long live the library.

3 Constructing Worlds by Alona Pardo and Elias Redstone (Prestel) 
Constructing Worlds at the Barbican is an incredible show and Prestel's catalogue captures these images of the changing photographic approach to architecture perfectly - but as a companion it would be silly not to get co-curator Elias Redstone's Phaidon tome Shooting Space. Why choose? Get both.

This is obviously a deeply disturbing book and its fascinating. The kind of book that you know will become a huge collectors item. A serious and thorough examination of the meaning, design and iconography of terrorist group's logos. Each are reproduced and dissected in depth. 

Cee Cee Berlin (Distanz Verlag)
This brilliant hard back guidebook to places in the city is based on a great city based newsletter. (Autocenter gets a namecheck). It gives me faith that my second favourite city still has some kind of creative innovation and desirable spots that havent been ruined by the onslaught of start up dicks.

My love for the tumblr of this show in Turin never ceases and the show itself in Turin which launched to coincide with Artissima (and runs until January) was very well done with work  Sarah Lucas  and Carol Rama. The catalogue with its repro Olivetti ad cover should start popping up at an art book shop near you. Buy it.

The best independent photo book to pop up on my shelf from this photographer who followed Ballard's footsteps in Shanghai. The images are really a brilliant ode to the changing face of the city, the absence of history and Ballard's own lingering ghost.

The Hidden World by Jim Shaw (Walter Konig)

Jim Shaw collects the weirdest crap and it is utterly fascinating. Aside from providing a brilliant insight into his own work, his collections of Alien obsessive memorabilia, weird Christian crap and general odd kitsch freakdown is brilliant. It is printed to resemble a small very warped bible.

Ah Christmas. The time of pure consumption. If you want to give a gift if protest and dissent this seems like a good place to start - a visual book focusing on current manifestations of the political in art (often in public space).

This Japanese genius artist has recently had his first big show in London EVER - which is insane considering the amazing projects he has shown at Documenta and the Venice Biennale in the past few years. This book is a great introduction to his collage approach to sketchbooks, sculpture and everything else.

If you know someone that likes art and food Webster (without Noble) has put together this diary like punk scrawled cookbook interspersed with drawings that is rather brilliant. Road kill roast is not the norm. Generally the food if quite good for vegetarians.

12 The Book of Hearts by Francesca Gavin (Laurence King)
Because its a lovely little gift obviously, there are hundreds of hearts in it and its a way of giving emotion without words. And you get to read a little texts about Emblemata books, weird cults and the history of Mexican visual culture.

Bookish Londoners should also head to the seedy side streets of soho for the pop up Antenna Books, 8 Walkers Court, Soho W1 and if you buy one new magazine this year it should be SPACE.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Five shows to see this month

Oliver Laric @ Tanya Leighton, Berlin opening Friday Nov 21 6-9pm

Selected by... curated by Michael Marriott and Jesse Wine at Limoncello, London opening Saturday Nov 22 3-5pm

Ed Atkins @ Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin opening Saturday Nov 22 6-8pm

Samara Scott @ The Sunday Painter, London Nov 29-Jan 18

Congratulations on your ugly handwriting, Cura Basement, Rome opening Nov 27 7pm

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

On the road

I've been writing a lot of lists at the moment. The highlights from Istanbul for Dazed and Artsy, rundowns from Artissima in Turin, favourites in Chicago and yes with Miami coming up i'm doing a cluster of those. This is obviously all a condition of travel way too much this year (I know... poor jet lagged exhausted me...) As a change from art, here are some the best places I ate and drank (and danced).

Parson's Chicken and Fish, Chicago
For two words. Negroni. Slushies. I would regularly jump in a taxi to go to this place for this drink alone.

Gaspar, Karakoy in Istanbul
The food here is so good, it interior the right side of chic and if you're lucky the owner will be drunk and playing an extended mix of Talk Talk 'Its My Life'.

Alberto Marchetti, Turin
The zabaione ice cream here was definitely the best version of it I've ever had. And this in a city that invented the nutella stuffed croissant...

That tiny bar in a courtyard in Athens

It might have been metamatic but i'm not really sure as I was dragged there with an editor friend by a local curator and in my memory it was much grimier and random than this.

La Java, Paris

Because I had a really really fun messy night dancing here during FIAC at the Spencer Sweeney party and flirting in French.