Contemporaneous Extension


Christmas List 3

Just because I’m so very exciting about the NY Art Book Fair at PS 1 this weekend AND the Editions/Artist’s Books Fair I figured I throw up a few books I’ve been meaning to get just for future reference.

Photographs by Man Ray: 105 Works, 1920 – 1934: I discovered this book at City Lights in San Francisco when I was there at the end of September with my groove’s tongue. I flipped through and was thrilled by the large format photographs and the interjection of poems by the likes of Andre Breton and Picasso, among others. After living in NYC with the Dadaists and trying his hand at painting and ready-mades,   Man Ray moved to Paris in 1920. He tried out solarization and various other experiments with film as can be seen in his innovative results. Absolutely love the lines he presents, his ghostly nudes, and his translation of Dada into photography.

Man Ray, ' Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow,' 1924, photography

Man Ray, ' Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow,' 1924, photography

Man Ray, 'Suzy Solidor,' 1929, photograph

Man Ray, 'Suzy Solidor,' 1929, photograph

Clement Greenberg: A Life – Although people can agree or disagree with his actual critiques, Clement Greenberg was an observant, out-right critic who stuck to his guns. From ‘Avant Garde and Kitsch’ to his discussions of the AbEx painters, I’m looking forward to learning more about him. Also, its very reassuring that he didn’t make a splash as a critic until he was 30 (whew).

The Life and Death of Images: Ethics and Aesthetics – this book explores how ethics and aesthetics intermingle, where’s beauty’s place lies in understanding art, and how both of these factors are on a sliding scale throughout generations. I enjoy how the book is set up in vignettes of essays and responses, in which two writers go through two sets of dialogue. I’m particularly intrigued by the third grouping: ‘Do Artists Speak for All of Us?’ (Thierry de Duve) and ‘ The Destruction of Art’ (Howard Caygill).

What Color Is Sacred? – Seems like Taussig has organized a joy ride through color. He includes literary interpretations, a historical lineage of sorts, and mention of the modern undertones of hues.  Taussig is praised on the back cover as a radiant intellectual, lets hope all the obscure references to the Third Reich, chemistry, and chromophobes present a thesis that isn’t too far-fetched.

Mirrors, Messages, and Manifestations : I discovered Minor White in San Francisco as well and am slowly but surely becoming obsessed with his work. From his experiments in New York with Ansel Adams and Stieglitz to his time in California, his work is oddly tragic but reflexive. I like his emphasis on the spiritual, on capturing the essence in a photograph. I will be investigating his essay ‘Equivalence: the Perennial Trend’ in no time.

 

Minor White, '1412 Webster St, San Francisco, 1948,' 1948, silver gelatin print, 6.4" x 8.4"

Minor White, '1412 Webster St, San Francisco, 1948,' 1948, silver gelatin print, 6.4" x 8.4"

Minor White,' The Three Thirds,' 1957, silver gelatin print

Minor White,' The Three Thirds,' 1957, silver gelatin print

Minor White, 'Capitol Reef, Utah, 1962,' 1962, silver gelatin print

Minor White, 'Capitol Reef, Utah, 1962,' 1962, silver gelatin print

The Biennial Reader is also extremely insightful, looking into art-fests of the most extreme degree in the 20th and 21st centuries. With discussions from artists, critics, curators, and directors alike, I think the insight will be extremely valuable.

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