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Sunday 12.23.12

Last Minute Gifts and Book Reviews

Just before Christmas many people are running out of time and ideas, here are two books that most anyone with an ounce of creativity in their being will find fascinating.

Clouds_Ben_Young_sm.jpg
Clouds

My first suggestion is the fantastic limited edition Clouds by artist Ben Young and Container Corps. Using a rare and out of print cloud atlas (not the horrible movie) Young then created sculptural examples of the various types of clouds. They range from your typical "fluffy" cumulus to the much more interesting cirrocumulus floccus which combines the high thin quality of the genus cirrus with the species floccus, which resembles and derives its name from fluffy handfuls of sheep's wool but is made of high altitude ice crystals. Young's example looks like it could be made of flour or powdered sugar but it is also completely convincing, turning this into an inverted zen rorschach test.

The fantastic thing about this project is the way it calls Stieglitz's Equivalents Series of photographs while being a handy compendium for anyone who looks into the sky and wonders. Who says contemporary art is useless and wholly self serving?

... (More including Ai Weiwei)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 23, 2012 at 23:46 | Comments (0)

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Friday 12.23.11

Last Minute Gift Suggestions for Artists etc.

If you are like me you have some last minute shopping to do and it's mostly for aesthetically conscious thinkers. Over the years I've found that photography books always go over very well. So here are two of my favorites that are in stock locally in Portland. Todd Eberle's Empire of Space and Winter by Jeffrey Conley

empire-of-space_Eberle.jpg
Known initially for his defining photographs of Donald Judd's spaces Todd Eberle has gone on to produce a compelling photographic retrospective of architecture, art, portraits and design in book form, Empire of Space.

It isn't just that Eberle has great subjects like, Bill Clinton's desk, Judd's Marfa spaces or MoMA curators, think of it as a tour de force in the power of aesthetics and the aesthetics of power (which are two different and slippery forces that he keeps in well balanced tension). Eberle has an almost ancient Egyptian eye, in that his near hieroglyphic images always make a dispassionate and intelligently descriptive study of the staying power in people, places and things (against the forces of time)... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 23, 2011 at 15:21 | Comments (0)

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Wednesday 12.22.10

Art book gift ideas

No idea what to get? Here are three very nice books on; Asian art, Lynda Benglis and the Chinati Foundation.

Asian_art_now.jpg
Asian Art Now
by Melissa Chiu & Benjamin Genocchio, published by Monacelli Press (2010)

In the past few six years I’ve subjected myself to numerous Asian contemporary art survey shows.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 22, 2010 at 13:12 | Comments (0)

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Wednesday 11.24.10

Van Gogh in Auvers, His Last Days

Auvers_Van_Gogh.jpg
Published by The Monacelli Press

We are a culture obsessed with the secrets that will demystify genius. Convinced of its inherent oddity, we see its anomaly and resulting masterpieces as too fantastic to originate from a normal life. The fame that follows genius and its resulting celebritydom enchant us even more, sending our level of star-struck into the lull of proper swoon. The common assumption intrinsic to genius seems to be...

Posted by Amy Bernstein on November 24, 2010 at 9:30 | Comments (0)

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