What we’re reading: fall inspiration

By Patti Quill.

The fall season is upon us and, with the season comes the release of a new crop of fabulous books. So what better way to celebrate the cooler weather and desire to curl up with a cup of hot tea than to highlight a few of the art and design-related titles coming out this fall. Needless to say there are too many to mention in just one post  — but here are a few gems to add to your bookshelves this fall.

Aesthetic Inspiration

Undiscovered Minimalism: Gelims from Northern Iran (Laurence King Publishing, October, $155). Over the course of the past two decades a previously unrecognized genre of startlingly modern looking large flat woven hangings and covers (gelims) has emerged from an isolated highland region in Mazandaran Province in northern Iran. Written by Parviz Tanavoli, an internationally recognized contemporary Iranian painter and sculptor, Undiscovered Minimalism spotlights the deceptively simple abstract patterns and subtle color of these weavings that are evocative of contemporary “minimalist” art.

The Art of Instruction: Vintage Educational Charts from the 19th and 20th Centuries (Chronicle Books, October, $35). Written by Katrien Van der Schueren, owner of voila! Gallery in Los Angeles, The Art of Instruction collects over 100 vintage educational posters that were staples in classrooms in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The beautiful botanicals and zoological images, paired with an informative introduction by Van der Schueren, will make The Art of Instruction an essential reference tool, as well as, visual delight.

Artful Lives: Edward Weston, Margrethe Mather and the Bohemians of Los Angeles (Getty Publications, November, $39.95). A captivating biography that reveals the previously untold love story of Edward Weston and Margrethe Mather — both were photographic artists at the center of the bohemian cultural scene in Los Angeles during the 1910s and 1920.

Reference Resources

The Joys of Collecting (Getty Publications, October, $9.95). Full colorful anecdotes, The Joys of Collecting is a diminutive book is a delight to read. J. Paul Getty, founder of the namesake museum, discussed his lifelong passion for collecting – passing on the excitement, suspense, thrills and triumphs that makes collecting “one of the most exhilarating and satisfying of all human endeavors.”

California Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way (MIT Press, November, $60.00) This generously illustrated book, which accompanies a major exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Oct. 1, 2011 – March 25, 2012), is the first comprehensive examination of California’s mid-century modern design. California Design includes 350 images, highlighting the furniture, ceramics, metalwork, architecture, graphic and industrial design, film, textiles, and fashion of the period. Ten incisive essays trace the rise of the California design aesthetic.

Pantone: The 20th Century in Color (Chronicle Books, November, $40.) This book is set to be an amazing visual and written history by longtime Pantone collaborators and color gurus Leatrice Eiseman and Keith Recker. With more than 200 touchstone works of art, products, décor, and fashion, the authors carefully match them with 80 different official PANTONE color palettes to reveal the trends, radical shifts, and resurgences of various hues. Pantone: The 20th Century in Color is sure to be an entertaining read and an invaluable reference book for anyone who loves color.

After Taste: Expanded Practice in Interior Design (Princeton Architectural Press, October, $35.00). This is a well-curated collection that documents new theories and emerging critical practices in the field of interior design. The material is informed by the annual AfterTaste symposia hosted by Parsons The New School of Design. Now in its fourth year, AfterTaste has proven to be one of the few venues internationally for critically exploring interior design. Essays by historians and critics are complemented by interviews with practitioners and portfolios of the work of contemporary designers.

My Current Obsessions

Knoll Textiles, 1945-2010 (Yale University Press, August, $75.00). Well-known as a premier furniture company, Knoll’s innovative designs and technologies have also had a profound effect on the textile industry. With essays by experts, biographies of about eighty designers, and images of textiles, drawings, furniture, and ephemera, Knoll Textiles, 1945-2010 is the first comprehensive study devoted to a leading contributor to modern textile design. Highlighting the individuals and ideas that helped shape Knoll Textiles over the years, this book brings the Knoll brand and the role of textiles in the history of design to the forefront of public attention.

Fiat 500: The Autobiography (Rizzoli, October, $45.00). I’m sure you’ve been seeing these iconic pint-sized Italian cars on American roadways this year. Newly reintroduced to the US market, the Fiat 500 is a favorite for anyone with a nostalgic love for la dolce vita. The book (sure to be amazing eye-candy) features an array of vintage images, including film stills, paparazzi shots, and advertising, as well as, more serious chapters on design.

Saul Bass: A Life in Film and Design (Laurence King Publishing, November, $75.00). Keeping with the cinematic-theme, this is the first book to be published on one of the greatest American designers of the 20th Century. Saul Bass was as famous for his work in film as for his corporate identity and graphic work. With more than 1,400 illustrations, and written by the leading design historian Pat Kirkham, this is the definitive study that design and film enthusiasts have been eagerly anticipating.

Have you had your eye on a new book lately? Tell us about the book you’ve been eagerly anticipating!

This entry was posted in BOOKS. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.