The story of Australian art does not begin and end with landscape. This book puts flowers front and centre, because they have often been ignored in preference for more masculine themes.Departing from where studies of single flower artists leave off, Useless Beauty embraces the general topic of flowers in Australian art and shines new light on a slice of Australian art history that extends from 1880 to 1950. It is the first book of broad chronology to discuss Australian art through blossoms, which it does by addressing stories of major figures including Hans Heysen, Margaret Preston and Sidney Nolan, as well as specific objects such as surreal flowers, Aboriginal flowers and war flowers.Whether modern or conservative, the artists in this study shared an intellectual and emotional passion for flora. This was true for men as well as women, despite blossoms being a more traditionally feminine subject.Through spectacular reproductions of historical and contemporary artworks drawn from collections in Australia, the United States, Britain and New Zealand, Useless Beauty explores how flowers influenced the psyche, governed rituals, defined identity and brought a psychological dimension to the everyday. The peak years for flower-centricity in Australian art were between 1920 and 1940 when flowers were known as the apotheosis of useless beauty.
Björk is a contemporary icon whose contributions to music, video, film, fashion and art have influenced a generation worldwide. Designed by top graphic design agency M/M as a slipcased world of wonders, this publication-which accompanies The Museum of Modern Art's spring 2015 exhibition on Björk-is composed of six parts: four booklets, a paperback and a poster. Each booklet contains illustrated texts by, respectively, curator Klaus Biesenbach, New Yorker music critic Alex Ross, British professor of musicology Nicola Dibben and the philosopher Timothy Morton (in conversation with Björk), while the poster features artwork from Björk's albums and singles. The main book focuses on her seven major albums and the personas created for each one. Poetic texts by longtime collaborator, Icelandic poet Sjón, are accompanied by shots of Björk performing live; multiple stills from music videos made by directors including Michel Gondry, Chris Cunningham and Spike Jonze; images of Björk in breathtaking costumes by designers such as Alexander McQueen and Hussein Chalayan; and shots by star photographers such as Nan Goldin, Juergen Teller, Stéphane Sédnaoui, Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin and Araki. All combine to form an extraordinary design masterpiece, celebrating the magical world of Björk.
Printmakers today are sustained both by their traditions and by their willingness to embrace new technologies, new mediums, and innovative processes. Over 500 beautiful colour images display the innovative work of 75 talented printmakers and 30 print shops. Traditional printing techniques featured include lithography, intaglio, screen print, and relief, while newer techniques include installation, digital, and fibre, among other forms of new print media. The artists speak for themselves, revealing why they create their art. Consequently, the readers will gain a deeper understanding of their world. These assembled prints reflect the talent of this time and in this place. The artists' mediums, patterns, images, and environments also capture our culture and attempt to foretell our future. This book will be a treasured resource for anyone who appreciates the printmaker's art.