5 to Read: This Month

5 to Read: This Month

Aesthetica selects new photography and architecture titles to explore this January. Compelling portraits reveal a sense of self whilst bold buildings stand out from the landscape.

Black: Architecture in Monochrome, Phaidon

This publication surveys striking architecture across the globe. It is a new, compact edition of Phadion’s popular title, exploring the use of monochrome in the built environment. From ancient churches to contemporary skyscrapers, Black: Architecture in Monochrome is full of 150 engineering marvels and sleek, contemporary designs – including works by Mies van der Rohe, David Adjaye, Jean Nouvel and Steven Holl.

Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Mouth of the River, Fosters Pond, 2014.

Minkkinen, Kehrer Verlag

Arno Rafael Minkkinen’s (b. 1945) self portraiture is surreal and captivating. Bodies meld with expansive natural landscapes, creating surprising shapes. Beaches, forests and mountaintops are backdrops for exploration – hands clasp tree branches and limbs rise from pools of water. This book spans five decades of image-making, featuring photographs from nearly 30 countries and 20 US states.

Nadav Kander, Florence Welch I, 2011

Nadav Kander, The Meeting, Steidl

“Revealed and concealed, beauty and destruction, ease and disease, shame and shameless. These paradoxes are essential to all my work and represent what is common to all my varied subject matter.” Nadav Kander’s portraits move beyond documentation to access what lies within. Each enigmatic photograph reveals a sense of self, using light and shadow to illuminate a universal humanity. Kander is speaking at Future Now 2020.

The last days of Kuomintang, Shanghai, 23 December 1948.
Photograph: Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson / Magnum Photos

Henri Cartier-Bresson: China 1948–1949, 1958, Thames & Hudson

In December 1948, Henri Cartier-Bresson travelled to China for LIFE magazine. He stayed for 10 months, recording landmark moments in Beijing and Shanghai. Cartier-Bresson was one of the first photographer to return in 1958, witnessing the changes that had taken hold in the preceding decade. Thames & Hudson’s book chronicles works from period, defined by a sense of empathy and responsibility.

Henning Larsen Town Hall Eysturkommuna ©Nic Lehoux

It Begins With Curiosity – Works by Henning Larsen Architects, Arvinius + Orfeus Publishing

Danish studio Henning Larsen Architects was founded 60 years ago, working from the powerful ethos: “people come first.” In projects as wide-reaching as Hong Kong, New York and the Faroe Islands, they encourage social interaction through Nordic modernism. As Design Principal Louis Becker says: “we design architecture as a collection of actions not as objects”. Art and architecture merge in this compendium of buildings.

Lead image: Tower Studio by Saunders Architecture.