5 to Read: This Month

In a time when the boundaries of reality and the digital world continue to blur, what is it that makes us human? This month’s new releases negotiate how senses and visceral appreciations are integral to the creation, purpose and perception of contemporary art. Authors explore static architectural forms, a lineage of visual technology and the foregrounding philosophy which ultimately shapes creative practice.

Britt Salvesen, 3D Double Vision, Prestel Publishing.

Proposing an alternative chronology of modernism, 3D Double Vision tracks the impact of 3D technology and optical illusions on the production of art. By starting with Marcel Duchamp’s (b. 1887) cubist conceptions, the book illustrates how a desire for escapism was not restricted to today’s digitalised society. Also examined are intergalactic sculptures from Mariko Mori (b. 1967), Trisha Baga’s (b.1985) objectivity installations and Lucy Raven’s (b. 1977) cinematic depictions.

Released 2 April. Find out more here.

Donatien Grau, Plato in L.A: Contemporary Artists’ Visions, Getty Publications.

As one of the forefathers of modern thinking, Plato in L.A: Contemporary Artists’ Visions dissects how discourses outlining enlightenment, social conduct and self-fulfilment continue to influence a group of creatives currently producing and exhibiting an array of work. Coinciding with The J. Paul Getty Museum’s, Los Angeles, showcase of the same name (18 April-3 September), 11 global artists, from Rachel Harrison (b. 1966) to Jeff Koons (b. 1955), are interviewed and crafts deliberated.

Released 18 April. Find out more here.

Marvin Rand, Emily Bills, Sam Lubell and Pierluigi Serraino, California Captured: Mid-Century Modern Architecture, Phaidon.

California Captured: Mid-Century Modern Architecture presents the photographs of Marvin Rand (b. 1924), an artist who dissects the myth and fantasy of the iconic city, re-evaluating how Craig Ellwood (b. 1922), Louis Kahn (b. 1901) and Frank Lloyd Wright’s (b. 1867) buildings should be considered. A selection of more than 5000 archival negatives question how form, texture and existence are facilitated by concrete topographies, viewed through a secondary gaze.

Released 27 April. Find out more here.

Ellen Lupton and Andrea Lipps, The Senses: Design Beyond Vision, Princeton Architectural Press.

By positioning the human condition at the centre of interpretational importance, The Senses: Design Beyond Vision negotiates how an individual’s mind and body are affected by artistic elements. The impact of materials, sound, light and space are discussed within thematic essays which express how sensory media, as used by featured artist Petra Blaisse (b. 1955), facilitates creative accessibility. Accompanying the release an exhibition at Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, New York, (13 April-28 October).

Released 24 April. Find out more here.

Max Ström, Silent Land, Åsa Sjöström, Thames and Hudson.

Documenting one of Europe’s most remote countries, Silent Land retells the stories and lives of Moldova’s overlooked population. Swedish photographer Åsa Sjöström (b. 1976) attempts to challenge existing impressions, questioning how unrepresentative stereotypes which imply misery and disparity came to exist. Whimsical photographs of sunset drenched landscapes are placed alongside gritty portraits, uncovering the true identity of this forgotten nation.

Released 5 April. Find out more here.

1. Asa Sjöström from the series Silent Land.
2. Craig Ellwood, Palevsky House, Palm Springs, 1971. Picture credit: courtesy of the Estate of Marvin Rand.
3. William L. Pereira & Associates, University of California, Irvine, 1996. Picture credit: courtesy of the Estate of Marvin Rand.
4. Asa Sjöström from the series Silent Land.
5. Mariko Mori, Tom Ha Nu.