5 to Read: This Month

5 to Read: This Month

Looking at socially responsive architecture, environmental sculpture and thoughtful photography, top publications to read in December offer global dialogues about meaningful change.


Giuseppe Penone: A Tree in the Wood, Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Coinciding with a major exhibition at YSP, this book collates poetic sculptures and installations from throughout Penone’s (b. 1947) career. The timely works engage with the relationship between humanity and the environment – the large-scale pieces pair bold visuals with thoughtful concepts.

Elemental, Phaidon

This monograph surveys visionary buildings by the Chilean firm. Led by 2016 Pritzker Prize-winner Alejandro Aravena, the company works on socially-engaged, humanitarian projects, putting communities at the forefront of their practice. Residences and reconstruction span Chile, the United States, Mexico, Switzerland and China.

Magnum China, Thames and Hudson

Focusing on the renowned photographic agency’s ongoing relationship with China, this photobook acts a social history, presenting an in-depth survey of a changing nation across nine decades. Thames and Hudson’s publication features contributions from René Burri, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Martine Franck, Carolyn Drake, Inge Morath, Martin Parr and Alec Soth.

Le Corbusier: The Buildings, Thames and Hudson

To draw a detailed portrait of buildings by the influential 20th century architect, photographer Richard Pare traveled from Switzerland to the US,  Argentina to Russia. The resulting compilation offers an in-depth look works from Le Corbusier’s early career to extensive later projects, examining a groundbreaking command of space, materials and colour.

Yan Wang Preston: Mother River, Hatje Cantz

The result of a four-year project by Chinese-British photographer Yan Wang Preston (b. 1976), Hatje Cantz’s book offers a unique view of the Yangtze River, capturing spontaneous local landscapes which move away from traditional modes of representation. Taken a at a precise distance of 100 metres, each image presents a fresh outlook.

1. Giuseppe Penone.
2. Giuseppe Penone, Albero folgorato, 2012. Private Collection. Courtesy the artist and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Photo © Jonty Wilde
3. Ocho Quebradas House, 2013, Los Vilos, Chile. Elemental.
4. Happy Valley Racecourse, Hong Kong, 2013. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos
5. Centor Soyuz. Image © Richard Pare
6. Image by Yan Wang Preston. Courtesy Hatje Cantz.