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    Bookshelf: Fred Butler

Art

Bookshelf: Fred Butler

Posted by Bryony Quinn,

To be accessorised by Fred Butler is to fall head first into a vat of colourful carnage. She makes no apologies for this, your life will be better on emerging and people will stop and point at your fascinator and will most likely break into song. This is all natural, even for men (wearing or pointing). We invited the prop-maker/stylist/accessory designer to share her bookshelf with us and her choices begin to shine a little more light on the rainbow effect of her design practice…

A Bit Of Rough Julie Verhoeven

Julie is one of my favourite artists of all time for 3 reasons – her work is identifiably unique in its purity, her style cultivates and celebrates colour, she embraces humour and executes it with a nuance, which translates with a sophisticated sheen. “A bit of rough” has imagery of all her mixed media disciplines as a really neat monograph of adventures in illustration, sculpture, fashion design and film. The introduction by Francesca Gavin is a succinct and brilliant explanation of the mind behind the inexplicably prolific talent. My copy is particularly precious because I received it in the post, painted in neon coral acrylic and signed as a present – which was a very exciting surprise!
www.amazon.co.uk/a-bit-of-rough
www.julieverhoeven.com

Jungle Fever Jean Paul Goude

I discovered Jean Paul Goude’s humorous genius vision via his art direction for Grace Jones records and this book catalogues his early career showing everything that led up to this time. It’s almost like a sketchbook with scans of exquisite early naive illustration and crude cut-n-paste collage which all led to his eventual highly polished and epic photographs. My favourite section of the monograph is the subcultural photographs of 1970’s New York where he captured the vibrant and radical styles of Latin teenagers. I found this book in the public library when I lived in Harlem, and now I’ve managed to find a copy for myself! It’s my most considered and treasured investment!
www.amazon.co.uk/jungle-fever
www.jeanpaulgoude.com

Skinhead Nick Knight

Nick Knight is an artist very important to me not only for his inspirational pioneering photography but also his altruistic approach to nurturing new creatives with his platform SHOWstudio. To see his very first publication from 1980 (the year I was born) is a fascinating insight into where he started off with his journey in producing iconic visuals. This ode to a subculture is his own subjective vision of skinheads rather than a factual historical documentation, which makes it of more significance and importance in my mind. He has an innate gift of connecting with his subjects to reveal and expose a personality, which you see perfectly in these engaging portraits of an otherwise wary, marginalised genre.
www.amazon.co.uk/skinhead
www.showstudio.com

Leigh Bowery Violette Editions

I got this book at a critical time in my life when I was 18 and I knew instinctively what made me happy but wasn’t sure if it actually existed elsewhere in the world. Thankfully the legacy of Leigh Bowery answered my hopes that there were other freaks out there, and in this instance dedicated their life to bravely creating and communicating an exceptional vision. This is the ultimate collection of photography that documented his complete works, collated from his friends and collaborators personal collections. If I ever have a day of self-doubt or disillusionment this is a steadfast and reliable antidote to ignite the flame of following my dreams.
www.amazon.co.uk/leigh-bowery
www.violetteeditions.com/leigh-bowery

A Chequered Past Peter Schlesinger

This is Peter Schlesinger’s visual diary of the 60’s and 70’s, which depicts his days spent with partner David Hockney and close friends Ossie Clark, Celia Birtwell, Manolo Blahnik and Paloma Picasso etc. It just so happens that he was at the epicentre of a group of soulmates who were each of outstanding creative influence. This period of proximity to intimate passages in time results in beautifully relaxed, atmospheric and honest snapshots. The vivid hues of his film literally seize the sparkling settings of the azure swimming pool waters that we know so well from Hockney’s paintings. It’s so lucky that Peter was there to conscientiously record each critical moment from Cecil Beaton at Reddish House to Robert Mapplethorpe in Paris, to Andy Warhol in Monte Carlo. The scenes and scenarios are enchanting and his particular eye for proportion in positioning the people and places makes this a captivating classic.
www.amazon.co.uk/a-chequered-past
www.thamesandhudson.com/a-checquered-past

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Posted by Bryony Quinn

Bryony was It’s Nice That’s first ever intern and worked her way up to assistant online editor before moving on to pursue other interests in the summer of 2012.

Most Recent: Art View Archive

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    Annie Descôteaux’s work is confident, engaging and straight-forwardly slapstick. The Montreal-based artist works with installation, drawing and collage and has seen her work exhibited and discussed at conferences on colour theory. In equally impressive outings, it’s also appeared in Bloomberg and Pica magazines, among other publications. Annie’s collage work is well-balanced with clean lines, sharp colours and discreet humour; each piece littered with raw steak, fried eggs and shuttlecocks.

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    Up to the point when I opened Atelier Bingo’s new zine Wogoo Zoogi I’d never wondered what two aliens in heated conversation might look like. Having had a read I can now confirm that the answer is “they are speaking, singing very strangely, and they have a hair on their tongues." The newest bout of work from French illustration and surface design duo Adèle Favreau and Maxime Prou is a wonderful celebration of playful, dynamic, abstract art; blending shapes, colours and patterns in a glorious puddle of chaos thinly disguised as alien chat. In fact, it’s everything we’ve been led to expect from the pair, who we’ve dolloped praise on in the past.

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    Faig Ahmed is an Azerbaijani artist doing remarkable things with carpets. He takes traditional Azerbaijani rugs – enormous, beautiful intricate creations – un-weaves them, and reconstructs them to create new patterns and shapes, subverting traditional usage of rugs as domestic objects to be walked all over, and rejuvenating them with optical illusions and techniques reminiscent of contemporary internet art. 

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    The work of Slavs & Tatars is awash with unlikely cultural references, balloons, archives and carpets. Identifying “the area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China” as the focus of their work, their projects are generous, engaging and genre-crossing. Starting as a reading group before shifting into making their own work, Slavs & Tatars have recently been working on a continuation of their Long Legged Linguistics project, a multi-faceted study of language as a source of emancipation. The somewhat secretive collective were kind enough to tell us more about this and their “bazaar” approach to making work.

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    If you go down to the Whitechapel Gallery anytime between now and early April you’ll be sure to come across a huge breadth of work chronicling the adventures of the black square, from 1915 all the way up to the present day. It’s fairly monochromatic, as you might expect. Upstairs, however, things get drastically more colourful – especially once you come to David Batchelor’s specially “disrupted” issue of October, one of the most respected art journals out there, first published in 1976 and edited by esteemed writers Michel Foucault, Richard Foreman and Noël Burch.

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    If I won the lottery I’d open a gallery, and when I opened my gallery I’d totally rip off everything that David Kordansky Gallery does. From the big stuff like the very well-curated, cool list of artists they represent, to the impeccable printed matter they produce, to the matter of their easily navigable and well designed website – these guys are celebrating people’s work in the best way possible.

  13. List

    For all its simplicity – the limited use of colour, the seemingly straightforward shapes – there’s something about the work of Jens Wolf that’s undeniably intriguing and complex. Bringing to mind the likes of Josef Albers and Frank Stella, his abstract pieces set off their precise geometry with deliberate imperfections that add a human element to its formality. With his first London show opening in March, we had a chat with him about the creative process, the evolution of his work and why his London is forever foggy.