• Bookshelf-final
Bookshelf

The top five books of POST magazine’s Louise Benson

Posted by Madeleine Morley,

Louise Benson from POST Magazine has curated a selection of books from her bookshelf for us! Since we first wrote about POST in 2011, the digital magazine dedicated to showcasing cutting-edge creativity has spectacularly grown, and has become a very intriguing and forward-thinking online platform. The site explores the blurring boundaries between art, fashion, science and technology, and in the past they have published iPad editions of their magazines. For an afternoon, Associate Editor Louise pulled herself out of the digital realm and spent some time with her physical bookshelf. On to Louise for her list of all time favourites.

  • 1-curious-01

    Vilgot Sjoman: I Am Curious (Yellow)

  • 1-curious-02

    Vilgot Sjoman: I Am Curious (Yellow)

  • 1-curious-03

    Vilgot Sjoman: I Am Curious (Yellow)

  • 1-curious-04

    Vilgot Sjoman: I Am Curious (Yellow)

  • 1-curious-05

    Vilgot Sjoman: I Am Curious (Yellow)

Vilgot Sjoman: I Am Curious (Yellow)

This has it all, really. A pair of young Swedish lovers, protests and politics, nude yoga, and a cameo from Martin Luther King. Released in 1967, it was initially censored in parts of America, but overall brought in a new acceptance of sex and nudity on screen in films not restricted to pornographic cinemas. I found an old VHS copy of the film knocking around in the grubby and wonderful Notting Hill Exchange film shop when I was about 16. It really shaped my fondness for non-linear ways of filmmaking, where the story itself is less important than the ways of telling it. A couple of years later, I found this accompanying book and knew that I had to buy it.

  • 2-tantra-01

    Frank Andre Jamme: Tantra Song

  • 2-tantra-02

    Frank Andre Jamme: Tantra Song

  • 2-tantra-03

    Frank Andre Jamme: Tantra Song

  • 2-tantra-04

    Frank Andre Jamme: Tantra Song

  • 2-tantra-05

    Frank Andre Jamme: Tantra Song

Frank Andre Jamme: Tantra Song

Tantric practitioners anonymously produced these paintings on used paper as a form of meditation in Rajasthan, India. They would then discard them, never laying claim to them as artists. It was all about the freely spiritual process, which is maybe what makes the collected results so strikingly beautiful. Their bleeding edges, block colours and simple shapes seem strangely prescient of spare modernist compositions. Beautifully restrained.

  • 3-cat-01

    Bruce Angrave: Tripli-Cat

  • 3-cat-02

    Bruce Angrave: Tripli-Cat

  • 3-cat-03

    Bruce Angrave: Tripli-Cat

  • 3-cat-04

    Bruce Angrave: Tripli-Cat

  • 3-cat-05

    Bruce Angrave: Tripli-Cat

Bruce Angrave: Tripli-Cat

Endless cat-themed puns and monochrome illustrations, anyone? To be honest, the puns are terrible and the drawings are repetitive, but good on Bruce Angrave for picking a theme and running with it. He’s pretty much run a marathon with it, and I’d definitely say that he won that race. His warped, feline-filled world never fails to make me laugh.

  • 4-players-01

    Tina Barney: Players

  • 4-players-02

    Tina Barney: Players

  • 4-players-03

    Tina Barney: Players

  • 4-players-04

    Tina Barney: Players

  • 4-players-05

    Tina Barney: Players

Tina Barney: Players

New Yorker Tina Barney’s photographs of her wealthy family and friends are kind of surreal, while at the same time managing to pick up very ordinary details. In her portraits, stuffy sofas and badly fitting shoes are captured in vivid, beautiful colours. She seems to catch the feeling of slightly awkward family gatherings, or those brief odd moments of self-reflection you sometimes get in the middle of a crowded party. Her mix of fashion and fiction, drama and documentary, really push my ideas of what style can be, and show how photography can be both posed and naturally relaxed.

  • 5-procktor-01

    Patrick Procktor: Patrick Procktor

  • 5-procktor-02

    Patrick Procktor: Patrick Procktor

  • 5-procktor-03

    Patrick Procktor: Patrick Procktor

  • 5-procktor-04

    Patrick Procktor: Patrick Procktor

  • 5-procktor-05

    Patrick Procktor: Patrick Procktor

Patrick Procktor: Patrick Procktor

Dreamily distorted watercolours, lazy afternoon portraits, delicately painted still lifes of nothing much… these sum up Patrick Procktor’s work for me. His friends and contemporaries included David Hockney, Derek Jarman and Francis Bacon, and collectively they were frequently in the spotlight as the up-and-coming creative generation of the 1960s. It’s quite strange now to look back, as he was also my step-grandfather, and came to live and work at our house for a time while I was growing up. Just imagine if the close friends of your twenties ended up reaching the heights of Hockney, while your own work falls slightly under the radar. I love the indistinct, evocative quality of his watercolours though, with a few simple brush strokes conjuring each scene.

Oo-xtcya

Posted by Madeleine Morley

Madeleine joined It’s Nice That as a freelance editorial assistant in May 2014 having graduated from Cambridge University where she edited the student newspaper. In the autumn of 2014 she will begin her Masters course at The Courtauld Institute of Art where she will specialise in architecture.

Most Recent: Bookshelf View Archive

  1. Lenka-list

    Artist Lenka Clayton has been a mainstay on It’s Nice That since way back in 2009, whether she’s doing very slow magic tricks, making drawings on a typewriter with friend and collaborator Michael Crowe, or making books about the 63 objects she has removed from her son’s mouth. With such a multidisciplinary practice we knew Lenka would have stacks of wonderful books tucked away, and we weren’t mistaken. “A few years ago I moved to America from England,” she explained, “so I have far fewer books at home than I used to, making this exercise quite easy. The books I chose are the ones that I sacrificed clothes space for in my suitcases.” It seems a good tactic, as these five are a wonderfully eclectic insight into Lenka’s work. Read on!

  2. Unnamed

    As co-founder of London-based studio 8vo, co-editor of Octavo, International Journal of Typography for all of its eight year-long life and now one half of typographic powerhouse MuirMcNeil, you’d imagine that Hamish Muir has built up a fairly comprehensive collection of design and typography-based publications over the 30 odd years he’s been working. Fortunately for you, we’ve done the legwork and gotten cold hard proof of it in the form of photographs of his top five, and it’s even better than we imagined.

  3. List

    Antenne Books is to independent art bookshops what cool kids are to playgrounds – generously exchanging the very best in Pokemon cards from their reserved spot on the climbing frame – except for the Pokemon cards are beautifully made books about art, photography, design and illustration, and the climbing frame is a neat website. They shared five of their favourite out-of-print publications, including some absolute bangers from Ari Marcopoulos and Ed Templeton, leaving us envious and awestruck in equal parts. For their full range, check out their website.

  4. List

    Last week Clive Martin from Vice called him “the David Bailey of grime” which sums up Ewen Spencer’s oeuvre beautifully, really. The documentary photographer has made British youth and subculture his bread and butter, photographing the UK garage scene in all of its gritty glory as well as working for the NME, photographing The White Stripes, making the very brilliant Brandy & Coke and producing a host of books and exhibitions as well. As far as perspectives on Britishness go, Ewen’s is basically unrivalled.

  5. List

    Yesterday marked the launch of the brand new issue of bi-annual hardback Twin magazine, the defiantly substantial glossy publication that clubs fashion, art and culture together through interviews and gorgeous imagery. This issue includes photographs by Petra Collins, an archive of childhood shots of Kate Bush taken by her older brother and an interview with the remarkable Neneh Cherry, so to celebrate we thought we’d have founder Becky Smith show us the five books which have inspired and influenced her. In the process, we learned who her favourite photographers are, whose rare books she’s lucky to have laid her hands on and the unlikely inspiration behind the name “Twin”. Read on!

  6. List

    When we get in touch with the people whose work we admire to ask if they’d like to be involved in the Bookshelf feature, we ask them to pick books which have been particularly inspiring or influential to them in their lives, and this brief might never been more closely followed than by Jessica Svendsen. Jessica is a graphic designer at Pentagram and teaches Typography at both Parsons and Pratt in New York, as well as working on a number of freelance projects which are as remarkable for the degree of research which informs them as for their bold, impactful imagery.

  7. Lisst

    Longtime fans of Toro Y Moi will already know Chaz Bundick to be a man with impeccable visual stylings, and a portfolio which stretches way beyond logos and album covers to include album launches turned art exhibitions, screen-printed posters and a heavy involvement with the concepts behind his music videos as well. Today marks the launch of Chaz’s debut album Michael under the name of his dancier side project Les Sins, which we decided made for an ample excuse to get a look at his Bookshelf. And my god it’s a good one.

  8. List-2

    Where some printed publications shy away from British culture as it exists beyond Union Jack flags and Yorkshire tea in floral china, LAW Magazine, which stands for Lives and Works is already knee-deep in the grit and the grime. Now in its fifth issue, the staple-bound bi-annual describes itself as a platform for “the beautiful everyday… A window into the world of the current undercurrent that nobody is catching and which is therefore of greater importance to document.” It’s a kind of Britishness so ubiquitous that you’d have to be wandering the streets with your head in a bag to miss it – one defined by full-suspension mountain bikes, Sunday League referees, Hackney estate maps and Vauxhall Novas.

  9. List

    Having founded London-based design studio Build in 2001, creative director Michael C. Place has amassed his fair share of books in his time, with a healthy combination of design knowledge to be found tucked between the spines on the studios (admirably well-organised) shelf. We’ve been championing Build’s work on the site for some time now, so what better way to get an insight into the inspirations behind their snazzy work than by hearing from the creative director himself about his favourite reading material? Between Letraset catalogues, reflections on legend Wim Crouwel and Michael’s mate Blam (who has excellent taste in books) we were not disappointed.

  10. Main1

    “In February 2013, 18 weeks pregnant, I was diagnosed with bowel cancer.” That’s the opening statement on the website of graphic novelist Matilda Tristram, who channeled this painful chapter of her life into a bestselling comic entitled Probably Nothing. We interviewed Matilda a while back on the site and were so intrigued by her story, we had to know more. In this revealing, insightful Bookshelf, Matilda shows us the fantastic books that have inspired her to be one of the most important and engaging graphic novelists working today. Here she is…

  11. Main

    Yay! Hato Press! We love them. A lot. Neighbours of ours, Hato have spent the last five years collaborating with some of the coolest young creatives and oldest institutions to create impeccably beautiful printed matter and design solutions. A number of the publications these guys have produced are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever had the pleasure of holding/smelling, and it seems that every single thing they do or work on is covered in a glimmering magic dust that is exclusive to only them. Before you go and wet your pants over their multi-disciplinary work on their very nice websites (here and here) check out the books that have inspired them over the years below. Enjoy!

  12. List

    Satirical artist and very funny woman Miriam Elia is something of a pro when it comes to books; last year she self-published We Go to the Gallery, a satirical reinterpretation of a 1960s Ladybird book which seeks to help parents explain sex, death and contemporary art to their young ones, complete with a handy glossary of new words to learn. She’s since co-curated an exhibition about Pastiche, Parody and Piracy at London’s Cob Gallery, while other past works include I Fell in Love With a Conceptual Artist… and It Was TOTALLY MEANINGLESS about her relationship with Martin Creed. Hilarious? Yes. Yes it is. Miriam’s Bookshelf includes lovingly weathered books about typography, photography, flesh-eating plants and Butlins holiday camps, giving a neat insight into her brain.

  13. List

    John Tebbs is an English gardener who, frustrated by the fact that “many of his working days are held hostage to the weather” founded The Garden Edit in the winter of 2013. His idea was to spend his downtime as productively as possible, creating an online store of beautiful objects which he sourced and sold himself. The resulting curated collection reflects John’s faultless aesthetic, selling “minimal, well-designed products from craftspeople, artists, publishing houses and family-run businesses” alongside a Journal which features short articles by some of his favourite figures about their own horticultural escapades, from rooftop gardens to illustrations of plants.