• Rgbooks

    Bookshelf: Rob Giampietro

Graphic Design

Bookshelf: Rob Giampietro

Posted by Bryony Quinn,

New York based Rob Giampietro is the editor of the “filing cabinet online”, Lined and Unlined and a principal at Project Projects (and more). More specifically, as a graphic designer, educator and author of the impossibly vast archive of articles on the mutually inclusive fields of design, art, philosophy, education (and more), he is extremely qualified to tell us about his five books for our Bookshelf feature (and more). We shall hereby tack the “and more” suffix onto Rob’s name every time we see it, it also explains the cheeky further reading list we let him have…

Typeface as Program François Rappo

What is a typeface? It seems like this question was asked and answered long ago. But question is at the center of this engaging catalogue of typographic explorations conducted in recent years at ECAL/University of art and design Lausanne, which suggests the answer is in need of a major update. A fascinating survey of technologies, techniques, and traditions in flux. Jürg Lehni’s essay “The Nature of Type Design in the Digital Age” is an must-read.
www.amazon.co.uk/typface_as_program…

Anthology of Concrete Poetry Emmett Williams

Edited by one of my heroes, the freewheeling poet-editor-artist Emmett Williams, this anthology announces on its own cover in large, bold Optima that “the publishers of Something Else Press, Inc., take great pride in presenting this most active of modern poetry movements and in introducing so many major writers from so many countries between these covers for the first time to the American reading public.” It does exactly that, offering a parade of approaches and experiments, complete with annotations, to the practice of poem-making. Though Williams notes in his foreword to the 1967 edition, that “the poem as picture is as old as the hills, or the men who once lived in them, scratching their histories and fantasies in the preliterate strokes on the walls of caves,” he insists that these poems have been “born of the times, as a way of knowing and saying something about the world of now, with the techniques and insights of now.”
www.amazon.co.uk/concrete_poetry…

Varieties of Disturbance Lydia Davis

Known for writing the shortest of short stories, Lydia Davis’s flawless collection from 2007 mixes the aphoristic dread of Kafka with the verbal gameplay of Perec and adds a dash of wisdom and tenderness that is utterly Davis’s own. In her hands, the experience of reading words and the experience of experiencing what those words themselves describe collapse into a single wedded thing. Read 20 Sculptures in One Hour and you will know exactly what I mean.
www.amazon.co.uk/varieties_of_disturbance…

The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing Mark McGurl

This book has been on my mind a lot lately. McGurl, a UCLA English professor, looks at the explosion of creative writing programs in the US in the postwar period — 52 degree-granting programs in 1975 compared to over 300 in 2004 — and tries to read the creative writing program both into and through the literature it has produced. Even-handed and routinely enlightening, McGurl’s study is full of formulations like this one: “‘Experience’ and ‘craft’ and ‘creativity’ have been in more or less constant dialogue across the Program Era. One way to flesh out this dialogue is to look at the familiar set of prescriptive slogans in which they are complexly encoded: ‘write what you know’; ‘show don’t tell’; ‘find your voice.’” As a design educator, I think there’s a lot McGurl has to teach us.
www.amazon.co.uk/the_program_era…

Secrets: On the Ethics of Concealment and Revelation Sissela Bok

Bok is a Swedish philosopher and a Senior Visiting Fellow at Harvard’s School of Public Health. Building on her earlier book, Lying, Secrets is a vast survey of the ethics, instances, and effects of secrecy in nearly every part of our society — secret societies, confidential sources, state secrets, trade secrets, and more. In our age of Foursquare check-ins and Wikileaks cables, it’s endlessly fascinating to read this book, first published over 25 years ago, to see how much its core questions still resonate: “How far should one go in protecting one’s secrets? Should one conceal all that friends and colleagues confide? When may a promise of secrecy be broken? Are there times when it must be breached? Under what circumstances is it wrong to gossip about the secrets of others, or to pry into them? Is secrecy corrupting when it promotes the unchecked exercise of power?” There’s enough to more than fill Pandora’s Box, which naturally Bok examines as well.
www.amazon.co.uk/on_the_ethics_of_concealment…

Further reading:

The Mirror in the Text by Lucien Dällenbach, Parallel Encyclopedia by Batia Suter, Bruno Munari: Air Made Visible edited by Claude Lichtenstein & Alfredo Haberli, Gramophone Film Typewriter by Friedrich Kittler, The Shape of Time by George Kubler…

Portrait9

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

  1. London-is-changing-intlist

    Public art project London is Changing makes Londoners uncomfortably aware of the truths we’re perhaps trying to ignore: that our city is morphing beyond recognition, that creativity is at risk, and that for many people, it’s simply becoming unaffordable.

  2. Bensanders-potdealer-3-int_copy

    While keeping himself busy with postmodern Howard Hodgkin-esque painting and collage work, Ben Sanders is somehow finding the time to paint funny faces on ceramics. Cutting through the “worthy lifestyle” pottery trend with googly eyes, zigzag nostrils and creepy grins, Ben has stamped his sense of humour and aesthetic all over these thriving succulents’ homes.

  3. Olafur-eliasson_little-sun-int-1

    A “giddy joy” was described as the feeling evoked by the artwork of Olafur Eliasson when we interviewed him for last year’s Autumn edition of Printed Pages, and with his monumental, often participatory pieces, it’s not hard to see why. From his incredible 2003 Weather Project at Tate Modern to its portable, socially-conscious, tiny counterpart Little Sun(which “produces clean, affordable, and portable solar-powered lamps to areas of the world without reliable access to electricity”), his work is a glorious, utterly original ray of light shining on the sometimes impenetrable art world.

  4. Christian-marclay-vinyl-factory-int-1

    In another brilliant feat of creative engineering that bridges the gap between music, art and design, a project at the White Cube gallery in London’s Bermondsey sees musicians including Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore perform a composition for Christian Marclay, which is recorded and pressed on site by The Vinyl Factory Press. The press is housed in a shipping container, and the artwork for the record – also created on site – is designed by Christian and printed by Coriander Press, in a series that feels like cottage industry, DIY ideas brought into a slick, art-world setting.

  5. Lynda-benglis-int11

    “Think of bayous…crawfish…sea creatures…metal…tieing shoelaces…not knowing what to do sometimes and just doing it.” This is Lynda Benglis’ bizarre monologue, with which she ends the introduction to her new show.

  6. Brechtvandenbroucke-the-fame-main-int

    Brecht, after five years of admiring your work I can happily say that I can spell your name without looking. And I can tell you that even though I’ve spent years admiring the skill of your painting, I can finally say that I think I actually get it. Over time, Brecht’s erratic artworks have become increasingly crowded with characters, pop culture references, logos, and his trademark long-limbed creatures.

  7. Antoinecorbineau-6-int

    It’s my personal opinion that some of the most exciting creative work starts life as a side project to distract from commercial jobs. Such is definitely the case for Antoine Corbineau, a French illustrator and designer who has worked on a plethora of projects for commercial clients, drawing up large-scale, intricate scenes of characters interacting in an enormous, often map-like style. Potentially even more alluring, however, is Antoine’s painting work. It’s distinctly less bright, almost realist in its approach, depicting familiar domestic scenes and landscapes interspersed with small but resonant human activity. His attention to minute detail – the foliage of a plant, a picture frame, the icons on a computer screen – and his accuracy in creating scenes that you could swear you’d seen before makes this body of work oddly enchanting.

  8. Sethbogart-ceramics-home

    Seth Bogart is quite the Renaissance man. The frontman of San Francisco-based band Hunx & His Punx is also an artist, producing paintings, drawings and ceramics; a video director; a photographer and a fashion designer. He has collaborated with Yves Saint Laurent and has his own store, Wacky Wacko, for which he also designs installations. Seriously, this guy.

  9. Ellakru-painting-7home-int

    Latvia-born Ella Kruglyanskaya now lives and works in New York, depicting cartoon-like friends and “frienemies” out-and-about in large-scale oil paintings and murals. Ella’s work is packed with bawdy humour, exaggerated forms, exuberant mark-making and interactions. She describes her intention as “pictorial events… [that] aspire to an unspoken punch line” – the content, references and line-work all filtered through comedy.

  10. Anniedescarteaux-collage-7home-int

    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.

  11. Oliviervrancken-untitled-1-inthome

    Olivier Vrancken is a graphic designer and artist based in Holland. Painting and drawing his way through commissions and personal work, he is inspired by everything from primitive art to the great lyricists that are Black Sabbath. Olivier has exhibited all over Europe, his Cubist aesthetic and visual references laden with nods to cut-outs, still life, architecture and the human form. There’s a great colour palette to his work and some nice titles like Bad Hair Day and Wanderlust. Olivier’s work reminds me of the prints that appeared all over the T-shirts of the 1980s, in a good way.

  12. Menutnutnut-drawing-4-int

    Me nut nut nut was one of Jason Murphy’s daughter’s first utterances, and is now the name for his drawings of awkward stories of fear and incompetence. Inspired by the physical comedy of The Young Ones and The Ren & Stimpy Show, Jason’s drawings rely on comic intuition and references to real-life moments, like dropping a potato on his cat.

  13. Seamus_murhpy_pj-harvey_-recording-in-progress_-2015.-an-artangel-commission.-_1_int

    While we wait to take our turn to become a sort of strangely sanctioned voyeur as PJ Harvey records her ninth album, thinking about what’s ahead feels peculiar. Essentially, we’re going to see PJ (Polly Jean) Harvey, her band, producers Flood and John Parish, a photographer and two engineers making an album in a Something & Son-designed box, formed of glass that allows visitors to see in, while the musicians can’t see out.