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    Bookshelf: Sarah Gottlieb

Graphic Design

Bookshelf: Sarah Gottlieb

Posted by Bryony Quinn,

Sarah Gottlieb, as well as being a gifted designer in her own right, is also a founder of the multi-discplined London-based collective Household, the creative force behind such projects as the excellent Poundshop. We welcome her selection of literary picks for this weeks Bookshelf feature, reflecting broadly on her interest in and particular experience with, print and book publishing.

When Things Start to Think Neil Gershenfeld

While searching for books for the Future of The Book reading room at the Forms of Inquiry exhibition in Lausanne, I was lucky enough to get Neil Gershenfeld from MIT’s Media Lab to send me a copy of his book, When Things Start to Think. Gershenfeld’s starting point is that we don’t have enough technology today and that the technology we do have is sloppy and needs to be improved. Enthusiastic research writing that makes you interested in the oddest things.
www.amazon.co.uk/when-things-start-to-think

Iaspis Forum On Design and Critical Practice: The Reader Edited by Magnus Ericson, Martin Frostner, Zak Kyes, Sarah Teleman, Jonas Williamsson

This is a brick book. A blue brick book. When you have a good brick book it is worth its weight in gold and many hours of reading and re-reading. I went to the exhibition Forms of Inquiry when it first opened at the Architectural Association in London, as it travelled to Iaspis in Stockholm they decided to compliment the exhibition with a seminar and a book; The Reader. The book is built up around four conversations between graphic designers about various aspects of design relating to their practice. These well written conversations about ideas and thought processes are like a sneak peep into other designers’ minds. A bit like being a fly on the wall, eavesdropping into creative discussions between designers who share more than just an industry but a friendship. It is great to re-read texts which I read years before and discover how I have gone through experiences which changes my perspective of the very same text.
www.amazon.co.uk/iaspis-forum
www.sternberg-press.com/iaspis-forum

Conceptual Art in the Netherlands and Belgium 1965 — 1975 Stedelijk Museum

This is a book that I have actually never read, and might not get around to ever. I think it is the destiny of many books on graphic designers shelves. Simply bought because I was so taken with how well it was produced, it has become an object instead of a book to read. A friend showed it to me and I had to order it! It is of course, as many other beautifully produced books, printed and bound in the Netherlands. Printed on a quite heavy paper it opens like a dream, due to great craftsman skill in the binding, but especially due to the way the cover is glued on to the body. It uses a technique called Otabind, the principle is that the book-block is not glued to the spine, but instead to a sheet of substrate. The block is then fixed to the cover sheet by glueing it to the first and last pages of the book-block. CLEVER. I wish more books were bound like this one.
www.amazon.co.uk/conceptual-art-in-the-netherlands…

Doppler Erlend Loe

My sister first introduced me to Erlend Loe with this book, demanding that I read it in Erlend’s native language, Norwegian, as she thought the humorous situations where much funnier. In short Doppler is the name of Norwegian man who is a competent man. He becomes tired of his competent life. One day when biking in the forest, he accidentally falls off his bike and onto his head, he then decides to just keep lying there on the forest ground. Later I received it as a present from a friend in London and re-read it in English, nice to see how humour is different in the same story depending on the quality of the translation. Erlend has an ability to create tongue-in-cheek remarks which makes it worth a re-read. Nothing better than to have a giggle when you read.
www.amazon.co.uk/doppler

Internet Reads

I have numerous times received links from one of my friends to obscure but very good articles and essays online. He likes to share reads ranging from plain stupid, to weird, to serious research. Not much to say other than some encouragement to actually go and find stuff to read on the internet as well. Here’s two reads: The e-reader industry: Replacing the book or enhancing the reader experience? by Nathaniel Stone for the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto and What is it about 20-Somethings? by Robin Marantz Henig, for The New York Times Magazine.

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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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    Merging the fun of the playground with the beauty and cerebral qualities of art, a slide will transport visitors to the Hayward Gallery entrance this summer thanks to the forthcoming Carsten Höller show, Decision.

  2. Traceyemin-mybed-int-

    Sometimes I don’t really “get” modern art, but I get Tracey Emin’s My Bed. She displayed it as a piece of art in 1998 after practically living in it for about a month following a bad breakup. Back then she was rake-thin and impish with an appetite for booze and fags, in that odd age where you’re left to fend for yourself but are not perhaps quite ready.

  3. Serenmorganjones-int-list

    With the centenary of British women receiving the partial vote coming up shortly, artist Seren Morgan Jones decided it was time to focus on the Welsh suffragists who helped to make it happen. “I think it is important to show that there is more to Wales and its history than coal mining, rugby and men,” she explains, “and to draw people’s attention to the fact Welsh women were so involved in the fight for women’s rights.”

  4. List-welcome_to_neu_friedenwald_by-laura-jung

    To say that the announcement from David Lynch that Twin Peaks was returning was met with excitement is something of an understatement. It was, as is to be expected, met with rabid levels of hysteria – or at least as rabid as those cool enough to adore the show would willingly articulate – and we’re still a good year away from seeing it on screen. This year is the show’s 25-year anniversary, and to mark the occasion, something very special is afoot in Berlin.

  5. Samchirnside-int-list

    I don’t know what it is about seeing colours up close that’s so mesmerising, but Sam Chirnside is all over it. The Melbourne and New York-based artist works predominantly with oil paints to create strangely beautiful distortions, which work best when overlaid with a band logo to create album artwork, or cut out in geometric shapes. His works resemble planetary compositions straight out of a senior school physics textbook or a happy spillage in an art classroom, and we can’t get enough of them.

  6. Jacksmith-npg-int-list

    For the first time ever a show at the National Portrait Gallery in London contains no human faces. Jack Smith: Abstract Portraits which opened late last week is the first exhibition in the gallery’s 159-year history that includes no figurative portraits as Smith’s work is made up of abstract shapes and colours. Of course there’s nothing new about the idea of a portrait being something other than a traditional head and shoulders painting, but it is noteworthy that one of London’s leading galleries should take such a decisive step.

  7. Benjamin-dittrich-int-list

    German graphic artist Benjamin Dittrich is principally concerned with scale at both a micro and macro level. He preoccupies himself with subjects as large as the cosmos and as minute as molecular structures, zooming in and out in his textural works to reveal vast and complex systems. His retro-futuristic work is breathtakingly complex, utilising painted and printed layers to launch you though time and space. He’s got a new show opening at Spinnerei Archiv Massiv tonight in Leipzig, which if you’re based nearby we’d urge you to get down to. Utterly beautiful stuff!

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    Los Angeles-based artist Chyrum Lambert uses formal constraints like grid systems and scalpel blades to contain and compose his paintings made up of cut-and-paste figures, patterns and abstract narratives.

  9. Blamey-ct-6-int

    David Blamey, the artist who founded publisher Open Editions, has authored the first release from Continuous Tone, a series of sound works that treat the medium as a viable space for the production of art.

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    Nathalie Du Pasquier is a figure who seems to leave a trail of intrigue behind her everywhere she goes. This is largely because, as a founding member of the Memphis group (an Italian design and architecture group founded in Milan in 1981) she’s been an unstoppable force in shaping the design world as we know it, colours, angles, ideas and all. But it’s also partly because her work is just so much fun.

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    Merging the style of the early 20th Century surrealists with contemporary street art, Tehran-based artist Mehdi Ghadyanloo’s work is strange and beguiling. He’s currently in London, busying himself with the mammoth task of creating murals all around the capital, including one measuring a whopping 3.4km. As if that wasn’t enough, he’s also showing at the Howard Griffin Gallery in London, in an exhibition entitled Perception.

  12. List

    Highbrow folk like us often find the traditional emoticon can struggle to express how we really feel. We don’t ALWAYS want to convey that we’re blindly happy, crying with laughter or horizontally-lipped and nonplussed. Sometimes, we need something a little more creative. Thank the lord, then, that Hyo Hong has come up with just the solution, in the form of the multifaceted (in its truest sense) Cindy Sherman-icon.

  13. Art-belikov-int-list

    I can’t tell you a whole lot about Lithuanian artist Art Belikov other than he’s 24 years old and, er, Lithuanian. And that all his images are fantastical digital creations. But in spite of the lack of background information currently available to me I’d just like to say that his work is extraordinary. He’s a maker of 3D rendered images depicting scenes borrowed from late 90s sci-fi; all “vintage” cell phones and games consoles, cans of mysterious energy drinks and designer bottled water. There’s a 666 in his URL too so you can be sure he’s a cool guy! When we finally track the man down we’ll ask him some questions about what it all means, but for now just drink in the eerie beauty of his digital creations.