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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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    Way back in 2011 when we first posted the work of Frank Magnotta It’s Nice That was a very different beast – we’d only give you one image to check out and the rest was up to you. So when I stumbled across Frank’s work again this week it seemed essential that we show you a whole lot more. To be honest there have been few updates to his site in the past three years but the work is breathtaking, pulling together pop culture references, architectural precision and some serious Americana and combining it into stark surrealist landscapes. At times grotesque but always engaging, Frank’s graphite artworks are still some of the finest around.

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    These painted scenes from Paige Jiyoung Moon are so wonderfully intricate, a new detail pops out each time you see them. Capturing domestic scenes like people drinking coffee, friends watching a film or a family eating lunch together, it’s the mundanity of what Paige paints that makes her miniature worlds so inviting as the viewer tries to pick out some sort of irregularity.

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    It’s been a whole two years since we last posted about the marvellous work of Lynnie Zulu and we’re happy to have the illustrator’s vibrant world colouring our dull Monday once again. Her latest body of work is on show now at No Walls Gallery in Brighton and is a fantastically lively exploration of the female in all her glorious forms.

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    We’re no ballet aficionados, but we wouldn’t usually associate drunkards, typists and factory workers with the grace and poise of the discipline. However, as these beautiful gouache painting by Tatiana Bruni show, there’s much more to ballet than tutus and swan lake, with her angular figures, bold colours and sometimes grotesquely postured characters. The paintings show costume designs for Dmitri Shostakovich’s 1931 ballet The Bolt, and are going on show at London’s Gallery for Russian Arts and Design alongside a series of period photographs. The ballet itself was bold and striking in its use of real hammers, machine-inspired choreography, aerobics and acrobatics, and the costume images are equally as dynamic, inspired by “the aesthetics of agit-theatre and artist-designed propaganda posters”, according to the gallery. The sense of movement is palpable, whether in the graceful billowing dresses or the staggering legs of our brightly-coloured drunkard, working against the geometric rigidity of the style to beautiful effect.

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    The announcement that David Lynch is to release new episodes of Twin Peaks in 2016 was, unsurprisingly, met with internet-breaking levels of excitement. Soon, every Tommy, Dale and Henry Spencer was walking around their independent coffee shop knowingly harping on about their “damn fine cup of coffee” and popping that heartbreaking Angelo Badalamenti theme on the office stereo like they’d actually watched every episode back in 1990, when they were five.

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    Not since we saw the Doge meme IRL on a street in Hackney have we been this excited by the face of a strange dog. Now, we’re excited by many strange dog faces, thanks to what looks set to be a brilliant show by Wilfrid Wood. Wilfrid’s work has long been a favourite at It’s Nice That, and has over the years included sculptures of Tom Daley and Paul McCartney and numerous bottoms for Levis.

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    Man of many talents Will Edmonds has some great new work on his site in the geometric shape of these colourful framed pieces and paintings on wood. There’s a childlike simplicity against a more grown-up restraint in the works, which draw you in with colour and keep you there with the deceptively intricate layers. The works were created for an exhibition entitled A Watery Line at The Tetley in Leeds in summer 2014, where he was also showing sculptures and ceramics.

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    I can’t quite believe that it’s two years since we last featured Alex Roulette’s work on the site because he’s undoubtedly one of our favourite artists working today. The New York based painter creates scenes which “explore the blurred sense of time and place within memories” and he’s a master of the atmospheric. Looking at his paintings feels like beginning a dream when you’re pitched into a situation conjured up by your subconscious and yet instinctively know broadly where you are and what’s going on.

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    I’m sticking by my claim that the beach is one of the most fascinatingly liminal places going; you arrive, you take off (almost) all your clothes and you lie down, play volleyball and splash next to strangers with the same idea, and nobody thinks anything of it.

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    These painted shapes from Berlin-based Frau Grau are just wonderful with their rich, vivid tones and excellent composition. I really like the organic and uneven shapes, with each one refusing to tesselate neatly with its neighbour. The formation and assembly works fantastically, laid out like a detailed study of jewel-like pebbles and rocks found on an imagined coastline. It’s this ambiguity about what the artist is actually depicting that interests me so much.