Fashion.Art.Books

An archive of my ever expanding book and print collection

Month: February, 2012

Juergen Teller and Cindy Sherman – Ohne Titel

Last week, Cindy Sherman’s latest exhibition opened at MoMA New York. The retrospective documents her prolific career to date and highlights a number of her key series, including Untitled Film Stills. In 2006, Sherman brought her expert skills in subverting the notion of identity to a collaboration with the photographer Juergen Teller and designer Marc Jacobs. This project saw Teller and Sherman taking on a number of personas using Jacobs latest collection for the wardrobe. This was Sherman’s first collaboration with another artist and the results were used for the Marc Jacobs 2006 ad campaign. Subsequently, a collection of largely unpublished images from this project were collated in the book Ohne Titel, published by Steidl. I was lucky enough to get my copy signed by Teller himself.

Juergen Teller Cindy Sherman - Ohne Titel

Juergen Teller Cindy Sherman - Ohne Titel

 

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Matthew Barney – Djed (A Libretto for Ancient Evenings)

Matthew Barney’s latest project is a re-imagining and re-interpretation of Norman Mailer’s Ancient Evenings as an opera performed live in seven acts over a number of years. This epic undertaking transposes Mailer’s hypersexual story of Egyptian gods and the seven stages of death and reincarnation on to the rise and fall of American car industry, casting Cremaster 3’s 1967 Chrysler car as the main protagonist in the first act, REN. In this act we witness the dismantling and destruction of the Chrysler as its badges and emblems are removed, signifying the first stage of death, Ren, the loss of your secret name. In the second act, KHU, the Chrysler Imperial is reincarnated as a Pontiac Firebird which makes its way through the streets of Detroit before crashing over the side of a bridge into the river below. The “body” of the car is ceremoniously transported down the Detroit river where it is then fed in to the furnaces of a disused steel mill. The resulting molten iron is then released and poured into a cast of the underside of a car. Throughout all of these performances characters come and go performing the opera, created in collaboration with Jonathan Bepler who also worked on the Cremaster Cycle. Another returning collaborator is Aimee Mullins who takes on the part of Isis. For the remaining acts, the performances will move from Detroit to New York and will be performed over the coming years. Whilst the project was conceived as a live action piece, Barney has been filming each of the performances which will hopefully be exhibited in the future.

In 2011, Barney had a solo exhibition at Gladstone Gallery in New York, at the centre of which was the cast of the car created during the Khu performance. In addition a number of drawings were presented which map the development of the project. As part of the exhibition, Barney produced a libretto, a short form booklet describing the project and the performances to date. In addition to the text, the booklet also contained a number of shots from the performances along with images of the sculptures and drawings. The libretto was produced in an edition of 2500 and was given away free as part of the exhibition.

Matthew Barney - Djed

Matthew Barney - Djed

Matthew Barney - Djed

Matthew Barney - Djed

Matthew Barney - Djed

Matthew Barney - Djed

Matthew Barney - Djed

Matthew Barney - Djed

Matthew Barney - Djed

Eva Hesse – SFMOMA Exhibition Catalogue

In 2002, San Francisco MOMA, in collaboration with Elisabeth Sussman, presented a retrospective of the work of German-born artist Eva Hesse. Hesse, born in 1936, migrated to the USA with her family in 1939 to escape Nazi Germany and settled in New York where she went on to study study art at a number of top institutes. After graduating from Yale she continued to develop her work and in 1963 had her first exhibition of works on paper. It was soon after this, following a move to Germany, that Hesse began creating sculptures, the medium for which she has become most known for. Her sculptural work, focusing on the use of latex, cloth, cord and fibre glass, continued up until her untimely death from a brain tumour in 1970, aged 34. During her short life she only ever had one one-person show of her sculptural works; it is only since her death that her genius and flair have been brought to the attention of a wider audience.

In perhaps the most seminal show of her work to date, the 2002 exhibition at SFMOMA exhibited not only her sculptural works but also her paintings and drawings which she continued to produce throughout her life. The exhibition brought together 150 pieces of her work and gave a fascinating insight into her body of work. After being exhibited at SFMOMA, the exhibition moved on to Germany and then Tate Modern in the UK. Due to the materials Hesse used for her sculptures, they are incredibly fragile and difficult to preserve; I imagine that it is unlikely there will ever be another exhibition of her work of this magnitude due to the logistical problems of transporting such delicate pieces. SFMOMA produced an in-depth catalogue of the exhibition that detailed all the works shown and gave a fascinating insight in to the life of the artist. In addition, it also discussed the difficulties in conserving Hesse’s work and how it might be preserved so that future generations can continue to enjoy her work. The catalogue is now out of print and is getting harder and harder to find.

Eva Hesse - SFMOMA & Elisabeth Sussman

Eva Hesse - SFMOMA & Elisabeth Sussman

Eva Hesse - SFMOMA & Elisabeth Sussman

Eva Hesse - SFMOMA & Elisabeth Sussman

Eva Hesse - SFMOMA & Elisabeth Sussman

Eva Hesse - SFMOMA & Elisabeth Sussman

Eva Hesse - SFMOMA & Elisabeth Sussman

Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin – Pretty Much Everything

In 2006 it was announced that Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin would be releasing a retrospective of their work entitled Pretty Much Everything through publishing house Steidl. I am a huge admirer of their work and waited with baited breath for its release, however it never materialised and it looked like it may never be released. Then last year Taschen announced that they would now be releasing the career retrospective with the same title. Even better, the issue would be a limited edition of 1200 copies and be beautifully housed in a huge slipcase with one of Lamsweerde and Matadin’s iconic images printed on it. I finally received my copy this month, after waiting six years, and it was everything I hoped it would be.

The word Tome gets thrown around a lot when artists release career-spanning books but this really does deserve the description, it is enormous and weighs a ton! The slipcase is beautiful and has been meticulously designed by long time collaborators M/M Paris. The fabric covered case has the image Me Kissing Vinoodh (Eternally) printed on it and, in a nice addition, has an origami silkscreen poster wrapped over one corner.  Inside the case are two volumes signed by the artists and with photos tipped in on the covers. The 666 images inside document their career to date and cover their fine art, fashion and editorial work. As you make your way through the books you are reminded of  just how many iconic images of the last two decades and more were created by the duo. Among my favourite images are those they created with M/M Paris such as Alphabet, AlphamenPunctuation and the Balenciaga campaigns and their work with another of my two favourites Bjork and Visionaire. In addition to the two volumes of images, their is a third book containing essays and interviews that cover the history, inspiration and genius of Lamsweerde and Matadin.

Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin - Pretty Much Everything

Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin - Pretty Much Everything

Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin - Pretty Much Everything

Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin - Pretty Much Everything

Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin - Pretty Much Everything

Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin - Pretty Much Everything

Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin - Pretty Much Everything

Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin - Pretty Much Everything

Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin - Pretty Much Everything

Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin - Pretty Much Everything

Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin - Pretty Much Everything

Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin - Pretty Much Everything

Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin - Pretty Much Everything

Visionaire 32: Where – In Collaboration with Hermes

In 2000, Visionaire teamed up with Hermès to produce Where, an issue focused on travel. The housing of the issue was an embossed Hermes leather carrying case inspired by Jean Louis Dumas’, the president of Hermès, own travelling sketchbook. Inside the case is a pencil and a collection of 55 silver edged postcards; the postcards have been created by a luminary roster of artists such as Andreas Gursky, Wolfgang Tillmans, Bruce Weber, Manolo Blahnik, Gregory Crewdson, David LaChapelle and Karl Lagerfeld. Each postcard was further customised by unique graphic designs on the reverse. The whole issue was bundled in a drawstring felt Hermes bag and encased in a slipcased trademark Hermès box. The issue was produced in an edition of 3500 and sold out almost instantly. Due to the high quality of production that has gone in to the issue and the classical presentation of it in trademark Hermes livery it has become highly collectible, unopened copies now command a four figure price.

Visionaire 32 - Where with Hermes

Visionaire 32 - Where with Hermes

Visionaire 32 - Where with Hermes

Visionaire 32 - Where with HermesVisionaire 32 - Where with Hermes

Visionaire 32 - Where with Hermes

Visionaire 32 - Where with Hermes

Tom Ford

Before establishing his own eponymous empire, Tom Ford spent a decade breathing new life in to two fashion house giants as creative director of Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. Upon departing from his post in 2004, he published the self titled Tom Ford through Thames & Hudson. The slipcased catalogue documents his ten years at the helm in all its lavish glory, over 200 images show his vision for both brands in terms of not only the fashion but also the advertising and architecture of the stores.  The images inside are taken by some of the worlds top fashion photographers such as Richard Avedon, Mario Testino, Steven Meisel, Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts, Terry Richardson, Craig McDean, Todd Eberle, and numerous other photographers including many previously unpublished images. The book also charts what perhaps can be considered the birth of Ford’s reputation for provocative advertising, and includes the infamous Sophie Dahl image for YSL’s Opium perfume and the Samuel De Cubber image for YSL’s M7 men’s fragrance. Prefacing the images is an enlightening interview with Ford which gives a very personal insight in to his life and career. I was lucky enough to meet Ford around the time the book came out and he signed my copy for me.

Tom FordTom Ford

Tom Ford

Tom Ford

Tom Ford

Tom Ford

Tom Ford

Tom Ford

Tom Ford

Tom Ford

Tom Ford

Richard Prince – Four Cowboys

In 2009, Other Criteria (through their publishing house MurderMe) released Four Cowboys by Richard Prince. This oversize book presents four of Prince’s Cowboy prints in all their technicolour glory.  The images are appropriated from vintage Marlboro cigarette adverts; Prince rephotographed and cropped the images to give a new perspective that highlighted not only the ruggedness and masculinity of cowboy life, but also the beauty. Accompanying the images is an essay by the late Gordon Burn which focuses on how Prince has mastered the ability to deconstruct iconic images from Americana and play with nostalgic idealogies. The book originally sold out but is now back in stock.

Richard Prince - Four Cowboys

Richard Prince - Four Cowboys

Richard Prince - Four Cowboys

Richard Prince - Four Cowboys

Matthew Barney – De Lama Lamina (From Mud, A Blade) Edition

In 2006, Deutsche Guggenheim presented an exhibition entitled All In The Present Must Be Transformed which sought to show the affinities between the works of artists Matthew Barney and Joseph Beuys. To accompany the exhibition Barney produced an edition based on his 2004 film project De Lama Lamina. This was one of his first films after completing the Cremaster Cycle and was carried out as a live performance piece at Carnival in Salvador de Bahia in collaboration with the musician Arto Lindsay. The performance draws inspiration from deities of the local Candomble region. The two gods are Ogun, the deity of war, who possesses iron tools which he uses for both building/cultivating and also harvesting/killing, and Ossaim, the god of the forests and healing. In this respect these two gods can be seen to represent to opposing sides. Central to the carnival procession is a behemoth forestry truck which holds a giant redwood in its claws, as if just torn from the ground, representing the modern day destruction of the rainforest. From this tree, hang Ogun’s seven iron tools, and climbing in the branches a woman who represents the eco-activist Julia Butterfly Hill. Whilst the truck makes its way along the carnival path, a man (called Greenman, perhaps representing Ossaim) is harnessed to the undercarriage. This figure interacts with the truck and performs sexual acts whilst plants growing from his orifices grow and bloom. Taken together, these motifs represent a hybrid of the two gods and make a political statement on how the forests are treated by man.

A 15 minute section of the film, entitled Hoist, was released in 2006 on the DVD Destricted, which includes works by many other internationally renowned artists such as Richard Prince and Marina Abramovic. This DVD was initially banned in the USA due to it’s explicit nature but has since been released and is now internationally available.

The edition takes the form of a box containing ten postcards and a rosewood veneer with a stamped polyurethane backing which depicts the tree and Oguns tools. The postcards are production stills, studio shots and drawings and came in an edition of 100.

Matthew Barney - De Lama Lamina (From Mud, A Blade)

Matthew Barney - De Lama Lamina (From Mud, A Blade)

Matthew Barney - De Lama Lamina (From Mud, A Blade)

Matthew Barney - De Lama Lamina (From Mud, A Blade)Matthew Barney - De Lama Lamina (From Mud, A Blade)

Matthew Barney - De Lama Lamina (From Mud, A Blade)

Guido Mocafico – Medusa

In 2005, Swiss photographer Guido Mocafico released a box set of books through Steidl entitled Venenum. The set contained three books; a book of snakes (Serpens), a book of tarantulas (Aranea) and a book of jellyfish (Medusa). This project showed that even the things that can strike fear in to the heart of most people can be beautiful. The box set was limited to 1200 copies, which sold out quickly, but fortunately for those that missed out (like myself) the books were released individually. My favourite of the books is Medusa, the images of jellyfish inside are captivating; each species is exquisitely lit and photographed against a pitch black backdrop so that they look like they are floating in an endless void. The colour, size and shape of the jellyfish are so diverse and some are reminiscent of coloured photos you see of galaxies. Another great aspect of this book is that at the end of the book is a description of each species, including their size and where they are most commonly found, the book functions as both a work of art and a reference book.

Guido Mocafico - Medusa

Guido Mocafico - Medusa

Guido Mocafico - Medusa

Guido Mocafico - Medusa

Guido Mocafico - Medusa

Guido Mocafico - Medusa

Paul Graham – Films

In anticipation of Paul Graham’s new book The Present, published by Mack Books this spring, I thought I would present his book Films which was also published by Mack last year. The images in this book are a world away from those that he is best known for, yet they fit perfectly with his ethos of using a variety of photographic techniques to tell a story. In these images, first shown at Anthony Reynolds gallery in London, Graham presents the microscopic details of a films grain. Whilst scanning his images for his career retrospective at the Whitechapel Gallery, Graham also scanned the unexposed ends of the film and enlarged them producing stunning abstract constellations of colour. As the film differs so does the resulting image, no two films are the same. The book is lavishly produced, the pages are lacquered to a high gloss finish so that they have the appearance and feel of celluloid film; I was also lucky enough to pick up a signed copy from the gallery.

Paul Graham - Films

Paul Graham - Films

Paul Graham - Films

Paul Graham - Films

Paul Graham - Films

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