4 Top Art Books To Read This Month

BY Katrina Kufer / Jan 15 2018 / 16:03 PM

Here is our selection of tomes to check out that tackle the art world and social responsibility

4 Top Art Books To Read This Month
Courtesy of the artist, East Wing and Overlapse Publishing
Spread from Mandy Barker’s research notebook during the making of Beyond Drifting

Pure Gold: Upcycled! Upgraded! by Elke aus dem Moore

Through 388 pages, seven curators from across Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East bring 53 designers together to explore objects stemming from refuse, scrap and found materials. Considered within both Western and non-Western contexts, Pure Gold dives into the physical after-effects of globalisation, industrialisation and consumerism and the rising urgency of recycling and upcycling. Exploring how waste has become a new raw material, this publication exemplifies how contemporary designers are turning “trash” into products that are “pure gold”. Available at Spectorbooks.com

Pure Gold: Upcycled! Upgraded!

The Future of Public Space, SOM Thinkers Series

With an introduction by Allison Arieff and visuals provided by Lawrence Weiner, this book delves into notions of public space that are often overlooked through multiple takes. Rachel Monroe’s point of view is sparked by issues of surveillance; China Miéville writes a fictional piece through a detective lens; mythologies surrounding public art are explored by Ben Davis; Michelle Nijhuis discusses the changing ecologies of national parks; and Sarah Fecht’s speculations on social life in outer space are but a few of the many examples of the diverse interpretations and overlooked critical concerns surrounding “public space”. Available at Artbook.com

The Future of Public Space

Autumn, by Ali Smith

Named of New York Times’ top books of 2017, Scottish writer Ali Smith plays with time, plot, and her 101-year-old art historian protagonist and his 69-years-younger friend in this post-Brexit novel. With references to A Tale of Two Cities, The Tempest, Brave New World and Metamorphoses, displacement, disruption, states of fear and political decline dialogue with ecological concerns, streams of consciousness, the power of painting and the real role of women in the art world. Available at Penguinrandomhouse.com

Autumn by Ali Smith

Beyond Drifting: Imperfectly Known Animals, by Mandy Barker

This 104-page book by award-winning UK artist Mandy Barker functions as much as a series of photographs as it does a research, educational and environmental activism project. Focusing on Barker’s long-standing exploration into the environmental problems, specifically related to the oceans, this 2016 project is somewhat of an homage to the discovery of plankton by JV Thompson in the 1800s, however replaces the microscopic images of plankton with 59 photographs and illustrations of the new matter that fills the seas: plastic refuse. Available at Overlapse.com

Beyond Drifting