Tenuous link? Or just stretching your imagination? (You decide!) ….Either way, in order to tie in with this week’s chosen ‘Bonfire Night’ theme, we thought we’d mention some of our more ‘hidden’ backlist titles that are loosely connected to fire or light(s).
Once you start having a browse of our on-line catalogue it is quite amazing what titles you come across. You come to realise the breadth and reach of our list, and the connecting themes that can link seemingly very different titles together.
Are you still with us? Then do read on….
What can we show you on ‘Light'(s)?
Two backlist titles we are honing in on first concentrate on stained glass window designs. Those of artists Imi Knoebel (Stained Glass Windows in Reims Cathedral) and Gerhard Richter (Zufall – The Cologne Cathedral and 4900 colours). The beautiful light reflections created are something to behold!
An abstract painter, for 15 years Knoebel only used the colours blue, red and yellow in his paintings, treating them like foundation stones. In 2008 he was commissioned to design 6 new stained glass windows, using the same colours, for the Gothic cathedral at Reims and these were finally revealed in 2011. Get this book if you want to read about the whole project, from start to finish.
Gerhard Richter’s abstract stained glass window design for Cologne’s cathedral is based on the mathematical principle of ‘randomness’. Again, this book documents the artist’s finished project, which consists of over 11,000 squares of glass, and is made up of 72 different colours. Get this book if you want to see Richter’s beautiful end result, and read essays about how this artwork fits with the rest of his artistic oeuvre. This is something different from the usual Gerhard Richter titles – and there are many out there!
Less abstract maybe, but still on the theme of ‘lights’ is JRP/Ringier’s Complete Designers’ Lights II (1950-1990). It mainly focuses on Italian and French designed lights of this period, and features around 500 individual designs. The book takes quite an in-depth look, so get this one if you are into top end but functional design, and would like to read an interesting essay discussing the relationship between light design and light installation/art.
Into conceptual art? In 1984 self-taught conceptual artist Guillaume Bijl transformed his Art Basel exhibition space into a light shop with his now famous artwork, Lustrerie Media. The piece is well documented, along with many of his other artworks in this artist’s monograph, again published by JRP/Ringier. Get this one if you want some insight into Bijl’s celebrated ‘alternative’ take on conceptual art.
And what about ‘Fire’?
The first title to highlight here is Memory of Fire: Images of War and the War of Images. Again, this one might have a somewhat tenuous link to the theme of ‘fire’, and yet this is such an important, harrowing and informative title that we just had to include it here. It has been a much ordered item on our list. Covering the photography of war, it concentrates on images taken during the Russian Revolution right up to photographs of modern day war zones in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The differing types of war image (including propaganda, soldier snaps, large-scale museum piecies) are illustrated and analysed here, making it a fascinating read. Choose this one if you want to read critical texts and analysis on the images of war. But be warned, as some images are of a very graphic nature.
In contrast, Christian Marclay’s 2012 fire-based project is nicely documented in his ‘artbook CD’ entitled, Fire & Water – an ‘innovative work of sound and pictures’ which documents his invited artistic response to the hot geothermal springs that are scattered around the town of Beppu in Japan. His resulting installation involved the creation of 100 banners, with half of them dedicated to fire and the other half to water, but each with a tiny tinkling bell attached. Get this one if you are looking for something that is quite creative and quite different to the usual ‘art book’ format.