We made a short selection of recently published art and architecture books,
which we found pretty amazing. They are, in no particular order:
Hauser & Wirth 20 years
Published by Hantje Cantz and just out in stores, this impressive looking hardcover has been brought out to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Hauser & Wirth gallery.
Its 1050 pages are almost entirely filled by beautiful full-page photographs of the gallery’s artists and their work. The names speak for themselves: Louise Bourgeois, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Paul Mc Carthy, Matthew Day Jackson, Andy Hope 1930, Thomas Hauseago, David Claerbout, Isa Genzken etc. The last 100 pages follow chronologically the gallery’s history, from its first public space in Zürich in 1992, through a shared gallery with David Zwirner on East 69th Street in NY (from 2000 until 2009), till the present day. At the moment the gallery has 5 permanent exhibition spaces: 2 in London (Picadilly, opened in 2003 and Savile Row, in 2010), 2 on Manhattan (at the former Zwirner & Wirth space on East 69th Street; the second has just opened on the 18th Street next to the Highline) and 1 in Zürich (at the Lövenbräu art complex, which has reopened in June last year). The gallery is run by Swiss-born and London-based dealer Iwan Wirth, together with his wife Manuela and his mother-in-law Ursula Hauser. And it’s definitely one of our favorite galleries in London!
Commissioning Contemporary Art 
The full title is “Commissioning Contemporary Art, A Handbook for Curators, Collectors and Artists” – and if you’re one of these, or just an art lover, you should read it! Written by Louisa Buck (art critic, author of several books and writer for the Art Newspaper) together with Daniel McClean (lawyer specialized in art, cultural and intellectual property law as well as independent curator and writer), it sheds light on the intricate practice of art commissioning from its various angles, discussing the perspectives of artists and patrons, describing the actual process with its pros and contras and the aftermath (what happens with the commissioned work once its created & handed over). The book offers lot of important advise from the legal and practical points of view, as well as giving you a taste of what it’s like to commission a piece. It also serves as a great guide to important public and private art projects of the last years. Plus it’s an exciting read! Highly recommended. The book was published in 2012 by Thames & Hudson(Might also be of interest: “Art as an Experience” by John Dewey; it’s on our bookshelf, but we haven’t cracked it yet.)
The Art Prophets
Couple of years ago we read the very amusing “I Sold Andy Warhol (too soon)” by American art adviser/dealer/author Richard Polsky, so when we heard that his new book “The Art Prophets: the Artists, Dealers and Tastemakers Who Shook the Art World” is out (published by Other Press in 2011), we dived in immediately. Same as “I Sold Andy Warhol”, it is a page-turner which you read in one day while at the same time absorbing plenty of valuable information. In 10 chapters, Polsky tells stories of 11 art visionaries thanks to whom new art categories were created or brought out of obscurity. The fact that he knew/knows all of them personally makes it even more compelling and engaging read. The 11 personalities and movements discussed are: Ivan Karp and Pop Art; Stan Lee and Comic Book Art; Chet Helms, Bill Graham, and the Art of the Poster; John Ollman and Outsider Art; Joshua Baer and Native American Art; Virginia Dwan and Earthworks; Tod Volpe and Contemporary Ceramic Sculpture; Jeffrey Fraenkel and Photography; Louis Meisel and Photorealism, and Tony Shafrazi and Street Art.
Modernism London Style
Another splendidly-looking hardback, “Modernism London Style: The Art Deco Heritage” was published in January this year by Hirmer Verlag in English & German. Edited by architectural historian Christoph Rauhut, with essays by Adam Caruso and beautiful black & white photography by Niels Lehmann, it portrays the architectural art deco heritage of London through 230 buildings, amongst others the Simmonds Aerocessories Factory, St Olave House,  Saville Theatre, The White House Hotel or Royal Institute of British Architects. We only found out about this book yesterday through The Modern House blog, so we haven’t read it yet, but first impression says “awesome”. And it comes with a detailed register of buildings and maps, so we are already planning our own modernist architecture weekend tour – when the weather gets bearable, that is.

books 3

books 2

books 1