With 100+ years of printed menu graphics, Menu Design in America is more than a design book—it’s a big slice of nostalgia. With plenty of information by design writer Steven Heller and culinary historian John Mariani, the pages offer a plethora of history surrounding the culinary and graphic arts. Whether the creations are classy, kitsch or somewhere between, they each add value to the rich catalogue.
Writer Katya Tylevich’s Barry McGee, which examines the beloved multidisciplinary artist, is the accompanying catalogue and essay from McGee’s show at Cheim & Read earlier this year. With sketches, photos and more, the 72-page book traces his delightfully uncategorizable work—and thankfully doesn’t attempt to explain it.
The latest from LA-based publisher Hamburger Eyes, No. 36: The Continuing Story of Life on Earth, is a 120-page perfect-bound collection of the beloved Boston Herald photographer Arthur Pollock’s work. Hamburger Eyes has been publishing—be it on Xeroxed paper or otherwise—for almost 18 years now.
Zanele Muholi’s Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness features 90+ self-portraits that explore the complex existence of black women. Each image is powerful and different from the last—exploring race, sexuality, gender, identity and more in thoughtfully provocative ways. “I am producing this photographic document to encourage individuals in my community to be brave enough to occupy spaces—brave enough to create without fear of being vilified,” Muholi says. Also within the pages are 20 written contributions—including a conversation with curator, writer and art historian Renée Mussai.
Across 300+ pages, garden designer Sophie Walker explores the magic of the Japanese Garden—from 800 years of history to the various aesthetics and philosophies incorporated. Undeniably, the Japanese garden is an art form of its own, and a living one. This book features 100 examples—with accompanying essays and notes by artists, architects and more.
Brooklyn-based, Shanghai-raised Pixy Liao explores relationships—specifically expectations of Chinese women within heterosexual couplings—through her striking photography. “I started to experiment with this relationship. I would set up all kinds of situations for Moro and I to perform in the photos. My photos explore the alternative possibilities of heterosexual relationships,” she pens in Experimental Relationship Vol. 1. The book, which won the Juror’s Special Mention of Aperture at the Paris Photo Book Awards, is just part of her ongoing Experimental Relationship project.
Focused on some of her most significant muses, Mickalene Thomas: I Can’t See You Without Me is a gorgeous collection of the Brooklyn-based multi-disciplinary artist’s portraits. With plenty of her signature rhinestone-adorned pieces, the selection of work draws inspiration from classic portraiture, popular culture, blaxploitation and beyond. Exploring identity, sexuality, race and agency, Thomas depicts her subjects in a manner that is somehow grounded and tender, but other-worldly and ethereal at the same time.
Offering insight and instruction on how to make all kinds of folded creations, artist Hedi Kyle (who also worked as Head Conservator at the American Philosophical Society and Adjunct Professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia) explores the art of paper structures in this 192-page tome. From blizzard books to the fishbone fold and beyond, there are plenty of projects, but the book also helps to build the foundations on which to invent your own structures. It’s a thoughtful and comprehensive book that elevates the concept of “crafting.”
Over 392 pages and 40 years of work, Steve McCurry: A Life in Pictures is incredibly extensive. From his first foray into journalistic photography during the 1977 Johnstown floods to his “Afghan Girl” photo, to today, the book contains some 350 images—of which 100 have never been published. Along with personal anecdotes, notes and artifacts, the book is a comprehensive insight into a fascinating career.
There are 878 buildings by 798 architects stuffed into the aptly titled Atlas of Brutalist Architecture. Readers can browse over 1,000 photographs of these glorious structures—some still standing, others long gone—across 560 pages. The oft-misunderstood style is celebrated in all its emotive and powerful glory throughout this comprehensive book.
Exploring topics from black feminism to artists’ collective AfriCOBRA and representation in museums, Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power is an inspiring and significant exploration of black art during an era that was ultimately world-changing. The book aims to archive, document and represent black artists and movements—but tells a much broader story at the same time.
Kimberlie Birks’ Design for Children is a 536-page history lesson on child-oriented design—from furniture to toys, accessories, vehicles and more. Inside, there are 650 illustrations that preserve the timeless designs of yesteryear and promote the quality ones that still exist today; they’re stylish, functional and thoughtful products that serve (or served) a significant purpose in children’s lives.
Alex Prager’s newest book “Silver Lake Drive” is a collection of cinematic mises-en-scène. The 224-page hardcover serves as a solid summation of her style—strange, beguiling and sometimes unnerving. The collection of images span several stages: from her early “Polyester” series to her striking “Face in the Crowd” collection—which was shot on a Hollywood sound stage.
From the mind of SF-based artist Brion Nuda Rosch, this second edition of the Fluxus coloring book (based on the art movement of the same name) features 12 new designs for readers to scribble, sketch and color in—or leave as is. The minimal but thoughtful 12-page zine is more or an “anti-coloring book” with lots of white space and just a few abstract shapes scattered throughout. Certainly an activity book for those with creative minds.
Possessing more than 2500 of the world’s rarest and most spectacular pigments, The Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies at the Harvard Art Museums has an undeniably stunning collection of color. With 200 color illustrations, this special edition of “An Atlas of Rare + Familiar Colour” explores these pigments as artifacts—explaining their origins, compositions, uses and symbolism in a fascinating and visually striking hardback.
At age 17, Stanley Kubrick joined the staff of Look magazine as a photographer. Long before he’d make some of the most important films in cinematic history, he captured thousands of humanist imagery that captured New York City in the mid-1940s. Now, 300 of these images appear in Taschen’s “Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs” and they more than allude to the genius that was soon to unfold. The book’s release coincides with an exhibition of the same name at the Museum of the City of New York, running 3 May through 28 October.