Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Magic of Things

The Magic Of Things: Still-Life Painting 1500-1800

I like that there are nearly always insects in these paintings.

In Paul Klee's Enchanted Garden

In Paul Klee's Enchanted Garden

Yes please. I would like to go.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


A list of blogs and websites that need further investigations.

Weird Berries.

There are many strange things about living in a country you didn't grow up in, and in particular a state like California which is possibly as different from the north of England as you can get. I often come across things that to the homegrown Californian barely raise an eyebrow, but even they must think these peculiar and bizarre growths I saw on the palm tree on the way to work are pretty insane. They look like moon fruit or alien pods. They certainly don't have these in Manchester city centre.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Guy Bourdin.

Guy Bourdin

I love the photography of Guy Bourdin. It can be hilarious and unsettling all at the same time. I used to know a boy called Guy at one of my high schools - he too was unsettling and a little hilarious.  He had large lips and looked like a gorilla. I'm sure he remembers me with equal fondness.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008



Wiener Werkstatte.

I have a close friend that we call Wiener. I always thought it was after Wiener Dogs but I think it might be because of the Wiener Werkstatte - for because she's Hungarian and they are Viennese, our collective geography isn't brilliant so maybe we just clumped them all in together. On reflection maybe it was after the Dog, I don't think we're that high-brow. This reflection is no reflection on Wiener though (my friend, not the Werkstatte), she's nothing like a dog, actually she looks like a Hungarian Brigitte Bardot.

I could look at Wiener Werkstatte stuff all day long.

I have a few books on them in the store, but the images above came from a new one I just got - it's been out for a few years but it's new to me.

Wiener Werkstatte: Design in Vienna 1903-1932

I know Werkstatte should have an umlaut but I can't find it, and it's hot and I'm tired.

Thursday, August 14, 2008



Continuing the theme of hardbound magazines from the 1970s, I got four issues of Audience. I'm a little disappointed in the condition - they have crumply pages as if they were dropped in the bath and the pages pop away from the spine in a couple of places - they also smell a bit like I imagine Withnail smells- despite all this - they still have some amazing graphics and images.

Things That Cheer Me Up On A Horribly Hot Day In LA

1. Floor Fan

2. BearFoot Bookends On Top Of Vintage Backgammon Sets

3. My ol' Olympia De Luxe

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Window Dressing.

Horizon March 1977

"What's Going On Behind That Plate-Glass Window: How A Once Predictable And Pleasant Minor Art Form Has Transmogrified Into Psychodrama.

Ever since the advent of plate glass, window-shopping has been one of the pleasures and attractions of city-life. The shop windows of New York City, the peak of the art, are probably viewed each week by twenty times the number that go into the city's museums...Let it not pass unrecorded, therefore, that something very odd has been going on lately in window design...If things go on this way, minors wishing to window-shop may soon need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian."

The boot image: "mysterious scenes..with dangling legs, shadows and emptiness. No-one knows what it means, - but for some reason - it sells boots."

The kitchen scene: "in their undies, they congregate in the kitchen and make a little late-night snack - spaghetti again, with the customary case or two of champagne."

Naughty Krishna!

Horizon: January 1977

"Krishna: God As A Troublesome Youth
Though the news may shock his modern adherents, Lord Krishna was not a nice boy.

The Western world began to hear of Krishna a few years ago when the man in the street, walking down that street of his in New York, London, Paris and Rome, met young men and women curiously attired in robes unsuitable to the climate, dancing a simple dance to even simpler songs and behaving with childlike happiness.

The man in the street may have assumed that these cavorting youths were part of the current drug culture, but, as it turned out, the youngsters were forbidden to touch even tea and coffee. much less drugs. And to anybody who took the trouble to ask, they replied that they were happy because they were in love with an Indian boy called Krishna....he (Krishna) was certainly what the Irish call a broth of a boy. He was a naughty baby, a mischievous lad, and a totally immoral young man, a Don Juan who delighted in breaking up the peace of well-regulated families."

Barn Painting

I just got hold of a bunch of old Horizon Magazines - a bi-monthly hard cover magazine that was published by American Heritage from 1958 to 1989. Some of the issues from the 70s are brilliant. The images above come from an article in Summer 1976 titled "And Now, the Edifying Edifice: Fine Art Comes To The Side Of A Barn".

"People had been painting on barns long before the admen at Mail Pouch started using barn sides as billboards. But it was not until 1971 that anyone though of decorating barns not for commerce but art. The man who did it is an engaging twenty six year old artist named Douglas Tyler....He has now done seven barns, all of them in farm country near Detroit, and has three more waiting. Tyler's calling has its problems. The owner of the Mona Lisa Barn withdrew permission mid-smile, another burnt down. Worst of all, Tyler hates working on ladders."

Friday, August 8, 2008

Art Deco Bookbindings

Art Deco Bookbindings: The Work of Pierre LeGrain & Rose Adler.

"A bookbinding is an ambiguous thing. It is  physically attached to the book and thus relates to its meaning and typography; but it is also an image. Even more radically, it is a structure that rapidly becomes an object in its  own right. Because of this, binding played a legitimate role in a period of artistic revolution, from 1870 to 1933, during which art expanded both its territory and its range of expression. A new freedom and inventiveness allowed bookbinding to move closer to the arts with which it was linked: poetry, typography, painting, sculpture, architecture, and furniture design. All these forms of creation would now advance in concert. The genius of the patron Jacques Doucet, as well as that of the designer-bookbinders Pierre Legrain and Rose Adler - in whose hands the modern book was born, lay in the fact that they did not isolate bookbinding from these brand new, completely reconceived forms of art, nor did they cling to old traditions of confine themselves to a limited professional circle. In short, they furthered the art of bookbinding - which in their hands became a major art in and of itself - and in their  own work reached a pinnacle that  invites very few comparisons."

This is one of the best books in the store - 7x9", duck-egg blue fabric cover with black and gold embossing.