5 to Read: This Month

5 to Read: This Month

Aesthetica selects five new books across photography, architecture and sculpture. These recommended reads survey seminal names in photography alongside pioneering women designers and sculptors. Stay home and learn about the ever-evolving creative landscape.

The Lives and Loves of Images, Kehrer Verlag

Photography has never been so present in our daily lives. Smartphones, social media feeds and digital news have made visual information more accessible than ever before. The Lives and Loves of Images, published alongside Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie, asks questions such as: what does this mean for the individual? How is the medium evolving to respond to today’s world? Contemporary artists demonstrate innovation in image-making – with many responding to renowned 20th century works.

Everything She Touched: The Life of Ruth Asawa, Abrams & Chronicle

Sculptor Ruth Asawa (1926-2013) is recognised for her signature hanging-wire sculptures. Based on organic forms, the interlocking structures have a unique transparency and weightlessness. This volume tells the artist’s story, from growing up in a farming environment to surviving the WWII Japanese-American internment camps and transforming arts education. Author Marilyn Chase brings together voices of friends, teachers and critics to offer a complex and fascinating portrait of the artist.

Eileen Gray, Designer and Architect, Yale University Press

Eileen Gray (1878–1976) was an influential 20th century architect and designer. This compendium offers in-depth analysis of more than 50 individual projects, accompanied by period and new photographs. Gray is recognised for furniture, lighting and carpets – but was also instrumental in projects such as Villa E 1027, an iconic modern house designed with Jean Badovici, as well as economical and demountable objects, such as the Camping Tent. Yale University Press shines a light on a pioneering figure.

Stephen Shore: American Surfaces, Phaidon

Stephen Shore (b. 1947) is one of the most influential photographers in modern history. Phaidon releases an updated edition of his groundbreaking book American Surfaces, which chronicled travels across America from 1972-73. It is now nearly 50 years since he made that journey. In the age of Instagram – when photography is more accessible than ever – what do Shore’s works say about documenting the everyday? This collection features a series of previously unpublished photographs.

Henri Cartier-Bresson: Photographer, Prestel

“In order to give meaning to the world, one must feel involved in what one singles out through the viewfinder.” Photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004) is perhaps best known for coining idea of the “decisive moment.” This book demonstrates his ability to capture significant moments whilst recording their human impact. It moves from his earliest work in France, Spain and Mexico, to postwar travels in Asia, the US and Russia. In the 1970s, Cartier-Bresson retired his camera to pursue drawing.

Lead Image: Mineral Wells, Texas, June 1972. © Stephen Shore. Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York
1. George Georgiou, Martin Luther King Day Parade, Los Angeles 2016
2. A photograph of Ruth Asawa and her art taken by her close friend Imogen Cunningham circa 1957.Photograph © Imogen Cunningham Trust and Estate of Ruth Asawa/David Zwirner Gallery
3. A view from garden on E-1027 villa Eileen Grey built for herself and her lover Jean Badivici. Photo by Mary Gaudin.
4. Queens, New York, April 1972. © Stephen Shore. Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York
5. Henri Cartier-Bresson, Calle Cuauhtemoctzin, Mexico City. 1934