Dominic Bradbury’s Mid-Century Design Wish List

Which classic mid-century pieces would feature in design writer Dominic Bradbury’s dream home? To mark the publication of his new title Mid-Century Modern Complete, we asked the author for a list of his top picks from the book. Read on for inspirational ideas from one of the most popular, collectable and dynamic periods of international design.

Furniture

Charles and Ray Eames – Calf Skin and Ash Ply LCW Chair
George Nelson – Model 4658 Home Office Desk
Harry Bertoia – Diamond Chair

Lighting

Achille & Pier Giacomo Castiglioni – Taccia lamp
Poul Henningsen – Artichoke Lamp
Serge Mouille – Applique a Murale Cinq Bras Fixes

Glass & Ceramics

Hans Coper – Black Glazed Stoneware
Stig Lindberg – Stoneware Vase
Vicke Lindstrand – Kosta Vases

Textiles

Kaj Frank – Loops
Alexander Girard – Quatrefoil

Product & Industrial 

Ettore Sottsass – Valentine Typewriter
Herbert Krenchel – Krenit Bowls
Jacob Jensen – Beogram 4000 Record Player

Graphics and Posters 

Saul Bass – Vertigo Poster
Otl Aicher – Munich Olympics Poster

Houses

Craig Ellwood – Palevsky House – Pool and Patio
Andrew Geller – Frank House – Kitchen and Dining
Alvar Aalto – Maison Carre – Dining Room

Join Dominic for a talk and signing at Chelsea Design Centre on 23 September 2014

Mid-Century Modern CompleteMid-Century Modern Complete is the definitive survey of one of the most popular, collectable and dynamic periods of international design. It offers a rich overview of all aspects of the subject, including furniture, lighting, glass, ceramics, textiles, product design, industrial design, graphics and posters, as well as architecture and interior design. Available for £60.00 from the Thames & Hudson website.

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Completing Shackleton’s Dream

Our new title The Crossing of Antarctica explores the epic expedition that fulfilled Shackleton’s dream. We complete our journey across this forbidding continent through the original photographs of the late George Lowe, the veteran mountaineer and film-maker. Here is a taster of shots from the making of the book, by award-winning historian and polar guide Dr Huw Lewis-Jones.

‘Antarctica: one of the coldest, windiest and most desolate locations on Earth, a desert of ice, much of it still unexplored. Yet Antarctica is also a land of beauty and unanticipated delight, and it continues to draw men and women to test themselves among its frozen wastes. One hundred years after Ernest Shackleton set out to make the first crossing of this great white continent, our volume celebrates those who succeeded where he failed. It was a journey long thought impossible. The Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1955-58, led by Vivian ‘Bunny’ Fuchs, was one of the 20th century’s triumphs of exploration – a powerful expression of technological daring as much as a testament of sheer, bloody-minded human willpower. As a key member of the expedition, New Zealander George Lowe was there to capture it all on film.

A haul of unpublished images and other rare materials from George’s archives are gathered together in this book for the first time, along with others from the Fuchs family collection. Awe-inspiring landscapes, candid portraits and action shots evoke the day-by-day moments as the expedition travelled across the ice on a variety of vehicles and dog sledges, facing extraordinary challenges and dangers.

This is a draft of Shackleton’s original plan from 1914 and Bunny Fuchs’ proposal from the early 1950s. From the Ross Sea side, two great travellers, Amundsen and Scott had reached the South Pole overland, and so Shackleton wanted to be the first to complete a full traverse. His ship Endurance was crushed and they did not even manage to make a landfall. Now Fuchs would pioneer the way from the opposite side, the Weddell Sea, the unknown shore, with over 2,000 miles to travel. On paper three summers and two winters on the southern continent might seem a long time to accomplish a overland journey lasting just three months, but the whole undertaking required huge logistics to make it feasible. Even now, such a journey is fraught with difficulty.

At home in Cornwall, book proofs and prints are spread out on the kitchen table. I also worked with my old friend, renowned polar photographer Martin Hartley, to create images of the remarkable original prints and special expedition equipment.

Inside George’s battered expedition case we find the Leica IIIf that he loaded with Kodachrome transparency film to create shots for his lectures. For the Leica the shutter was hardly ever varied from 1/100 s with an aperture of f/8. In temperatures below minus 20°F he wore three pairs of gloves – white silk, soft leather as worn by chauffeurs, and heavy working mitts slung from a neck harness. He could change film and alter lens settings easily in just silk and leather inners for a few minutes at a time, before thrusting cold hands back into the ungainly mitts.

George had to juggle many cameras all at once, shooting on 16mm ciné-film for general release in the cinemas, medium-format black and white for newspapers and 35mm colour transparencies for lectures and books. This is George’s Bell & Howell 70DL ciné camera. During the crossing it often froze, though after he’d warmed it over the primus stove it was ready for action once more.

Martin Hartley gets to grips with George Lowe’s Leica IIIf. We created new images of special objects – old maps, original glass slides, tattered flags and snow-goggles – all of which appear in The Crossing of Antarctica for the first time. George used this Leica right across Antarctica. He slung it round his neck on a short strap, to hang inside his outer waterproof clothing. He often slept with it to keep it from freezing, until he was able to rig up a hot-box connected to a Sno-Cat’s battery. During the journey he did not process roll film but stored it in large aluminium containers, developing it in batches at the South Pole, and Scott Base. The finished negatives were sealed in tins and flown to London at the end of the expedition.

Over the course of creating George’s Everest memoirs and gathering together materials from his rich lifetime of adventure, we came across a small bundle of letters at his house neatly tucked away at the bottom of an oak chest. With more research, yet more material came to light. In time other members of his family also shared their memories and gradually a rare collection of correspondence came together. To be able to work with his original journals and archive for the first time was a real honour for me.

This little New Zealand flag flew from George’s vehicle Wrack and Ruin. By the end of the journey it had turned almost white, bleached by the Antarctic sun. It took them ninety-nine days to complete the main haul across ice and snow, and some three years of effort, overwintering in small huts before setting out. Shackleton had called it ‘the last great polar journey’ and despite all the technological advances that had made their progress possible – Sno-Cat vehicles, radio, and aircraft support – it was still a formidable undertaking.

These prints show New Year’s Day on the polar plateau in 1958, five hundred miles from the South Pole. The wind has carved the ice into rutted fields of sastrugi, like the waves of a choppy sea suddenly frozen into immobility. At a time when man was looking to the dawn of travel into space, the crossing of Antarctica was one great journey of discovery not yet completed on his own planet.

Glass-mounted slides from this legendary expedition are gathered on my lightbox at home. After nearly five years of planning, and many gruelling months of effort, twelve men finally crossed – and learned a little more about – the last unknown continent on earth.

My daughter is always keen to join in. As the granddaughter of polar explorer Sir Wally Herbert, it’s all part of family life for little Nell. Soon we’re going on an adventure to the Arctic together, where her mum, author Kari Herbert, grew up. And, my next book for Thames & Hudson in fact will celebrate Wally’s great polar journey; the epic overland trek to the North Pole and the first crossing of the Arctic Ocean in 1969. Over 3,600 miles and 16 months across constantly moving ice floes. Now that was an epic expedition! Across the Arctic Ocean will be published in 2015.’

Huw will be giving various talks during Autumn 2014, starting with a talk at Kings Place, London on September 22 – check out our events page for more information.

Huw is also the author of The Conquest of Everest.

The_Crossing_of_AntarcticaThe Crossing of Antarctica is the remarkable visual and personal testimony of a polar expedition that rewrote the history books.
Available for £24.95 from the Thames & Hudson website.

 

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Make Art With Your Hands And Feet!

We invited a class of school children to try out the engaging new art book Make art with your hands and feet! – watch what happened in this short video:

Each picture in the new book Make art with your hands and feet! has an icon to show the child what to do, whether to draw around or print. Each of the 32 pictures can be pulled out and kids are encouraged to construct their own art show with their finished pictures.

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Life Advice for Teenage Rebels

The upcoming book, 120 Ways to Annoy Your Mother (And Influence People), is a lifestyle-guide with a difference. Read on to find out how illustrator Ana Benaroya came up with the concept.

120 Ways to Annoy Your Mother

Where did the idea for the book come from? Was it something you had thought about doing for a long time?

The idea for the book evolved slowly. I wanted to create a book that I would have appreciated when I was suffering through my awkward middle-secondary school years. I’ve always felt that the selection of books for girls and young women who exist outside the mainstream is very limited. I think the downfall of so many books aimed at teen girls today is that they are about girls defining themselves by the boys they like. To counter this trend, I decided to create a kind of anti-self-help book – it will not help you do anything of real substance other than perhaps question the world around you – which I suppose is the best thing a self-help book can actually do!

120 Ways to Annoy Your Mother

Who are the characters in the book? Are they extensions of your own personality?

The main character – who has this somewhat conceited, all-knowing, snarky tone – is the narrator of the book. She’s not mean, but she isn’t very nice either. You could say she is an extension of my personality (I’d like to think I’m a much nicer person), although I wouldn’t have the courage to say half the things she says! A lot of the ‘How To’ concepts in the book came directly from my own experience and my own opinions. For instance, ‘How Not To Hate Men’ or ‘How To Walk in Heels’ are two things I constantly struggle with! ‘How To Be Interesting’ or ‘How To Pretend You Are Really Interested in Something Someone Is Talking About’ are things that I think people would actually like advice for (I don’t offer any help whatsoever). Then there are the surreal ideas, such as ‘How To Breathe Fireballs’ or ‘How To Teleport’. I thought it would be funny to include both realistic and surreal guides in my book – just to add another level of ridiculousness.

120 Ways to Annoy Your Mother

The book is very funny, and the humour captured perfectly by the illustrations. Did the writing or the illustration come first?

The writing definitely came first. I initially wrote up a list of 120 ‘How To’ ideas, then went about fleshing them all out. I’d write the 4 steps first and then figure out an appropriate activity to go along with the concept. At the very end I’d start laying out the page and come up with a humorous illustration to go alongside the text.

120 Ways to Annoy Your Mother

What do you hope the reader will get out of this book?

Hopefully they will find it funny and it will give them some solace and comfort in an oftentimes lonely world. I’ve always felt like an outsider looking in and I’ve always questioned the expectations placed upon me as a woman. I think my own questioning and my feelings of doubt, anger and happiness lead to the ideas in this book. Hopefully some of the readers will find something familiar in these ideas and feel more connected. I hope that his book will push girls to embrace all their strangeness and to be individuals. And for all the women who pick up this book, I hope it reminds them to question all the expectations that are placed upon them.

120_Ways_to_Annoy_Your_Mother_And_Influence_PeopleWant to know how to turn your life into a Soap Opera? Want to know how to create a masterpiece? This fresh new book contains 120 tips, some that really matter, some which are just off the wall and surreal. Available on 1 September 2014.
Available for £10.00 from the Thames & Hudson website.

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The Future of Fashion Photography

Which daring and inventive photographers will influence and shape fashion for the next five years? Here Magdalene Keaney, author of a new book on the subject, highlights some rising stars in fashion photography.

Tyrone Lebon, 'Adwoa' for Stussy, 2013

Tyrone Lebon, 'Adwoa' for Stussy, 2013

‘Tyrone Lebon’s diverse and often collaborative practice embraces different media and experimental techniques.’

Julia Hetta, 'Untitled' for Rodeo, 2011

Julia Hetta, 'Untitled' for Rodeo, 2011

‘Julia Hetta’s images are filled with a sense of gravitas and weight; they are still rather than fleeting.’

Laetitia Hotte, 'Contorsion' for Kenzo, 2013

Laetitia Hotte, 'Contorsion' for Kenzo, 2013

‘Laetitia Hotte’s detached compositions are often free from context or background narrative.’

Mel Bles, 'Pop', 2013

Mel Bles, 'Pop', 2013

‘Mel Bles is a studio photographer but her images are rarely composed from a single frame.’

Fashion Photography NextFashion Photography Next, by Magdalene Keaney, showcases outstandingly fresh and original fashion images by thirty-five emerging photographers from fourteen countries. An accompanying exhibition entitled Don’t Stop Now: Fashion Photography Next runs until 7 September at Foam Photography Museum, Amsterdam.

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Inside a Paper Engineering Studio

Thames & Hudson designers recently met paper engineer and designer Corina Fletcher (of Corina & Co.) at her lovely studio in Lewes, to discuss a new project. Set within the grounds of an expansive farm, the studio is both light and airy, providing the perfect hub of creativity. Corina’s archive of all things paper was a delight to trawl through. More news of our project coming soon!

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Rowing Blazers Film: the ‘Making of’

What was it like producing a short film about rowing blazers, with the athletes who still wear them today? We spoke to Douglas Ray and Kate Slotover to find out.

Ellie Piggott and Olivia Carnegie-Brown

What was the intention of the film and how did you go about achieving it?  

Doug: We wanted to make a mini-documentary, something that said a little bit about the world of rowing – you can’t really understand the significance of the blazer without also knowing a bit about the sport. Thanks to Jack’s tremendous contacts in the rowing world, we were able to film some amazing athletes and tell that story from the inside.

Kate: For the film’s graphics I tried to incorporate some elements from the blazers themselves. Each club has its own unique blazer design and those stripes and colours are not just decorative but have really specific meanings.

Were there any surprises during production?

Doug: The big surprise was how down to earth and patient the rowers were, despite a few technical and logistical problems. Having worked with some high profile people in the past I was really pleasantly surprised by how friendly and amenable everyone was. People with gold medals, Olympic champions, world record holders – they couldn’t have been nicer!

Kate: Yes, they were really lovely. One thing that impressed me was that, although rowing seems from the outside like a kind of exclusive world, the rowers we met were all incredibly open, welcoming and encouraging.

What was your impression of the world of rowing?

Doug: They’re all mad to want to do it. I don’t understand it. It must be something you either have or don’t have and I don’t think I have it. 

Kate: But it’s incredibly inspiring. They’re all people who are really motivated by wanting to get the best out of themselves, and it’s hard not to be moved by that. I’ve totally Googled beginner rowing courses since – and one day I might actually try one!

How do you think videos like this can connect people to books?

Doug: I think videos can give you a taste of a book, but there’s something unique about a book. The way you read it, the way you choose where to start, the way you can return to it, the way you share it. A video is a linear thing, but it can convey emotion in a different way, through music, editing, you control the viewer’s experience a lot more.

Kate: There are some wonderful photographs here, and a beautifully printed large-format book is the place to really enjoy them. Plus I don’t think there’s anything Jack doesn’t know about rowers, or rowing. He really lives in that world. So there are all these little fascinating details in the text, notes about the rowers or stories from the histories of the clubs. We would never have had time to feature them all in the film, but they’re all there to discover in the book.

Check out the film below:

Rowing Blazers Rowing Blazers looks at the striped, piped, trimmed and badged blazers that are still worn by oarsmen and oarswomen around the world, and at the rituals, elite athletes, prestigious clubs and legendary races associated with them.

Available for £34.95 from the Thames & Hudson website.

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Recommended Reading: Malevich at Tate Modern

Our recommended reading series offers readers a curated list of Thames & Hudson titles relevant to selected cultural events. In this post we focus on abstract art to mark the opening of the Malevich: Revolutionary of Russian Art at Tate Modern.


World of Art: Abstract Art

Anna Moszynska shows here how abstract art originated and evolved, placing it in its broad historical and cultural context.

She traces the paths to abstraction forged by artists such as Balla, Kupka and Delaunay, and examines the pioneering work of Kandinsky, Malevich and Mondrian, the Russian Constructivists, the De Stijl group and the Bauhaus artists, and contrasts the geometric tendencies of the 1930s and 1940s with the post-War emphasis on personal expression that culminated in Abstract Expressionism in the United States.

Finally, Anna Moszynska considers the work of ‘Post-Painterly’, Op, Kinetic and Minimal artists and examines the revived abstraction practised by Neo-Geo and other artists of the 1980s.

 

Paths to Abstraction 1867 – 1917

Surveying the art of five decades, from 1867 to 1917, this publication follows the broad and diverse ways that artists and their public, little by little, learnt to see and to judge works of art abstractly.

The contributions of Whistler, Monet, Cézanne, Maurice Denis, Vuillard, Matisse, Derain, Picasso and Braque in advancing the possibilities of abstraction are given due emphasis. Apart from Kandinsky, the first generation of abstract painters included Piet Mondrian, Kasimir Malevich, Fernand Léger, Francis Picabia, František Kupka, Robert Delaunay, Sonia Delaunay, Giacomo Balla, Jean Arp, Sophie Taeuber, Paul Klee, Arthur Dove and Patrick Henry Bruce. How had these artists arrived at such a convergence? How had abstract art taken root so quickly? Why was it not singled out by critics or historians as an independent art movement?

One answer is that the conventions of abstraction had evolved over such a long time and were so thoroughly embedded in the avant-garde movements of the late 19th and early 20th century, that the advent of abstract art seemed inevitable; abstraction was considered synonymous with ‘modern art’. Far from breaking links to prior avant-garde movements, as this book argues, abstraction arose directly from a tradition of speculation about the nature of art and of aesthetic experience.

 

Inventing Abstraction: 1910 – 1925

It was only a century ago that audiences in Europe and the United States saw their first examples of modernist abstract art.

This invaluable new book includes examinations of key artists, artworks, events and issues in the early history of abstraction. In combining these investigations with a new and original sense of abstract art as an expansive, various, yet inter-related field, Inventing Abstraction makes an outstanding contribution to its study.

In celebrating this bold aesthetic adventure, Inventing Abstraction focuses on its first fifteen years, as ideas developed and spread through an international network of artists. It also reached into many media – painting, drawing, sculpture, photography and film, writing and the book, music and dance. Inventing Abstraction features extensive illustrations of works in all these forms.

 

Moscow and St.Petersburg in Russia’s Silver Age

The twilight of Imperial Russia witnessed a sudden renaissance of the visual, literary and performing arts: here was a Silver Age as luminous perhaps as the Golden Age of Russian literature many decades before.

Much of this new flowering was indebted to the set of ideas known as Symbolism, which flourished in Russia. The Russian Symbolists lived and created on the edge, which often made them to be named ‘Decadent’ or ‘Degenerate’. Yet, as Sergei Diaghilev declared, theirs was not a moral or artistic decline, but a voyage of inner discovery and a refurbishing of a national culture.

A dazzling array of artists, writers, composers, actors, singers, dancers and designers are presented here in context, including Tolstoy, Pasternak, Gorky, Akhmatova, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninov, Nijinsky, Scriabin, Karsavina, Meyerhold, Chaliapin, Stanislavsky, Diaghilev, Roerich, Repin, Serov, Somov, Vrubel, Bakst, Kandinsky, Malevich, Mayakovsky and many more.

The book includes a rich repertoire of artworks and vintage documentary photographs, many of which have not been published before. With a clear narrative and comprehensive bibliography, this volume will appeal both to the specialist and to the general student of Russian history and culture.

 

Russian and Soviet Theatre

In the interval between the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917 the Russian theatre of the future was already an obsessive preoccupation for writers, directors and designers. Lenin proclaimed that theatre had to be ‘greater than a spectacle’, and directors, designers, playwrights and artists rose to the challenge, creating an aesthetic revolution which is still inspiring today’s dramatists.

Russian and Soviet Theatre documents the extraordinary developments of the years from about 1900 to 1932. It presents an astonishing wealth of previously unpublished material, including over 450 illustrations showing performances directed by Meyerhold, Eisenstein and Mikhail Chekhov, with designs by some of the greatest modernist artists of the age, including Malevich, Larionov and Rodchenko. Visually exhilarating and critically perceptive, this book is a unique record of this formative period in modern theatre.

 

Malevich: Revolutionary of Russian Art is on at Tate Modern until 26 October  2014 – click here for more information.

 

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10 Things You’ll Never Hear a Street Photographer Say

What phrases would (probably) never pass the lips of a genuine street photographer? We asked David Gibson, author of The Street Photographer’s Manual, who compiled the following list. Let us know if you agree or disagree in the comments.

David Gibson - Brighton, 1998

David Gibson - Brighton, 1998

1. ‘So, what camera do you use?’

2. ‘Thank you for letting me take your photograph.’

3. ‘I shoot ‘candid’ street photography.’

4. ‘Hi fellow Streettogs‘.

5. ‘Have you seen my latest Kickstarter campaign?’

6. ‘Magnum? That’s an ice-cream.’

7. ‘I always use a long lens instead of my feet.’

8. ‘It is absolutely fine to crop your images.’

9. ‘It is better to have more cameras and kit than photography books.’

10. ‘Awesome photograph!’

The Street Photographer's Manual Whether dark, edgy or humorous, street photography shows us that daily life can be a little surreal but also gently poignant. In this book, David Gibson introduces the reader to twenty acclaimed contemporary street photographers, and intersperses the profiles with twenty invaluable projects that deal with the practicalities of street photography.

Available for £14.95 from the Thames & Hudson website.

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What is a Map?

What is a map and how does it relate to the real world? To mark the publication of our new book by Hans Ulrich Obrist – Mapping it Out – we look at some of the ways artists and designers have attempted to tackle these challenging questions.

Super-Duper Helter-Skelter Lego-World, Raqs Media Collective

Super-Duper Helter-Skelter Lego-World, Raqs Media Collective

Conventional maps and charts claim to offer an accurate and objective picture of the world – but is that ever possible? The artworks featured in chapter one challenge this assumption and attempt to show how maps can be altered to reflect different priorities, hierarchies, experiences, points of view and destinations. Super-Duper Helter-Skelter Lego-World by Raqs Media Collective shows a world made of building blocks, where each block stands for a superlative claim about the planet and its resources.

Gilbert & George

Fournier Street, 2008, Gilbert & George

Maps and charts can also be used to plot and track all aspects of human existence, from a single person’s emotions to the historical path of entire civilizations. The works found in the chapter Charting Human Life chart the terrain of contemporary life and point toward a land of the future. This work by Gilbert & George is named after Fournier Street in East London, where the artists live and work.

The Artificial Ape, Timothy Taylor & Tom Frankland

The Artificial Ape, Timothy Taylor & Tom Frankland

Scientists make maps and charts to help them better understand the results of their research and explain their findings to non-specialist audiences. This work from the chapter Scientia Naturalis shows the evolution of man, illustrating how some sub-species went extinct.

Forecast, Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla

Forecast, Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla

How does one map something that is ethereal and intangible like time, space, Heaven or human consciousness? The artworks featured in the chapter Unmappable push the concept of mapping to its limit in order to map the seemingly unmappable. In the work above entitled ‘Forecast’, camera apparatus captures the precise moment of formal stasis in the trajectory of a fishing net that has been cast into the water, where lift and gravity act equally upon the net, resulting in a form of temporary map that covers physical, poetic and conceptual domains.

So what is a map? As we see from the endeavours of artists and designers featured in Mapping It Out, the question is wide open to interpretation.

Mapping It OutOver 130 of the world’s most creative minds make sense of our exterior and interior worlds through intriguing and imaginative maps of their own devising. Imaginative, visionary and richly absorbing, this book will appeal to anyone interested in how we visualize our worlds, physical or abstract, real or imagined.

Available for £24.95 from the Thames & Hudson website.

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