This week on the new books shelf, pictures in all forms telling all kinds of stories:
Tapestry in the Baroque : new aspects of production and patronage edited by Thomas P. Campbell and Elizabeth A.H. Cleland
- Yale University Press, 2010
This book emerged from an exhibition at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2007, titled “Tapestry in the Baroque: Threads of Splendor”. Covering the pivotal era of 1590 through to the early 1700s when master Flemish weavers spread their art across Europe, it focuses on the major centres of tapestry production such as London, Paris, Rome and Munich in order to explore the artistic and technical background to these amazing works, as well as investigating the patrons of these highly prized but labour-intensive works of art.
- British Museum Press, 2011
The British Museum in London has a remarkable collection of Australian drawings and works on paper, and this lovely book is the catalogue to a major exhibition held there just last year. It’s always good to see unfamiliar works by familiar artists, such as John Brack, Fred Williams, Rick Amor and Charles Blackman (to name just a few), but it’s also great to see lovely drawings from less expected quarters such as sculptor Robert Klippel, or the many beautiful works on paper from indigenous artists such as Rover Thomas, Lucy Napaliarri Kennedy and Dorothy Napangardi (also to name just a few!).
“Photographing in public keeps me awake and aware, always looking around, in awe at what we humans are up to.” This quote from New York photographer Melanie Einzig is a pretty good summation of what this surprising book of photographs is all about; photographers who recognise and then capture (that’s the magic!) those fleeting moments which we all witness and/or create when we’re out and about every day.
Art, popular or otherwise, rarely exists in a vacuum, and comic books have always been great at reflecting the times in which they live. Marc DiPaolo loves his superheroes, and over a lifetime of reading and studying has come to his own conclusions about who they are, what they represent and how they respond to the social and political issues of the day, whether it be on the printed page or the silver-screen. Is Superman a Democrat or a Republican, is Batman a fascist, are the X-Men gay-liberationists, etc., etc.? Fascinating stuff for the afficionado, and even those inclined to dismiss this most pointy end of popular culture!
Some very Melbourne street photography from our Picture Collection