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Art Books

Godzilla: Asian American Arts Network 1990-2001

This is an extraordinary compendium of meeting notes, announcements, protest letters to institutions, other miscellany, and most notably some meaty essays tracking the evolution of Asian American identity and beyond. It makes for engrossing reading for art activists, and must-reading in these days of (temporary?) focus on “diversity.”

Ann Marks’s Vivian Maier Developed: The Untold Story of the Photographer Nanny

Pairing dysfunction with a family history of mental illness, the biography paints Maier as a tortured figure. And, as Marks tells it, it was mental illness that drove Maier to take thousands of images.

Carmen Winant’s Instructional Photography: Learning How to Live Now

Winant finds aesthetic and symbolic value in the instructional bracket. By reinvesting what the genre can bestow, it suddenly takes on a new breadth: transitioning from dry inculcation to uncanny narrative ensemble.

Transmissions from the Pleroma and Stephen Housewright’s ​​Partners

Two books attempt to give the artists’ work the things it seems to resist: categorization, description, intelligibility. The books complement one another: Transmissions is the most comprehensive collection of Hunt’s working life to date, and Partners offers a valuable window into Hunt’s personal life.

Candor Arts: The Chicago-Based Press Reenvisioning Equity in Arts Publishing

The organization aims to restructure art publishing to fairly compensate all contributors, rather than one in which artists pay exorbitant costs to publish their work. These publishing projects function like an archive of the Chicago arts during the six years the press was active. Ranging from poetry chapbooks to photo portfolios, the more than editions produced also include the monographs accompanying major museum exhibitions.


The Brooklyn Rail

APRIL 2022

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