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Books

The Art-Borne Publishing Event: Karma, Glenn Horowitz to Publish Obscure DeLillo Play

DeLillo.

A chunk of Don DeLillo’s most recent novel, Point Omega (2010), is a lengthy description of watching Douglas Gordon’s video installation 24 Hour Psycho at the Museum of Modern Art. Falling Man (2007), Mr. DeLillo’s novel about 9/11, focuses on a performance artist who compulsively acts out the iconic Associated Press photograph of a man jumping to his death from the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Cosmopolis (2003) follows Eric Packer, an asset manager who wants to buy the Rothko Chapel, through various bacchanalia in the backseat of his limo—including a sexual encounter with his art adviser—driving through Manhattan. Read More

Books

‘Take Your Pants Off Before You Fight’: On Yoko Ono’s Latest Instruction Book, Acorn

(Courtesy the artist and Algonquin Books)

“Imagine a dolphin dancing in the sky,” Yoko Ono writes in Acorn (Algonquin Books, 216 pp., $18.95). “Let it dance with joy.” Most of the instruction-based artworks collected here, first published as a Web project between 1996 and 1997 and now being released almost exactly 50 years after her landmark book of similar text pieces, Grapefruit (1964), have a similarly unashamed New Age vibe to them: “Melt the icebergs and snow in your life.” “Watch the sunset. Feel the Earth moving.” That sort of thing. Read More

Books

Where Do We Go From Here?: Critics Lament the State of Art, but Things Are Looking Up in New Books

Kushner

Even as more art is being made, seen, bought and sold than at any point in human history, there is a feeling in many quarters of listlessness. Reviewing the Venice Biennale in Newsweek two weeks ago, Blake Gopnik rehearsed the already-tired idea that it showed that art is at an end, “nothing more than a series of moves in a series of games.” We’re stuck or adrift and, as New Museum curator Lauren Cornell put it last fall, “deeply obsessed with the past.”

But there are signs of life. Artists are finding interesting ways forward, and in a number of recent books, philosophers and critics are too. The results are all over the map, but there is a feeling that new ideas are beginning to simmer. Read More

Books

It’s Looking Like a Great Saturday for Art Books

The official Heathers announcement. (Courtesy Publication Studios)

If the weather reports are to be believed, this is going to be one gorgeous Saturday in New York—a high of about 72, pretty much no chance of rain and just a few clouds in the sky.

It’s also shaping up to be a banner day for art books, with at least three major events on tap for May 18, which are listed below. Read More

Books

Stripped Bare by His Interviewer: New Book Features Calvin Tomkins’s 1964 Interviews With Marcel Duchamp

duchamp_cover_final_front_back

 It’s often difficult to interview artists. This is not to say they’re inarticulate—far more often the opposite is true—but because artists make a career of nonverbal communication, speaking with them always has a looming sense of: well, what is there to talk about? Their art? All you can hope for is footnotes. Their lives? Their business? Their practice, every little element of it? And then occasionally throw out some inane comment like “that’s great” after they tell you about some new resin they’ve discovered? What was wrong with the old resin? Come to think of it, you didn’t even know that was resin. Read More

Books

Next Week Is Bibliography Week in New York

(Getty Images)

Clear your calendars next week, dear readers. Jan. 22–26 is known as Bibliography Week in New York, and many of the nation’s esteemed book-history associations will be holding their annual meetings. Meanwhile, many local book organizations will host special events for the bibliographically inclined. Among the planned activities: the Grolier Club has its annual dinner at the Metropolitan Club on Friday, and the American Printing History Association gets down to work on Saturday with its annual meeting, at the Morgan Library and Museum. On the art front, the Center for Book Arts will host an open house on Saturday. Read More

Books

Uneasy Money: Wodehouse Letters Show How He Made Being Funny Big Business

wodehouse

From a biographical angle, it’s better to think of P.G. Wodehouse as more entertainment honcho than author. He was a member of the jet set before there were jets, and translated his shtick from one medium to another the way a sitcom producer today might branch out into movies. (Could Arrested Development have a more direct antecedent than Wodehouse?) He loved writing books, and did so compulsively, but he began his writing career at newspapers before moving on to serialized novels. He bounced between New York, England and Hollywood, offering his talent where it was required, whether for Cole Porter comedies or talkies. He ended his life on Long Island and was as American as he was British. All this is to say that the new collection of his correspondence, P.G. Wodehouse: A Life in Letters (W.W. Norton, 640 pp., $35), is not only a valuable supplement to Robert McCrum’s 2004 biography, but a study of the burgeoning comedy industry. Read More