Perimeter's curated Reading Capsules aim to explore some of the store's key points of interest and enquiry. Each capsule, focusing on various themes, mediums and contexts in art and design publishing, features titles available for individual purchase or as a specially priced bundle.
For our eighth capsule, we've selected some of our favourite publications from artists working with paint. Including both Australian and international artists, this capsule contains small-scale samples of work alongside more expansive publications spanning many years of artistic practice.
Each of these titles are available for individual purchase through the web store, or as a specially priced bundle ($499 with free domestic shipping).
Found Ground is the first comprehensive survey of Australian artist Gemma Smith’s colourful practice, which incorporates painting and sculpture. Found Ground is an immersive experience, providing detailed insight into Smith’s works. Its design is informed by Smith’s explorations of colour theory and abstraction. The volume also features essays by Julie Ewington and Maika Pollack. (Formist – Sydney)
Masatoshi Masanobu was born in 1911 in Suzuki City, the Prefecture of Kochi, Japan. He was a member of the Gutai movement, although his work is not as conspicuous as that of the other Gutai members, nor did he make any historic performances or paintings that stood at the forefront of the era. Masanobu was a rather orthodox Japanese painter, who tried to make a living as an artist while supporting himself as an art teacher. His creative approach appears much more idiosyncratic to younger viewers than the artist could ever have imagined. The proof lies in his early abstract paintings. In his essay in this book the author Kaichi Kawasaki discusses Masanobu’s works and his involvement with Gutai, which grew out of a meeting with Jiro Yoshihara after the war. (MER. Paper Kunsthalle – Ghent)
One Hundred Ghost Stories is the first publication dedicated to the work of French artist Anastasia Bay. Often large in scale, her paintings depict human figures on abstract and vibrant colour fields. These immense, languid bodies, neither man nor woman, impose themselves with a solemnity suitable to the divinities venerated in non-western cultures. Powerful yet fragile, her characters are closely framed by the canvas, sometimes even slipping outside. Multiplying layers of visibility, her paintings embody choreographic compositions of lines and colour as a form of bodily inscription that unfolds in time. (Triangle Books – Brussels)
Dane Lovett’s flower paintings both embrace and eschew their historical, thematic and allegorical roots. Dark, often monochromatic and subtly tonal in their palette, the scores of works that populate the Melbourne-based artist’s debut book Flowers gesture towards the syntaxes of minimalism and seriality as resolutely as they do the still life. It’s an intriguing dynamic, which expands and further articulates Lovett’s culturally savvy, reference-rich painting practice.
Where earlier works saw the artist construct still life arrangements from indoor plants and pop-cultural ephemera – VHS cassettes, vinyl records, CDs, ageing tech and the like – Lovett’s recent practice has seen him embrace repetition and delicate variation, with an unmistakably reductionist and art historical bent. Here, he recasts French artist Henri Fantin-Latour’s 1864 still life Flowers: Tulips, Camellias, Hyacinths in countless murky, monochromatic iterations – a single vase of flowers becoming a site for sustained painterly exploration, variation and rhythm. Extended series of foxgloves and waterlilies in various unnatural tones follow. (Perimeter Editions – Melbourne)
As with Rambo (Nieves, 2016), Beni Bischof watched the film Bambi (Walt Disney, 1942) over and over again while sitting in front of the TV and painting hundreds of works. From hand-written artworks to loose watercolour figures and more abstract shapes, the book and exhibition at PLUS-ONE Galley in Antwerp is an entertaining and unique interpretation of this iconic film. Bambi has long been a cross-cultural symbol: birth, life, death, rebirth, the endless circle of life; and a moral pioneer for the good and pure in humans. A desirable role model for generations, regardless of culture and religion. But the name Bambi is repeatedly misappropriated: the annual awarded German media and television prize bears the name Bambi, while thousands of nurseries, baby shops or hotels also share the name. In the 1970s, the image of the innocent fawn became quite battered.
Beni Bischof is the ultimate mix and matcher: in all his work he combines and adapts existing images, texts and situations. His work can be read as an ironic commentary on the banality of everyday life. (Nieves – Zurich)
Noel McKenna’s paintings do a lot with a little. The senior Australian artist’s suburban interiors, solitary male inhabitants, and the various domesticated animals that keep them company, fit adroitly into the wider motif of the poetics of the banal. But it’s via his work’s quiet humour, tenderness and workaday melancholy that McKenna has fashioned such a unique, likeable and subtly emotive visual language. Put simply, his paintings just are.
Spanning various decades, the works that populate End Street – McKenna’s first book for Perimeter Editions – speak in the same humble, meandering cadence as the best of his output. Unimposing in their scale and spare in their information, these paintings, drawings, painted ceramic tiles and sculptures offer vantages on a life lived alone (bar the cat or the dog). (Perimeter Editions – Melbourne)
Now in its second printing, Warm Ties accompanied the first public solo exhibition of Australian artist Helen Johnson. The artist weaves and overlays historical and contemporary signifiers creating points of tension and reflection through the medium of painting. In this exhibition, the complex colonial relationship between Australia and Britain is dealt with on the level of the body, using large-scale paintings that have become purposefully disassembled installations throughout the space. With texts by Stephen Gilchrist and Helen Hughes. (Institute of Contemporary Arts – London x Artspace – Sydney)
Inspired by filmic imagery, theatre sets and period interiors, Mamma Andersson's compositions are often dreamlike and expressive. While stylistic references include turn-of-the-century Nordic figurative painting, folk art and local or contemporary vernacular imagery, her evocative use of pictorial space and her juxtapositions of thick paint and textured washes is uniquely her own. Her subject matter revolves around evocative, melancholic landscapes and nondescript, private interiors. (Nieves – Zurich)
Shara Hughes is a contemporary American painter known for her colourful invented landscapes. Employing varied marks, the artist loosely depicts floating moons, gnarled trees, and blazing sunlight. Hughes’s works defy conventional depictions of space and light while still adhering to a pictorial logic. 'Texture, pattern, and perspective is something I like to use to describe a space in ways that maybe don't always make sense,' she has explained. Born in 1981 in Atlanta, GA, she received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2004, and went on to attend the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2011. In 2017, the artist was included in the Whitney Biennial. Hughes currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Today, her works are held in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Denver Art Museum, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., among others. (Nieves – Zurich)