Book of the Day Posted Jul 23, 2020

Book of the Day > R. Buckminster Fuller: Synergetic Stew, Explorations in Dymaxion Dining

Purchase ● A delightful dymaxion cookbook homage to Buckminster Fuller, featuring John Cage’s macrobiotic recipes, Margaret Mead’s cucumber salad and more
 
Buckminster Fuller is globally known as a design scientist, architect, author, poet, engineer and a true visionary. On his 86th birthday he received the cookbook Synergetic Stew as a surprise present from his friends and admirers, who share recipes along with personal anecdotes and humorous recollections of Fuller (for example, a reminiscence about Bucky’s love for tea in all its variations). Scattered throughout the book are enticing texts and poems from Fuller himself, including even a recipe for tomato ice cream.
 
Constructed around 100 achievable recipes, this book is a glimpse into Fuller’s life, as told by his peers. A few of the recipes are a joyful ode to Fuller’s oeuvre, such as Shirley Sharkey’s “GEODESICANDY,” the “Macrobiotic Diet” by John Cage or Amy Edmondson’s “Allspace-Filling Whole Wheat Bread.”
 
In addition to the facsimile, Jamie Snyder reflects upon often-overlooked facets of Bucky’s character, as revealed through anecdotes of his relationship to food.
Miscellany Posted Jul 23, 2020

WE'RE HIRING!

We are seeking well-qualified candidates to fill  2 part-time positions!
 

Both jobs require working on Saturdays and Sundays, 8 hours a day (with to potential to add up to 2 additional days for the right person). Please note, this is not a short-term/ interim job. We are looking for people who can commit to a year at the store.

 
A thorough knowledge of modern + contemporary visual arts and photography, art books, and publishing is REQUIRED. Interviewees will be quizzed, so you you'd better know your stuff! Prior retail experience – ideally at a bookstore – is ideal.
 

Prior retail experience – ideally at a bookstore – and a thorough knowledge of modern + contemporary visual arts and photography is REQUIRED. Interviewees will be quizzed, so you you'd better know your stuff!
 

If you've always dreamed of working in a bookstore so you can sit behind the counter and read all day, this job is not for you! These are busy, active positions and we’re looking for people who are hardworking, enthusiastic, personable, confident, calm under pressure, enjoy working with the public, and have excellent communication skills. They must be resourceful, responsible, detail-oriented and ready to approach all tasks -- from the mundane to the complex -- with equal vigor.

 

Please e-mail books@arcanabooks.com a letter introducing yourself and attach your résumé - be sure to note all retail experience and provide current contact information for references. If you have any questions, please write books@arcanabooks.com

Thanks!

 

Book of the Day Posted Jul 22, 2020

Book of the Day > Willi Smith: Street Couture

Purchase ● African-American fashion designer Willi Smith, pioneer of streetwear and visionary collaborator, finally gets his due in an exuberant celebration of his life and work.
 
Before Off-White, before Hood By Air, before Supreme, there was WilliWear. Willi Smith created inclusive and liberating fashion: "I don't design clothes for the queen, but the people who wave at her as she goes by," he said. A rising star from the time he left Parsons, Smith went on to found WilliWear with Laurie Mallet in 1976 and became one of the most successful designers of his era by his untimely death in 1987. Smith broke boundaries with his streetwear, or "street couture," and trailblazed the collaborations between artists, performers, and designers commonplace today in projects with SITE Architects, Nam June Paik, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Spike Lee, Dan Friedman, Bill T. Jones, and Arnie Zane. Essays by leading figures from the worlds of fashion, art, architecture, and cultural studies paired with never before-seen images and ephemera make Willi Smith essential reading for the history of streetwear culture and the evolution of fashion from the 1970s to today.
Book of the Day Posted Jul 21, 2020

Book of the Day > John Currin: Men

Purchase ● Edited by Alison M. Gingeras, Text by Jamieson Webster and Naomi Fry
 
A revealing look at the evolution of male iconography in the work of one of the foremost painters of his generation.
 
Since raising the ire of the early-1990s arts establishment with his deliberately provocative portrayals of women, John Currin has been best known for his brazen, militantly incorrect female iconography. Yet Currin has represented a range of masculine identities throughout his career as well.
 
This volume is the first to focus exclusively on this aspect of his work, examining the evolution of his equally provocative depictions of men. It ranges from little-known early works on paper and a series of kitschy paintings of men with beards to signature eccentric figures such as the elderly reader in the painting 2070 (2005) and his more baroque genre scenes featuring male couples. Published to accompany the exhibition John Currin: My Life as a Man at the Dallas Contemporary, it offers a revealing new assessment of Currin's pictorial examinations of sexual politics.
Book of the Day Posted Jul 18, 2020

Book of the Day > Gordon Parks: The Atmosphere of Crime, 1957

Purchase ● Gordon Parks’ ethically complex depictions of crime in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, with previously unseen photographs
 
When Life magazine asked Gordon Parks to illustrate a recurring series of articles on crime in the United States in 1957, he had already been a staff photographer for nearly a decade, the first African American to hold this position. Parks embarked on a six-week journey that took him and a reporter to the streets of New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Unlike much of his prior work, the images made were in color. The resulting eight-page photo-essay “The Atmosphere of Crime” was noteworthy not only for its bold aesthetic sophistication, but also for how it challenged stereotypes about criminality then pervasive in the mainstream media. They provided a richly hued, cinematic portrayal of a largely hidden world: that of violence, police work and incarceration, seen with empathy and candor.
 
Parks rejected clichés of delinquency, drug use and corruption, opting for a more nuanced view that reflected the social and economic factors tied to criminal behavior and afforded a rare window into the working lives of those charged with preventing and prosecuting it. Transcending the romanticism of the gangster film, the suspense of the crime caper and the racially biased depictions of criminality then prevalent in American popular culture, Parks coaxed his camera to record reality so vividly and compellingly that it would allow Life’s readers to see the complexity of these chronically oversimplified situations. The Atmosphere of Crime, 1957 includes an expansive selection of never-before-published photographs from Parks’ original reportage.
Events Posted Jul 18, 2020

Stephen Shore LIVE with Mack Books, 7/22!

In lieu of our cancelled April event with Stephen Shore, we are thrilled to share an exclusive and in-depth conversation organized by Mack Books  between Stephen Shore and LACMA curator Britt Salvesen, discussing Shore’s distinctive photographic work: from pioneering the aesthetic of the great American road trip, the new vanguard of Instagram photography, and how he practices the act of seeing.

 

We have a few signed copies still available for purchase on our website – snap one up while you can!
 

More event info (and request an email reminder) here.
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USA/Canada: Wednesday 22 July - 19:00 EDT (NY, Toronto), 16:00 PDT (LA).
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UK/EUROPE: Thursday 23 July, 19:00 BST (London).
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FRANCE: Thursday 23rd July, 18:30 CEST (Paris) – with French Subtitles.
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JAPAN: Thursday 23rd July, 18:30 JST (Tokyo) – with Japanese subtitles.
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AUSTRALIA: Thursday 23rd July, 19:00 AEST (Sydney, Melbourne).

 

Book of the Day Posted Jul 17, 2020

Book of the Day > Van Nuys Boulevard 1972

Purchase ● American car culture at its vibrant best
 
Wednesday night was Cruise Night in the San Fernando Valley, a suburb of Los Angeles. The stretch on Van Nuys Boulevard between Ventura Boulevard on the southern end, and well past Sherman Way to the north, teemed with kids and cars from all over Southern California on Wednesday nights. It was a terrific place to both see and be seen, and to show off your ride as well.
 
Gas was cheap, times were great, and the boulevard hummed with life during the evenings. Even the draft during the Vietnam War did not dampen the street scene. By 1972, the year Rick McCloskey went to Van Nuys to shoot his series of photographs, the culture on the boulevard had become an amalgamation of divergent lifestyles, automobiles – used and new – and some very different looks and styles. There were tribes of van kids – surfers mostly – low-riders, muscle cars, street racers, Volkswagen owners, and many more, and of course, thousands of young people. The idea of retro had arrived as well, with some young people emulating the look and style of the 1950s. Of course, there were individuals who had to be there for work. In making these images, Rick McCloskey set about portraying the young people, their cars, and the iconic background settings.
 
Today, young people no longer have anything similar to the past boulevard gathering places, where so many people can enjoy just being there together. Akin to starlight still trickling in from a long vanished world, these photographic images are what we have left.
Book of the Day Posted Jul 16, 2020

Book of the Day > Artemisia

Purchase ● The first exhibition catalogue dedicated only to Artemisia
 
Gentileschi Artemisia Gentileschi (1593–1654 or later) is the most celebrated woman artist of the baroque period in Italy. Her career spanned more than 40 years, as she moved between Rome, where she was raised and trained by her father, Orazio Gentileschi, to Florence, where she gained artistic independence and became the first female member of the city’s academy of artists, and to Venice, London, and Naples. Often featuring heroic female subjects, her paintings were predominantly intended for private clients. Today they are recognized for their dramatic power and originality, showing Artemisia to be one of the most compelling storytellers of her time. This beautiful book includes essays on her life and career; a discussion of her personal and artistic relationship with her father; a summary of critical writings and an overview of the wide range of approaches to Artemisia’s work since her rediscovery by feminist art historians more than 50 years ago; a more personal insight into Artemisia through her letters; a discussion of the artist’s self-representation in her work; and an essay dedicated to her painting technique.
Book of the Day Posted Jul 15, 2020

Book of the Day > PUBLIC Issue 3

Purchase ● Public is a biannual arts and fashion journal with an emphasis on experimental work. Offering a unique perspective on subjects in life, each subject is archived and its theme never repeated. Issue 3 features work by Roxane Danset, Sian Davey, Frank Lebron, Gary David Moore, Guinevere van Seenus, Jack Webb, and Tom Wood.
 
In a unique collaboration, Siân Davey works with stylist Gary David Moore to cover youth and innocence. She revisits her daughter Martha as a subject, now aged 21, in a series of portraits at their family home in Devon (Siân's original series ‘Martha’ was displayed at The National Portrait Gallery in London, and captured her daughter at age 16). Frank Lebon covers family, having documented an intimate family holiday last summer in Spain for the issue. Iconic supermodel turned photographer Guinevere van Seenus collaborates with stylist Roxane Danset to capture a series of self portraits that form a reflective study on herself as a strong, middle aged women. Tom Wood casts his eye on the relationship between men and women through decades of covering communities in Liverpool, England. And finally, Jack Webb explores the emotional highs and lows between a group of friends and family on a night out in a Yorkshire pub, captured in 1996.
Book of the Day Posted Jul 14, 2020

Book of the Day > John Cage: A Mycological Foray: Variations on Mushrooms

Purchase ● Foraging for mushrooms with John Cage: writing, art, photography and ephemera from an idiosyncratic chapter in the composer's life
 
Imagined as an extended mushroom-foraging expedition, John Cage: A Mycological Foray gathers together Cage’s mushroom-themed compositions, photographs, illustrations and ephemera. Indeterminacy Stories and other writings by Cage are interwoven throughout the first volume within a central essay examining Cage’s enduring relationship with mycology. Also included is a transcript of Cage’s 1983 performance, MUSHROOMS et Variationes. The second volume is the inaugural reproduction of Cage’s 1972 portfolio, Mushroom Book, authored in collaboration with illustrator Lois Long and botanist Alexander H. Smith. Readers are thus drawn through the landscape of Cage’s mycologically centred oeuvre and interests, discovering assorted works, images, compositions, philosophies and ephemera, as one might encounter assorted fungi and flora while foraging.
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