Taking inspiration from the words of E.M. Forster and H.W. Beecher, we present a selection of titles to stimulate your senses this summer
“I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little farther down our particular path than
we have yet got ourselves”
– E.M. Forster, Two Cheers for Democracy, 1951
With our summer selection of titles, we dive head-first into the worlds of industry innovators: from spousal design-duo, Doriana and Massimiliano Fuksas and a comprehensive monograph on iconic Italian architect Ettore Sottsass, to the tables of international chefs. We delve into Japan’s seasonal and ever-changing museum scene, and look to the future of fashion photography.
Summer isn’t a time for lazy-reading, it’s a time to be informed.
Read on, then read on…
Italian architects Doriana and Massimiliano Fuksas demonstrate why scale is no barometer of beauty in this book, intended as a companion title to ‘Fuksas: Buildings’. ‘Fuksas: Object’ focuses largely on product design, a lesser known but no less accomplished string to the bow of the Rome-based spousal team. So we move from interior design, installations and scenography, through jewellery and furniture, with effortless grace.
“The orthodox history of Italian design has difficulty containing the Fuksases’ products within the limits of its canonical designs,” says admiring fellow designer Alessandro Mendini.There’s a narrative. Push down forcibly on one of Fuksas’ Carmen door handles for Manital, and be led into the cavernous space, peppered with hexagonal light, of their Terminal 3 at Shenzhen Bao’an airport in China or onto the shop floor of the Giorgio Armani flagship in Tokyo. Fantasy yes, but who wouldn’t want to fantasise about living your life surrounded by, or indeed inside, beautiful objects.
– Tom Jenkins
Fuksas: Object / Doriana & Massimiliano Fuksas / Actar Publishers
Our bookshelves can very quickly become saturated with numerous nutritious literary works, but photographer and founder of the cult food magazine Fool, Per-Anders Jörgensen, presents something a little different in this latest culinary offering.
He combines both his photographic and ‘foodie’ talents to document the daily meals (often called the “family meal”) shared by chefs and front-of-house staff. Jörgensen invites us to pull up a chair and join the family meals at 18 of the world’s most creative restaurants and gain a unique insight into the food you won’t find on the menu. From the saffron risotto of Il Canto to the chocolate brownies of Noma, the reader is given the secrets to the recipes shared by staff as they prepare for a busy day’s service.Accompanying Jörgensen’s evocative photographs of the chefs and their dishes is a personal insight into each restaurant’s character and philosophy of food. Each of the 18 restaurants has then divulged their simple recipes, with delicious results. They are more family-style than fine dining, utilising simple ingredients, and very helpfully provide quantities to serve two, six, 20 or 50, depending on your culinary ambition.
– Nathan Ladd
Eating With The Chefs / Per-Anders Jörgensen / Phaidon
Written by Sophie Richard, The Art Lover’s Guide to Japanese Museums is a ‘What it says on the tin’ title, exploring the country’s multitude of museums island by island. What’s particularly interesting, and surprising, is that it’s the first title of its kind for a Western audience for more than 30 years, plugging the knowledge-gap for English-speaking readers on Japan’s very diverse museum-scene.
The book is heavily influenced by Richard’s personal experiences in the country and is, in effect, a personal curation of tastes. Fascinated by the country’s museums – there are more than 5,600 of them, with art museums making up for a fifth of this amount – an idea imported from the West in the late 19th century and taken up with unprecedented enthusiasm, Richard explores national and private institutions commenting on similarities and differences along the way.Whilst an institution like the British Museum will exhibit collections all year round, in Japan, where many of the objects on display are incredibly frail due to their material and pigmentation, seasonal exhibitions are favoured, reflecting Japanese culture’s fascination with the seasons. Alongside information about the museums, Richards provides snapshot experiences for the surrounding areas, recommending tea-houses, botanical gardens, restaurants, shops and houses in the nearby vicinity for people, artistically inclined folk, of a similar ilk.
– Betty Wood
Art Lover’s Guide to Japanese Museums / Sophie Richard / Japan Society
Phaidon have again proven their commitment to fine publishing with this gem, a monograph on one of the greatest design minds of the 20th century: Ettore Sottsass.
Sottsass, whose achievements are too great and varied to list here, helped shape post-war Italy’s vision of modernity and indeed postmodern design. Edited by Philippe Thomé, the book is split across various colour-coded sections, each packed with a rich tapestry of photographs, facsimiles, Ettore’s sketches and countless other treasures, all printed on fine papers.One of the most striking images contained within is a photograph of Helmut Newton greeting Sottsass, two revolutionaries in their field captured on film, and of course it makes sense once you look at Sottsass’ work, which ranged from photography and graphic design to furniture design and architecture. A vital part of the second half of the 20th century’s vanguard, he remained at the cutting edge of pretty much anything he touched.
– Kuchar Swara
Sottsass / Philippe Thomé / Phaidon
Exhibiting an elegant display of talent curated over two continents and two years, Magdalene Keaney’s compelling foreword transcends into a bold record of beauty, celebrating fashion photographers from the intense to the disarming.
Timur Celikdag’s profound and brooding imagery falls silently beside Julia Hetta’s fragile visions, while Joss McKinley’s still life speaks volumes, reclining in the hi-res shade of Daniel Sannwald’s prismatic lens.Accompanied by stimulating profiles and appraisals, Keaney honours a plethora of creative dimensions and prompts us to “look beyond the image frame and address the issue of who is taking the photograph.”
– Sarah Zhang
Fashion Photography Next / Magdalene Keaney / Thames & Hudson