July 12, 2017

Public Servants

Essays grapple with the changing meaning of the “public” and the evolving roles of art

Public Servants is the second book in the revived Critical Anthologies in Art and Culture series, whose first run, between 1984 and 2004, produced six volumes—including Art After Modernism: Rethinking Representation, which became a critical classic by taking up the challenge of defining postmodernism in its early phase. Public Servants is just as much of … Read More

Jon Spayde | Books, Public Art Review

June 28, 2017

Richard Florida’s Top-Down Urbanism

The “creative class” prophet’s prescriptions for today’s urban ills don’t get at the real problems

A decade and a half ago Richard Florida’s “creative class” research became a sensation and opened new avenues of dialogue among city leaders around the world. At the same time, his emphasis on shaping cities in the interests of that privileged subset of citizens has had a very mixed legacy. If you’ve heard Florida speak, … Read More

Tom Borrup | Books, Public Art Review

March 27, 2017

Monumental Problems

A public-art historian argues that “victim memorials” obscure the causes and contexts of our national ills

Designed by architect Maya Ying Lin in 1981, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (VVM) on the National Mall is, according to author Harriet F. Senie, the “most visited and copied memorial in American history.” At first blush, this seems a positive phenomenon, if only because the tapered wall’s uncomplicated design contrasts so starkly with many of the … Read More

David Schimke | Books, Public Art Review

January 4, 2017

Radical Seafaring

By Andrea Grover, with contributions by Sasha Archibald, Alexander Dumbadze, Christopher French, Dylan Gauthier, and Terrie Sultan

From their roots in land art to their current engagement with environmental issues, the artists in this book use the sea as their medium. In the 1975 performance In Search of the Miraculous, Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader was lost at sea on his way across the North Atlantic. After studying this piece in 2006, … Read More

Anna Renken | Books, Public Art Review

December 30, 2016

Louise Nevelson: Light and Shadow

by Laurie Wilson

A new biography of Louise Nevelson provides a comprehensive view of the influential artist In 400 pages, this meticulous, illustrated biography illuminates the character, life, and work of an extraordinary creative figure from the twentieth century. In Louise Nevelson: Light and Shadow, the subject is painted as persistent, prolific, dramatic, beautiful, and, above all, possessive … Read More

Jen Dolen | Books, Public Art Review

December 2, 2016

Walk Through Walls: A Memoir

by Marina Abramovic

Performance-art icon Marina Abramovic tells a tale of family oppression, personal passion, and artistic liberation. Danica Abramovic was a Yugoslav communist hero who fought Hitler, then ran her household more or less like a concentration camp. She would awaken her daughter, Marina, if the child was sleeping in an undisciplined manner—limbs lying any which way—and … Read More

Jon Spayde | Books, Public Art Review

July 28, 2016

Art Parks: A Tour of America’s Sculpture Parks and Gardens

by Francesca Cigola

In both metropolitan and rural areas, sculpture parks and gardens are growing in popularity. The first comprehensive guide to North America’s outdoor sculpture parks provides thematic and regional chapters, with four regional maps to locate sites. Fifty-seven destinations are illustrated in detail, making this flexibly bound book appropriate for both backpacks and coffee tables. Click … Read More

Public Art Review | Books, Public Art Review

May 16, 2016

Through the Looking Glass

Clifford Ross, essay by Paul Goldberger

Through the Looking Glass follows a four-year collaborative project between multimedia artist Ross and fine arts manufacturer Franz Meyer (Munich). The project resulted in a twenty-eight-square-foot stained glass wall with hydraulic doors created specially for the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Austin, Texas. Click here to purchase.

Public Art Review | Books, Public Art Review

May 13, 2016

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Architecture as Resource

Muck Petzet and Florian Heilmeyer, eds.

An alternative guide for architects, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle posits reinterpreting waste materials as precious resources. Via German-based project examples, the publication suggests valuing existing architecture for development. Topics include the overall energy lifecycle of buildings, as well as the cultural and social importance of preexisting architecture. Rather than building anew, the editors view regeneration and conversion … Read More

Public Art Review | Books, Public Art Review

May 9, 2016

Taking Sustainable Cities Seriously: Economic Development, the Environment, and Quality of Life in American Cities

Kent E. Portney

In this information-packed second edition, Portney compares sustainability initiatives across small, medium, and large American cities, examines the various issues involved with management and implementation, and discusses new directions for cities to take in pursuit of sustainability. Click here to purchase.

Public Art Review | Books, Public Art Review

May 6, 2016

Light Show

Cliff Lauson, ed.

Published concurrently with an exhibition of the same name, Light Show surveys historical and contemporary artworks using illumination as material. Beginning with explanations of how we see and manipulate light, by curator and editor Lauson, art historian Anne Wagner, and science writer Philip Ball, the catalog hits its stride with a series of radiantly illustrated … Read More

Public Art Review | Books, Public Art Review

May 2, 2016

Green Architecture Now! Vol. 2

Philip Jodidio

From Seoul to Berlin, from Los Angeles to Hanoi, sustainability is the hot ticket in architecture. Exploring the why, how and where, this publication tours the globe for locations where stylish structures designed with the planet in mind are both trendy and necessary. A worthwhile survey of a topic in everyone’s best interest: building a … Read More

Public Art Review | Books, Public Art Review