Glenn Brown, contributors include Hans Werner Holzwarth, Taschen, 474pp, £750 (hb)
This new monograph gives an in-depth overview of the work of the UK artist Glenn Brown, known for his reproductions of other artists’ works—including those byOld Masters, the greats of Modern art and science-fiction illustrators—which he transforms by radically reconfiguring their colour, orientation and size. The book’s large format brings to the fore Brown’s “eye-deceivingly smooth brushwork”, says a publisher’s statement. “I’m rather like Dr Frankenstein, constructing paintings out of the residue or dead parts of other artists’ work. I hope to create a sense of strangeness by bringing together examples of the way the best historic and modern-day artists have depicted their personal sense of the world,” Brown adds in a statement.
Ruth Asawa: An Artist Takes Shape, Sam Nakahira, Getty Publications, 112pp, £16.00 (hb)
This retelling in comic book form of Ruth Asawa’s formative early years documents the genesis of the Japanese-US artist who has been the subject of numerous institutional shows in recent years, including Modern Art Oxford in 2022. Asawa was born in 1926 to Japanese immigrant parents in rural California andgrew up on the family farm during the Great Depression. Aged 16, she was among 120,000 Japanese Americans to be interned by the US governmentfollowing Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbour. This graphic novel depicts the horror of Pearl Harbour and Asawa’s education at Black Mountain College where she flourished under the tutelage of influential teachers such as the Bauhaus pioneer Josef Albers.
Reframing the Black Figure: An Introduction to Contemporary Black Figuration, Ekow Eshun, National Portrait Gallery, 112pp, £14.95 (hb)
This exhibition catalogue (The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure, National Portrait Gallery, London, 22 February-19 May) includes contemporary representations of the Black figure by more than 20 Black artists working in the UK and the US. “Figuration persists today: in part, no doubt, because it speaks a visual language we all understand,” writes the exhibition curator, Ekow Eshun, in the introduction. “Yet when it comes to images of Black people, I’d express a note of caution. Here, such familiarity is embedded with meaning shaped by a society in which the customs, culture and beliefs of white people are the standard against which all other groups are compared.” Featured artists include Lubaina Himid, Michael Armitage, Jordan Casteel and Njideka Akunyili Crosby.
God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin, Hilton Als, Dancing Foxes Press/Brooklyn Museum, 176pp, $39.95 (hb)
God Made My Face reflects on the achievements and legacy of the novelist James Baldwin, examining “his singular contributions to cinema, theatre, the essay and Black American critical studies”, according to a publisher’s statement. “In each piece assembled here, the authors speak from a personal, informed perspective, illuminating Baldwin’s deeply anguished and enlightened voice and his belief that, ultimately—because we are human—we share the potential to love, connect and live together in all our glory,” the statement adds. The essays are illustrated by works from artists who were either personal contemporaries of Baldwin or directly inspired by his work. Contributors include the novelist Jamaica Kincaid and the director of the film Moonlight, Barry Jenkins, as well as the artists Marlene Dumas and Glenn Ligon.