Over the course of his three-decade career, Thomas Ruff has taken up many approaches to photography in his investigation into the status of the image in contemporary culture. In Transforming Photography, the artist presents new work that continues his ongoing probe into the history, processes, techniques, and technology of photography. Included is an interview with the artist by Okwui Enwezor.
One of the foremost American figurative painters of the twentieth century, it is not surprising that Alice Neel was a humanist—she was fascinated by people. Freedom documents the solo exhibition of the artist’s work at David Zwirner in New York in 2019. Including works that span the 1920s to the 1980s, this presentation focuses primarily on the nude figure—whether male or female, adult or child—and demonstrates how Neel rebelled against and challenged the traditional perceptions of sexuality, motherhood, and beauty in our society. The catalogue includes newly commissioned scholarship by Helen Molesworth and a foreword by Ginny Neel of The Estate of Alice Neel.
New work by American artist Sherrie Levine engages her ongoing practice of appropriating artworks from the Western art historical canon—this time by taking Ad Reinhardt’s Blue Paintings as a point of departure. Levine has created abstract restatements of the 28 works that were on view, making use of pixilation to consolidate the range of blue tones in each painting into a single, truly monochromatic value. The publication features full color reproductions of Monochromes After Reinhardt: 1–28 and includes the 1965 text “Reinhardt Paints a Picture,” in which Reinhardt famously interviewed himself.
Each title in the Spotlight Series from David Zwirner Books features new work by a leading contemporary artist. Available in both English-only and bilingual English/traditional Chinese editions, this series makes the work of these important artists accessible to a wider audience.
One of the most influential figurative painters of his generation, Neo Rauch presents bold, new work in PROPAGANDA. Rauch is widely celebrated for his captivating compositions that bring together figurative painting and surrealism into an entirely new kind of visual encounter. Eight large-scale canvases and seven smaller, more intimately scaled works continue the artist’s exploration of figuration and the ambiguous nature of meaning in visual art. The publication features a short story by German novelist and playwright Daniel Kehlmann, which was inspired by the paintings in this book.
The Colombian-born, London-based artist Oscar Murillo is known for an inventive practice that encompasses paintings, works on paper, installations, actions, live events, collaborative projects, and videos. Taken as a whole, his body of work demonstrates a sustained emphasis on the notion of cultural exchange and the multiple ways in which ideas, languages, and even everyday items are displaced, circulated, and increasingly intermingled. Published on the occasion of the artist’s exhibition of paintings and works on paper at David Zwirner, Hong Kong, in 2018, the build-up of content and information is accompanied by an essay by curator and writer Victor Wang, who attests to Murillo’s work as being guided by mobility.
At once comic, tragic, and erotic, Venus & Adonis (1593) is a poem by William Shakespeare based on passages from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. This new translation by Hafid Bouazza of Shakespeare’s text is illustrated by Marlene Dumas, the renowned painter celebrated around the world for her highly charged depictions of the human form. Dumas’s complete suite of thirty-two works on paper is reproduced in this volume, exactingly placed by the artist throughout Shakespeare’s text. Copublished by Athenaeum and David Zwirner Books as an English/Dutch edition, the book is a striking yet beautiful paradox—a marriage of text and image that is as sensual, fleshy, and carnal as it is unnerving and disturbing.
In an increasingly polarized world, with shifting and extreme politics, Social Forms illustrates artists at the forefront of political and social resistance. Highlighting different moments of crisis and how these are reflected and preserved through crucial artworks, it also asks how to make art in the age of Brexit, Trump, and the refugee and climate crises.
Simon & Schuster and David Zwirner Books have just announced a distribution partnership that will make David Zwirner the first gallery to have mainstream trade distribution of its titles in North America. Going forward, the roster will extend beyond traditional fine-art monographs and catalogues to other types of books, including fiction, politics, literature in translation, poetry, and plays.
Endless Enigma: Eight Centuries of Fantastic Art explores the ways in which artists have sought to explain their world in terms of an alternate reality, drawn from imagination, the subconscious, poetry, nature, myth, and religion. Presenting works from the twelfth century to the present day, eight centuries intersect and, as such, this wide-ranging catalogue examines affinities in intention and imagery between works executed across a broad span of time.
The latest from the renowned painter—Marlene Dumas’s new works respond more than ever to the uncertainty and sensuality of the painting process itself. Allowing the structure of the canvases and the materiality of the paint greater freedom to inform the development of her compositions, the artist has likened the creation of these works to the act of falling in love: an unpredictable and open-ended process that is as filled with awkwardness and anxiety as it is with bliss and discovery. Myths & Mortals is accompanied by new scholarship on the artist by Claire Messud and a text by Dumas herself.
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The ekphrasis series is specially dedicated to publishing out-of-print, rare, and newly commissioned texts as accessible paperback volumes. The series is part of an ongoing effort to publish new and surprising pieces of writing on visual culture.
Published on the fiftieth anniversary of Marcel Duchamp’s death, Duchamp’s Last Day offers a radical reading of the artist’s final hours. Just moments after Duchamp died, his closest friend Man Ray took a photograph of him. His face is wan; his eyes are closed; he appears calm. Taking this image as a point of departure, Donald Shambroom begins to examine the surrounding context—the dinner with Man Ray and another friend, Robert Lebel, the night Duchamp died, the conversations about his own death at that dinner and elsewhere, and the larger question of whether this radical artist’s death can be read as an extension of his work.
Translated into English for the first time, On Contemporary Art, a speech by the renowned novelist César Aira, was delivered at a 2010 colloquium in Madrid dedicated to bridging the gap between writing and the visual arts. On Aira’s dizzying and dazzling path, everything comes under question—from reproducibility of artworks to the value of the written word itself. In the end, Aira leaves us stranded on the bridge between writing and art that he set out to construct in the first place, flailing as we try to make sense of where we stand.