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New Work: ‘No Problem: Cologne/New York 1984-1989’


In the 1980s, New York and Cologne were twin cities of the contemporary art world, a pair of visionary local art scenes who were engaged in an intercity cultural dialogue that helped produce many of the generation’s most influential artists and galleries. This remarkable era is explored in No Problem: Cologne/New York 1984-1989, a new publication from David Zwirner Books. Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and Laitsz Ho have created a design for the book that reflects the exuberant spirit of the period and its art.

The book follows the 2014 exhibition of the same name at David Zwirner, one of the first surveys to look at the connection between the two cities. In the 1980s, art being produced in and around Cologne started gaining international attention, and a growing gallery scene supported emerging work from the region and beyond. German artists such as Martin Kippenberger, Rosemarie Trockel and Albert Oehlen were exhibited along with the latest contemporary art from the U.S. by artists like Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Raymond Pettibon, Richard Prince and Christopher Wool. At the same time, New York galleries such as Metro Pictures and Barbara Gladstone were showing the works of German artists. This cross-fertilization helped shape the vibrant art and visual culture of the period and decades since.

New Work: ‘The Book of the Dog’


“Nothing but love has made the dog lose his wild freedom to become the servant of man,” D.H. Laurence.

Society is obsessed with dogs, we love them in our homes, on YouTube and in art. The Book of The Dog by Angus Hyland and Kendra Wilson is a book for the doggy inclined, showcasing canine art and illustrations from around the world. The book features all kinds of canines from mastiffs to retrievers to pugs, by all kinds of artists from Goya to Freud to Hockney.

New Work: ‘Green: A Field Guide to Marijuana’


As the legalization of marijuana gains momentum across the U.S., there’s a growing need for practical information about cannabis that is not clouded in a haze of hippy nostalgia or stoner clichés. Pentagram’s Eddie Opara and his team have designed Green: A Field Guide to Marijuana, a new book from Chronicle that is an accessible and comprehensive manual for the occasional user and the dedicated connoisseur alike.

Green was written by Dan Michaels, the founder of the cannabis research group Sinsemedia, and features the striking photography of Eric Christiansen and his studio Nugshots, which specializes in detailed macro shots of various cannabis strains. The book demystifies its subject with a straightforward, almost clinical approach that balances useful information with gorgeous images that show the natural beauty of cannabis plants and their buds.

New Work: ‘30 Years of Emerging Voices’


Every year since 1982, the Architectural League of New York’s Emerging Voices program has identified up-and-coming architects, landscape architects and urban designers who promise to make a lasting impact on the field. Considered one of the most important honors in American architecture, the annual lecture series and award is celebrated for its foresight in recognizing individuals and firms destined for worldwide influence. These have included Brad Cloepfil, James Corner, Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi, SHoP and Jeanne Gang, among many others.

Emerging Voices’ remarkable legacy is commemorated in a new book, 30 Years of Emerging Voices: Idea, Form, Resonance, out now from Princeton Architectural Press. Designed by Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and Laitsz Ho, the book is a richly illustrated compendium of almost 250 of the most innovative North American architects of the past three decades.

The League is launching 30 Years of Emerging Voices with a pair of events this week. The book was the focus of a special Oculus Book Talk at the Center for Architecture. This Saturday, July 11, the League and Open House New York will present OpenStudios: Emerging Voices, an opportunity to visit more than forty New York-based Emerging Voices firms. Pentagram’s office will serve as the check-in point for participants before they go on a self-guided walking tour of the studios. Copies of 30 Years of Emerging Voices will be available for purchase. Details here.

New Work: ‘Opera’


Considered the ultimate in musical and theatrical art, opera brings together sweeping scores, elaborate costumes and scenery, and a gripping sense of drama to take audiences on an emotional journey. Essential to the experience is the stunning architecture of the world-famous opera houses where the productions are presented.

Photographer David Leventi documents over 40 of these grand spaces in Opera, a new book designed by Pentagram’s Luke Hayman and team. Completed over a period of eight years, the project took Leventi to 19 countries to photograph landmark opera houses including The Metropolitan Opera in New York (the largest), the Real Teatro di San Carlo in Naples (the oldest), the Palais Garnier in Paris, La Scala in Milan, the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the Teatro Amazonas in Manaus, Brazil. The publication of Opera, out now from Damiani, coincides with an exhibition of the large-scale photographs currently on view at Rick Wester Fine Art in New York.

In his artist statement about the project, Leventi says: “The actual performance is just a part of the overall awe-inspiring experience of going to the theater—I believe that the space itself can be the event.”