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

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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’

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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’

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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.”

New Work: ‘Revolution of the Eye’

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Award-winning dramas and groundbreaking comedies aside, television is seldom considered high art. But this hasn’t always been the case. Revolution of the Eye: Modern Art and the Birth of American Television is a new exhibition at the Jewish Museum that explores how avant-garde art influenced and shaped the look and content of network television in its formative years, from the late 1940s to the mid-1970s. Pentagram’s Abbott Miller and his team have created a striking design for the exhibition and its accompanying catalogue that highlights the connection between television and modern art movements like Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art and Minimalism.

Last Folio Book: A Photographic Memory

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In 2006, serendipity led two former political exiles, photographer Yuri Dojc and documentary producer Katya Krausova, to an abandoned Jewish school in their homeland, Slovakia. Abandoned since 1942, when all its students had been deported to concentration camps, Dojc photographed the building and disintegrating school books within it. These photographs were the beginning of Last Folio, an international travelling exhibition and documentary film.

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, Dojc and Krausova have released a book, Last Folio: A photographic Memory, that documents their exploration into Slovakia’s pre-war Jewish culture.

Auf einer Reise durch ihr Heimatland Slowakei entdeckten Fotograf Yuri Dojc und die Filmemacherin Katya Krausova eher zufällig ein verlassenes, halb verfallenes jüdisches Schulhaus. Als wäre die Zeit stillgestanden seit jenem Tag im Jahr 1942 – als sämtliche Schüler und Lehrer dieser Schule von den Nazis in ein Konzentrationslager deportiert wurden – befanden sich darin noch alle Schulbücher, so, wie sie zurückgelassen worden waren.

Dojc fotografierte das verfallene Gebäude und die darin zurückgebliebenen Schulbücher. Da für Dojc die Bücher allesamt Überlebende einer schrecklichen Zeit waren, versuchte er, sie mit seinen Fotos auch so zu portraitieren. Diese Fotografien waren der Anfang von Last Folio, einer internationalen Wanderausstellung und einem Dokumentarfilm.

Im Gedenken an den 70. Jahrestag des Endes des zweiten Weltkrieges haben Dojc und Krausova nun ein Buch veröffentlicht: Last Folio – ein fotografisches Gedächtnis, das ihre Reise in die jüdisch-slowakische Vorkriegskultur dokumentiert.

New Work: ‘The Great Minds of Investing’

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The first time Michael O’Brien photographed Warren Buffett (for Esquire) in 1988 it changed his life. From that moment on the photographer became a devoted student of value investing, Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway, and a super fan of the “Oracle of Omaha.” He even named his dog Buffett. Now O’Brien’s portraits and William Green’s profiles of the top investors in the world have been published in The Great Minds of Investing, a new book designed and produced by partner DJ Stout and designer Barrett Fry in Pentagram’s Austin office.

The Great Minds of Investing, one of the first books of its kind, was the brainchild of Hendrik Leber, who is the founder and managing partner in ACATIS Investment, a German asset management firm based in Frankfurt. Leber found a co-conspirator in O’Brien and commissioned the value investment enthusiast to photograph 33 of the preeminent investors of our time. O’Brien traveled all over the U.S. and Europe to capture his elusive subjects on film. His large-format, black-and-white portraits, formal and dignified, show the confident demeanor of the profession—and a lot of nice suits.