Issue 196
Winter 2016

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Oct 18, 2017
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    Books Received ArtWork PO Box 3 AB41 9EA

    The Visual History of Type, by Paul McNeil, published by Lawrence King.

    For anyone interested in making marks on paper this book will provide something of an orgy of information. This enormous, 672 page large format (300 x 247mm) tome can justly lay claim to be definitive.

    The account follows chronological order – starting with Gutenberg's Bastarda typeface, 'invented' in 1454 and ending with a typeface by the name of Infini, the product of a graphic competition in France, designed by Sandrine Nugue and making its first impression in 2015.

    In between, all the classic and not so classic typeaces are there – Adrian Frutiger's Univers, Max Miedinger's Helvetica, Eric Gill's Gill Sans and his oh-so-elegant Perpetua, Stanley Morison's Times and the profusion of typefaces created by the great typefounding companies such as American Type Founders, ITC (the International Type Corporation) Monotype, Linotype and all the legendary hot metal names.

    This is a truly superb reference book which would have to grace the shelves* of any self-respecting library serving the arts in the broadest sense of the word. * A note of caution – this is a heavyweight tome requiring very substantial shelving, definitely not recommended for bedside reading.

    The Visual History of Type, Paul McNeil, Lawrence King ISBN 9781780679761 £ 60.00

    Signac: Reflections on Water. This fascinating book by Marina Ferretti Bocquillon, art historian and the Scientific Director of the Musé e des Impressionismes in Giverny, in collaboration with other contributors, is much more than its title would suggest. Among the masses of reproductions, 164 in colour, there are many other images, large Indian ink studies and graphite drawings, apart from Signac's famous watercolours of Venice, Rotterdam, St Tropez and Antibes, culminating in his final Ports de France series.

    Running through it all is the detailed histoire of those times and of the influences and friendships of the other artists in Signac's life such as Matisse, Seurat, Van Gogh, Manet, Monet, Pissarro, Bonnard and Cé zanne and many others.

    Indeed this excerpt by an art critic of the time commenting on Signac's growing influence on the younger generation of up and coming artists and the draw to his atelier in St Tropez says it all: "They all rushed there like a flock of migratory birds. It was the spring of 1905, a small colony of valiant painters painting and conversing in this enchanted town."

    Paperback ISBN 978-88-572-3403-8. SKIRA Price £ 29.95

    The Story of Paintings: A history of art for children. By Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom. This fun book aims to familiarise children with some of the best known paintings through time – actually 39 of them – starting off with the Lascaux cave paintings (c.15,000 BC) and ending with the graffiti-inspired work of Jean-Michel Basquiat.

    A wacky as well as educative addition to a school library – perhaps as amusing for pupils and teachers alike!

    Hardback ISBN 978 1 4451 5004 8

    Published by Franklin Watts Price: £ 14.99

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    An extensive new preface by the Ross Herald of Arms, Charles Bunnett, Chamberlain of Duff House