Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Asian Art Titles from Selections 108

Selections 108, the latest issue of our bi-monthly catalogues of new titles has been released.  These are some Asian Art titles from the catalogue:

Masterworks of Pre-Columbian, Indonesian, and African Gold: The Glassell Collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston by Frances Marzio. One of the world's top hundred art collectors, Alfred C. Glassell, Jr. (1913-2008), was fascinated by gold, but not for its monetary value. Glassell valued instead the spiritual significance that gold held in many ancient cultures, particularly those of Africa, South America, and Indonesia. Over the years, he acquired an astonishing number of artworks, assembling the largest privately held collection of Pre-Columbian gold. From 1997 to 2004, Glassell donated works of African and Indonesian gold to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Upon his death in 2008, he bequeathed his collection of Pre-Columbian gold to the museum. Masterworks of Pre-Columbian, Indonesian, and African Gold explores two hundred of these dazzling works, many published here for the first time. Spanning from 2000 B.C. to A.D. 1600, these precious objects reflect a variety of cultures, such as the Calima, Quimbaya, Sicán, Moché, and Coclé, and a range of geographic locations, from Mexico to Argentina and from Africa to Indonesia. The book offers fresh insights into the enduring appeal of gold and its artistic manifestations in diverse cultures.

Plaited Arts from the Borneo Rainforest edited by Bernard Sellato, Bernard. Many of Borneo's finest works of art are made from perishable plant materials such as rattan, bamboo, and pandanus gathered in the rainforest and worked by hand with various plaiting techniques. Falling between enduring works made of stone or bronze and the necessarily ephemeral works of installation art, plaited arts have a short lifetime, especially in tropical conditions, but this in no way lessens their interest and value. For millennia this "humblest of crafts" was employed to produce functional objects that featured in all aspects of everyday life, and the ordinariness of the products probably accounts for the neglect of the skills and artistic achievement of those who created them. The omission is the more remarkable because such weaving traditions are particularly strong in Southeast Asia, and the island of Borneo arguably has the richest, most diverse, sophisticated, and aesthetically enticing plaitwork in the world. Plaited Arts from the Borneo Rainforest gives long overdue recognition to the woven masterpieces created by Borneo's rainforest artists. It aims to stimulate appreciation of the aesthetic qualities of ingenious and attractive everyday utensils that hidden from sight in a kitchen or a barn, yet are part and parcel of the island's cultures, and are indispensable to the lives of their makers and to the social life of the communities that produce them. These long overlooked plaited objects, unsurpassed in their combination of beauty, form, and function, provide a unique window on the way of life of Borneo's inhabitants. The lavish illustrations make the book rich and compelling for collectors and scholars alike.

Ancestors of the Lake: Art of Lake Sentani and Humboldt Bay, New Guinea edited by Virginia-Lee Webb, Virginia-Lee. After Dutch expeditions reached New Guinea's Lake Sentani island and Humboldt Bay in the mid-1800s, Western visitors began collecting works by local artists. Ancestors of the Lake is a stunning look at the region's distinctive art, such as its highly stylized wooden sculptures and decoratively and abstractly designed barkcloths. This beautifully illustrated volume brings together many of these important historic pieces for the first time, including the landmark collection of French writer and art dealer Jacques Viot, along with photographs by Paul Wirz. The book also explores how European Surrealist artists found inspiration in the art of New Guinea, highlighted by rarely seen photographs by Man Ray of Sentani sculpture.

Firecrackers! An Eye-Popping Collection of Chinese Firework Art by Warren Dotz and Jack Mingo. Firecrackers, sparklers, and rockets offer maximum flash for minimum cash, and over the years, manufacturers have created dazzling labels to hype their pyrotechnic products. This book pays tribute to this eye-popping art form, featuring some of the most vibrant and eccentric labels from the 1950s and 1960s. Conjuring memories of outdoor celebrations and childhood mischief, this scintillating collection of pop culture artifacts will kindle the imaginations of advertising art aficionados, paper ephemera collectors, and fireworks enthusiasts alike. Featuring more than 180 rare vintage Chinese firecracker labels from one of the largest collections in the United States, this is a great resource for graphic artists, designers, and collectors of paper ephemera or advertising art.

Immortal Nature: Ink Paintings by Zhang Leiping by Bridget Tracy Tan. This catalogue complements the November 2010 NAFA exhibition of works by China's celebrated artist Zhang Leiping held to mark the 20 years of full diplomatic relations between China and Singapore. Introductory commentaries on Professor Zhang's work are followed by 25 colour plates of the paintings exhibited. Bilingual in Chinese.

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