Holiday Reading Electromagnetic - Modern Art in Northern Europe 1918 - 1931

One of my New Year's resolutions should be to not read so many books at the same time. This habit makes it harder to finish anything.  Over the Christmas I did complete a few art-related books though, such as these by Austin Kleon...


...these are handy and quick to read and are full of positive tips on how to make and promote your work. They are good if you find yourself floundering and need a boost or a sense of direction. Other family members of mine also enjoyed reading these over Christmas.

Also I enjoyed a short story by Honore de Balzac called The Unknown Masterpiece, recommended by a friend. I told this friend that I would get Robin to procure me this for Christmas but it turned out we had a copy anyway. It's an odd story but very enjoyable and insightful into the psyche of artists. Especially regarding the ego and competitiveness.

My favourite Christmas present this year from Robin was this wonderful book, Electromagnetic - Modern Art in Northern Europe 1918 - 1931. The front cover shows a work called Maleri by Thorvald Hellesen, painted in 1920. I haven't had a chance yet to get stuck into this book but I thought I'd share a few images with you. This publication represents the work of Scandinavian and Baltic artists who contributed to many transnational exhibitions from the beginning of the twentieth century but did not receive much recognition in their native countries and were not much included in the history of modernism as we know it.

There are many superb geometric abstract pieces represented such as this one...

Neoplastic Composition 1930
Franciska Clausen

...but unusually for me I was struck by these brilliant figurative pieces...

Foujita 1932
Charlotte Wankel

Young Man's Head 1922
Aleksander Krims

Cubist Self Portrait 1923
Vytautas Kairiukstis

...and here's the book Robin got me for my recent Birthday, Dada: Zurich, Berlin, Hannover, Cologne, New York, Paris.  It's a whopper and a bit of a struggle to read in bed (I need to have it suspended from the ceiling it's so heavy, in fact it weighs 3 Kilos) which is where I do most of my reading, hence the dark circles under my eyes... are a few images I've selected that stood out for me.

Head with Sign, Hand, Wheel, and Auto Horn 1922
or Z206
Angelika Hoerle

Industrial Farmers 1920
Georg Scholz

Kurt with his Merz sculpture (The holy Affliction) c. 1920
Kurt Schwitters

The Animal Tamer 1923
Francis Picabia

Happy New Year to all you art lovers out there!

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