26 October 2022
Books received #49
Marylou Faure; Karel Martens in space; Olimpia Zagnoli; and HELL: The People and Places by Chwast and Heller.
It has been a while since we posted a handful of book releases. This month’s eclectic selection includes four titles that span many facets of graphic design and visual culture, illustration and design for print.
Marylou Faure from Counter-Print Books
This unapologetic title brings to light the work of Marylou Faure, a London-based Parisian illustrator whose bright and confident characters challenge the notions of femininity and add diversity to representation. Starting with a brief overview of Faure’s creative journey by Ruby Boddington, the book is divided into three chapters (the female body; aesthetics; and composition and artistic voice), each prefaced by the illustrator’s perspective on the topic.
Besides sharing her inspiration, creative process and advice for young designers, Faure speaks of the need for a clear point of view in her work, which is the driving force for developing projects and collaborating with clients. Printed in seven vibrant Pantone colours, the book is bold, feelgood and quite mischievous: much of Faure’s work focuses on depictions of the nude female body. Design: Jon Dowling and Céline Leterme.
Spread from Marylou Faure, featuring an International Women’s Day illustration from a calendar (left), and illustration for ‘turn up’ campaign to encourage young British people to vote (right).
Spread with stickers designed by Marylou Faure for Converse.
Uranus from IS A Gallery and Roma Publications
This limited-edition book, from IS A Gallery and Roma Publications, was produced on the occasion of the exhibition ‘Karel Martens: Re-Production’, held in Shanghai from 15 October to 15 November 2021. The book itself is an entire exhibition, as its pages are meant be taken out of its Swiss-style, unsewn binding and re-arranged on the wall to form a site-specific installation of 340 individual images over 21 square meters. The opening spread includes Karel Martens’ intended configuration of the pages; however each participant is invited to organise the book to their preference – performing a live transformation through time and space.
Uranus was originally inspired by Martens’ fascination with Chinese lunisolar calendar and the graphics and diagrams found within. The bilingual publication aims to geometrically represent the atmosphere of the seventh planet by ‘making a synthetic image based on an existing fact, not necessarily recognisable as such,’ according to Martens. By inviting an audience to collaborate, the walls of IS A Gallery became a space for collective knowledge that shifted in the eyes of each participant.
Spread from Uranus picturing Martens’ interpretation of the planet’s atmosphere in its entirety.
Pages of Uranus by Karel Martens, printed on 48gsm Bible paper (gif).
View of the Karel Martens: Re-Production exhibition curated by Zhongkai Li at IS A GALLERY in Shanghai, between 15 October and 15 November 2021.
Caleidoscopica by Olimpia Zagnoli
Caleidoscopica, published by Lazy Dog and designed by Bunker, presents colourful works by Italian illustrator Olimpia Zagnoli, whose bold silhouettes have appeared in the pages of The New Yorker, The New York Times and La Repubblica over the past decade. The first page, picturing a character playfully looking through ‘finger-glasses’, sets the tone for a book that is filled with illustrations, sketchbooks, garments, photographs, murals, posters, sculptures and home accessories. While the projects vary in materials and media, Zagnolli’s bold, bright and graphic style is ever-present.
Spliced in between the projects are pale pink pages with personal endorsements of Zagnoli written by design figures such as Melania Gazzotti, Guido Scarabottolo, Italo Lupi and Steven Heller. Some are two lines long, others fill the page. All paint a picture of a radiant, optimistic, joyful and driven person, whose work embodies the same characteristics.
Spread from Caleidoscopica. Left. Neon, HvW8 Gallery, LA (2018). Right. ‘A taste of summer’ cover of The New Yorker (2019).
Spread from Caleidoscopica featuring a pattern for the OZ Fever S/S capsule collection for Marella (2018).
HELL: The People and Places by Seymour Chwast and Steven Heller
Dedicated to saints and sinners (and published by Corraini Editions), this hardback book from Seymour Chwast and Steven Heller delves into the depths of ‘hell’ across the world. The red front cover features a bold blackletter ‘HELL’ in caps, paired with Chwast’s illustrations of figures falling to damnation. Available in English or Italian, the title is organised into six geographical sections: Middle East; The Americas; Africa; Greece; Europe; and Asia and the Pacific. The book is colourful and ink-heavy – an open window while browsing may be advised.
Each spread includes an illustration by Seymour Chwast, paired with a short, informative overview of the myth, story, or character pictured. The titles are set in hand-scribbled script that appears to be scrawled with force on the page. The book, despite a seemingly heavy subject, is light-hearted and accessible as the reader is taken on an entertaining global tour of the many versions of hell.
Spread from HELL: The People and Places that describes Yomi, the land of the dead in Shinto mythology, with an illustration of Izanami, a deity of creation and death.
Spread from HELL: The People and Places, picturing Sisyphus from Greek mythology.
Illustration by Seymour Chwast depicting The Fomorii, supernatural creatures (from Irish mythology) who personify the destructive power of nature.
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