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Inside Jonas Wood’s Perspective-Bending Interior World

The LA artist Jonas Wood currently has a new exhibition on view at Anton Kern Gallery; called Portraits, it depicts various loved ones — his family on the occasion of his Bar Mitzvah; his wife, Shio Kusaka, with an unruly-haired dog — in Wood's signature colorful, mise-en-abyme–happy style. (We like to think of it as Henri Rousseau, if Rousseau lived in 2016 Culver City). But our favorite Wood era remains Interiors, the 2012 catalogue that's being re-issued this week and that we're excerpting on the site today.
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Two Lost Donald Judd Interviews, Part II: On Color and Defining ‘Modernism’

Earlier this summer, when we happened to come across not one but two vibrant, late-'80s interviews with Donald Judd in the same week, we decided it was fate telling us to designate today Judd day here on the site, where we'd excerpt text from both. The second interview we're posting today comes from New York New Art, a 1989 tome that Monica unearthed at an antique mall in Nashville. The interview, with John Griffiths, took place at a Judd exhibition where the artist was showing new pieces in metal and perspex. It covers everything from why Judd began using color to whether the term "Modernism" actually means anything. Read on for more after the jump!
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Two Lost Donald Judd Interviews, Part I: On Cor-Ten Steel and the Scourge of Handiwork

Earlier this summer, when we happened to come across not one but two vibrant, late-’80s interviews with Donald Judd in the same week, we decided it was fate telling us to designate today Judd day here on the site, where we’d excerpt text and photos from both. The first interview we’re posting today comes from Donald Judd Cor-Ten, the 72-page volume that accompanied a David Zwirner exhibition of the same name last winter. Here he speaks with curator and art critic Claudia Jolles about his friendship with Richard Serra, his aversion to public commissions, and why we should never refer to his furniture as art.
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The Faded Pastels and Geometric Glamour of Ward Roberts’s Courts Series

If you're familiar with the work of photographer Ward Roberts, chances are you found his work, like we did, on Pinterest. After all, the New York–based photographer's images were practically made for social media, featuring as they do the aesthetic memes du jour: muted, pastel colors; graphic, geometric compositions; and architectural wonders seemingly devoid of any people. In Roberts's case, the backdrop common to all of his photos are the basketball and tennis courts of Hong Kong, where the Australian-born photographer was raised from the age of three.
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Bauhaus-Inspired Sculpture From a Master of Swiss Graphic Design

Design obsessives know the late Max Bill primarily as a major figure in the Swiss graphic design scene of the 1950s and beyond. But a new exhibition catalog from a retrospective on view earlier this year at the Fundacion Juan March in Madrid reminds us that the designer was the ultimate polymath — an architect, silversmith, painter, industrial designer, and, most stunningly, sculptor of the geometric stone and metal pieces seen in the first half of this post (which sent us on a major Google Image search).
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A New Book Features the Botanical Decor of Your Dreams

File this one under "why didn't we think of it first?" This fall, Magali Elali and Bart Kiggen of the Belgian online magazine Coffeeklatch — a destination for lovely interviews and photography that's been on our must-read list for years — released a book called Greenterior, which looks at the homes of designers and artists through the lens of their abundant houseplants.
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The Prettiest Plants and Pots You’ve Ever Seen

A new book documents the jaw-dropping collaboration between Japanese plant whisperer Kohei Oda and longtime Sight Unseen favorite Adam Silverman, who over the past year have made a series of potted cacti that are amazing in their complete and total eccentricity.
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A Designer’s Eye: Paul Rand

If there's anyone we'd trust to put together a beautiful book of ephemera, it's JP Williams, the New York–based graphic designer whose collections — of baseball cards, of balls of twine, of Swiss office supplies, and the like — are legendary. But Williams's first book doesn't in fact catalog his own accumulations from years past but rather those of the iconic graphic designer Paul Rand, who Williams used to visit at his home before Rand's death in the late 1990s. But, Williams writes, "it was not until visiting Mrs. Rand that I discovered Mr. Rand's cache of items that he had saved from his travels. A large variety of items: packages, shopping bags, dolls, toys. So many were unfamiliar to me. As soon as I saw them I asked then and there if I could have them photographed. I asked the photographer Grant Peterson to shoot all of these items in hopes of doing a book. Well, 18 years later, here it is."
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Down the Long Driveway, You’ll See It

There's nothing we love better than when our very talented, creative friends introduce us to their very talented, creative friends, and this week didn't disappoint: In our inboxes arrived the most beautiful submission from Mary Gaudin, a New Zealand photographer living in Montpellier, France, who was introduced to us through Brian Ferry, one of Sight Unseen's contributors and a wonderful photographer in his own right. Gaudin recently published a book on modernist New Zealand homes in collaboration Matthew Arnold of Sons & Co called Down the Long Driveway, You'll See It; the title is a quote from one of the book's subjects, upon giving directions to his home. The book documents 14 homes built between 1950 and 1974, and it's a revelation not only for the beautiful way in which it's photographed but for the peek it gives into New Zealand's architectural history.
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Strange Plants by Zio Baritaux

We've all been thinking it, but the Los Angeles writer and publisher Zio Baritaux finally did it — put together a project capturing the prevalence of plants in contemporary art these days. Her new book Strange Plants contains interviews with ten artists of varying mediums who focus on flora in their work — three of which we've excerpted below — plus selections from the portfolios of 15 more, including an interlude featuring tattoo artists. Baritaux says she was inspired to create the book not necessarily by the trend she was witnessing in the art world, but by the elaborate gardens full of koi ponds and topiaries that her mother grew when she was a child. "I didn’t really appreciate these gardens until I was an adult, living in an apartment in L.A. with no outdoor space or plants to call my own," Baritaux says. "There were plants throughout the neighborhood, like night-blooming jasmine and overgrown bougainvillea, but it wasn’t the same. I wanted to experience them. So I brought plants inside my apartment — a hanging terrarium, a potted cactus, and so on. These plants brought back memories and inspired me, just like the art I had hanging on the walls. So it seemed natural to create a book that combined the two."
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Dixonary

If we had to elect the most Sight Unseen–like book ever published, Tom Dixon's Dixonary might land at the very top of that list. In the intro he writes, "A book about me? I wasn't sure I needed one — at least until I am dead, at which point people can write what they like." But personally we wish this kind of book existed for all of our favorite visual artists. In it, Dixon pairs photographs of his own designs, dating all the way back to his early-'80s punk days, with the images that inspired them, and then tells the micro-stories behind each one.
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David Altmejd, from Studio Life by Sarah Trigg

Sarah Trigg spent more than two years photographing the ateliers of 100 artists around the country for her new book Studio Life: Rituals, Collections, Tools, and Observations on the Artistic Process — including boldfaced names like Carol Bove, Rob Pruitt, Theaster Gates, Tauba Auerbach, and Nick Cave. And yet you won't see any of their actual artwork in its pages (we've added our own to the David Altmejd excerpt below), nor will you see any overall depictions of their spaces. That's because Trigg, an artist herself, took inspiration from the most important elements of her own Brooklyn studio and decided to exclusively zoom in on any residue, mascots, collected objects, rituals, makeshift tools, and architectural details she found during her visits. "I placed a lens on daily studio life without expecting artists to defend or explain their work," she writes of her process. "It was crucial, therefore, not to overshadow the results with portraits, artwork, or depictions of the overall grandeur of the studios — all of which have established venues for exposure elsewhere."
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