These two titles published by Lund Humphries show how a major publisher can collaborate successfully with museums and galleries in the production of colourful, informative books.
Peter Adam and Andrew Lambeth, Eileen Gray: the private painter. London: Lund Humphries in association with Osborne Samuel, 2015. ISBN 978184221833 (hbk.) £30.00
Book arising from an exhibition of the same name held at the Osborne Samuel Gallery from 14 October to 17 November 2015 together with items from Gray’s retrospective in 2013 at the Pompidou Centre, Paris, featuring her lesser-known works. Better known as a designer, Gray trained as a painter and continued to paint and make collages throughout her life. This illustrated work demonstrates her versatility in the use of gouache and pencil, as well as photography. Priced at £30.00 it’s expensive for 104 pages but if your library has all the other works on Gray, then it would be worth adding to your collections.
Riding, Christine (ed.), Art and the war at sea 1914-1945. London: Lund Humphries in association with the National Maritime Museum. ISBN 9781848221680 (hbk.) £40.00
Couldn’t resist this title, as I particularly wanted to see naval images from the Second World War which showed what my father (Royal Navy, convoy escort, Corvette class) might have experienced. The beautifully illustrated contents should inspire you to visit the National Maritime Museum’s collections to see for yourself. A variety of objects and images provides a fascinating picture of the two world wars from a naval perspective.
Gili, Marta, et al. Florence Henri : mirror of the avant-garde, 1927-40. New York: Aperture / Paris: Jeu de Paume Museum, 2015. ISBN 1597113328 (hbk.) (English edition) £26.00
Florence Henri : mirror of the avant-garde, 1927-40 is the most recent of a series of major exhibitions at a public institution, the Jeu de Paume, Paris, examining and celebrating the contribution of female European artists to the history of photography. Florence Henri studied at the Bauhaus and during the latter half of the 1920s established herself as a major avant-garde artist. Her work was given prominent representation in the landmark 1929 exhibition Film und Foto in Stuttgart (along with László Moholy-Nagy and others), and she also maintained a thriving career in commercial photography and advertising. Today, however, her work is relatively little known, an imbalance which the exhibition at Jeu de Paume set out to redress.
This catalogue is a very successful testament to the aim of the exhibition organisers. It includes nearly 120 plates, of excellent quality, which are organized thematically and demonstrate both Henri’s artistic preoccupations and the scope of her practice. A particular highlight are the still life studies which disrupt spatial relationships through the inventive use of objects and mirrors. Whilst some of these are the most well-known of Henri’s oeuvre, it is wonderful to see many more equally stunning examples. Also included are many of Henri’s lesser-known photomontage works, as well as portraits of friends and contemporaries including Sonia Delaunay and Wassily Kandinsky. The catalogue also has much to offer the interested reader in terms of textual material: three scholarly essays; a 19-page biography (including a number of archival photographs) and a full bibliography and list of exhibitions.
Vicky Falconer, Chelsea College of Arts