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Coffee Table Curator, June 2014

Terry Adkins: Recital, Prestel, 49.95USD

Nobody quite captured the harmonious juxtaposition of art and music like Adkins. Choosing to pursue non-conventional multimedia installations and performances, as well as sculpture, the artist and jazz musician created art from the point of view of the composer. He produced diverse bodies of work during his prolific career, including sculptures and installations made exclusively from an assemblage of random objects—rope, glass, steel, tin, and even aluminum poles. "My quest has been to find a way to make music as physical as sculpture might be, and sculpture as ethereal as music is," he once said. That spirit, indeed, personifies and honors this career-spanning volume.



Ai Weiwei, Taschen, 1500USD

The first far-reaching monograph of the contemporary artist's life, the massive book is signed by Weiwei himself and wrapped in a Habotai silk scarf. Expect to find never-before seen images of his activist and conceptualist-driven artwork, as well as essays from friends and colleagues. But be quick—this is a limited edition of 1000 copies. 



BMW Art Cars, Hatje Cantz, 45USD 

Fans of both art and Top Gear alike, take note. This volume presents a slew of artists who have designed custom BMWs during the span of their careers, including the likes of David Hockney, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol. Years later, even Jeff Koons got in on the action—in all, 17 artists have lent their artistic talents to the Bavarian automobile company. Who preferred using bold, bright, and lucid finger and brush strokes for the car's body, and who decided to adorn the panels with nude photographic material? Read and find out.



Landscape: David LaChapelle, Damiani, 45USD

While two series comprise the monograph—"Gas Station" and "Refineries"—the results are anything but an ode to the timeworn, modern American landscape. The visually compelling images have a Disneyland-esque charm to them, with the bright and fluorescent colors engulfing the entirety of the photos. The juxtaposition of real-life idyllic landscapes LaChapelle photographed in California and Hawaii with the handcrafted gas stations and refineries he created in his studio—made from cardboard, recycled materials and other petroleum-based byproducts—both captivate and repel the viewer. It begs the question: have we become a disposability-fixated society?




Irina Werning's Back to the Future, teNeues, 50USD

Capturing the nostalgia that often accompanies old photographs—mostly involving humorous childhood pictures—Argentina-born Werning recreates these old photos, given to her by various people, years after they were originally taken. Everything from the clothing, poses and background are perfectly aligned. The results are both inspiring and amusing, and will surely inspire countless future birthday and holiday cards to parents.



Vasarely, Silvana Editoriale, 60USD

The founder of the op-art movement with a penchant for trompe l'oeil effects, Victor Vasarely never shied away from utilizing bright chromatic boldness and spirited geometrics. This volume traces Vasarley back to his early years as a medical student-turned-artist, as well as his eventual forays into color-theorist heavy printmaking, paintings, and textiles. 3-D glasses optional.