Sarah Schönfeld: All You Can Feel, Kerber Verlag, 50USD
In the postmodern art world, drugs are inevitably a strong recurring motif. But instead of simply photographing drugs, or photographing things while under the influence of drugs, the Berlin-born Schönfeld had something a little different in mind. Utilizing common party drugs, psychotropic drugs and neurotransmitters as her materials, she exposed them to various film negatives and photographed the natural chemical reactions. In the resulting images, the relationships between alchemy, pharmacy, photography, and psychology have—quite literally—never looked so cool.
Giuliano Plorutti: Circus, Damiani, 39USD
Move over, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. Eschewing the glamour and glitz of renowned circuses during prime show times, Italian photographer Plorutti preferred taking unobtrusive behind-the-scenes photos of smaller European circus companies during off-hours and warm-ups. But don't worry, all of your favorite circus-related performers are there—trapeze artists, tightrope walkers, jugglers, clowns—giving candid glimpses into the lives of entertainment-centric, nomadic lifestyles.
Cover, powerHouse Books, 60USD
Next time you find yourself purchasing a novel, don't forget to appreciate its cover, too. Peter Mendelsund's extensive volume presents countless recognizable book jackets he created during his life-spanning career as a book cover designer. Ranging from the bestsellers (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trilogy) to the classics (War and Peace, Lolita), to the obscure (The Book of Human Insects, Never Fück Up), Mendelsund's talents have covered the vast interests of literary enthusiasts everywhere. Stop by the Strand and see how many of his colorful and eclectic covers you can find.
Christian Weber: Explosions, Kerber Verlag, 55USD
The New York-based Weber has slowly established himself as a raw and thoughtful photographer, with a penchant for challenging conventional interpretations of beauty. Fresh off his latest exhibition at the Schneider Gallery in Chicago, his new monograph presents a series dubbed "Explosions," consisting of—you guessed it— exploding, fleeting phenomena. While the explosions are similarly crafted, the results are anything but: the shapes spurred from the respective fireballs and explosives are unique, ranging from nebula-like patterns to structures that emulate the twisting forms of DNA. Delight in dysfunction, indeed.
Kaz Oshiro, Damiani/Perrotin, 40USD
Call him the master of deception. Virtuosoic to the point of unbelievability, the Los Angeles-based Oshiro's paintings transcend classic trompe l'oeil trickery to completely blur the lines between sculpture and painting. Depicting ordinary and unremarkable everyday items such as dumpsters, microwaves, and suitcases, Oshiro paints them so realistically that they appear as ready-made objects circa Marcel Duchamp's 1920s repertoire. This extensive volume follows his successful solo show at LACMA—"Chasing Ghosts"—earlier this year.
ZERO: Avantgarde 1965-2013, Silvana Editoriale, 70USD
The Zero group was an assemblage of post-war artists who believed the purpose of art was to "start again" at zero, or return to the basic atomic, dynamic, and spatial world. Founded by German artists Heinz Mack and Otto Piene, the group formed around the northwest city of Düsseldorf and held hundreds of one-night-only exhibits before eventually branching out to an international scale—most notably in Italy. Despite Zero's prominence (it's regarded for helping launch the nouveau réalisme movement), the group has not been largely written about before this all-encompassing and intimate volume.