Book Nook: Spring Page Turners

1Brazil Modern: The Rediscovery of Twentieth-Century Brazilian Furniture
by Aric Chen
The Monacelli Press | $60
A stunning survey of the largely unknown, but increasingly collectible, modernist furniture from Brazil, a country with a rich design culture that is set for much wider international exposure. Brazil has long harbored its own modernist tradition in architecture and the arts, but little of its furniture design has been seen widely outside of the country due to restrictive export policies during the decades of its greatest creative ferment. The story of Brazilian design begins with rich, exotic varieties of hardwood rarely found outside South America, including rosewood, jacaranda, goncalo alves, and tulipwood. These native woods, hard and richly grained but difficult to work, form the source material that great designers utilized to develop a distinctly modern and Brazilian vocabulary, combining references to European traditions (from classical forms to Bauhausian geometries) and techniques inspired by indigenous crafts. The book features the work of Brazilian design titans such as Lina Bo Bardi, Oscar Niemeyer, Joaquim Tenreiro, and Sergio Rodrigues, as well as numerous designers whose work rarely reached foreign shores. With informative text and well over 400 photographs of these rarely seen pieces, as well as historic images, Brazil Modern surveys the history and legacy of this innovative, sensual design tradition.

2Robert Winthrop Chanler: Discovering the Fantastic
Published in association with Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Edited by Gina Wouters and Andrea Gollin
The Monacelli Press | $50
Robert Winthrop Chanler is an early twentieth-century American painter, whose fantastic imagination and patrician clientele provide a fascinating artistic and biographical saga. The lively chronicle of American modernism is populated with a cast of fascinating characters, but few were as exuberant as Chanler (1872–1930). Chanler made his artistic reputation with exotic and brilliantly colored lacquered screens, whose compositions feature fantastical avian, jungle, and aquatic creatures, many overlaid with iridescent metallic finishes. Later in his career he turned to portraiture, which one sitter described as a career and social experience. Chanler’s work is now regaining long-overdue attention, particularly among art historians and preservationists. The increasing interest occurs in tandem with mounting urgency surrounding the preservation of his art, particularly his mural projects.

3Monochrome Home: Elegant Interiors in Black and White
by Hilary Robertson
Ryland Peters & Small | $35
Decorating in black and white is perennially popular and eternally chic. In “Monochrome Home,” Hilary Robertson demonstrates how, whether used alone or together, these contrasting shades can create dramatic effects at home, from the classic to the eclectic.
In her latest book, soughtafter interiors stylist Robertson celebrates the stylish simplicity of the monochromatic home – elegant interiors in black, white, and every shade of grey in between. In the first chapter, “The Monochrome Palette,” Robertson analyzes five monochrome schemes, providing mood boards for different effects: In Black and White, Grey Matters, Shades of Pale, Dark Looks and In the Mix. Following on, “Let there be Light” provides examples of interiors with a whiter, brighter approach, while “The Dark Room” visits homes that have employed darker monochrome palettes. Next, in “Monochrome Home,” Robertson shows how to bring the look right up to date, visiting 13 fabulous homes of artists, architects and designers across the globe from London to Paris, Copenhagen, rural Sweden and NYC.

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