© Rafał Milach

BOOK BLISS unique publications to make the perfect gift for an art lover

Looking for the perfect Christmas gift for an art lover? Check out our selection of unique books and albums, which offers something for everyone. In our list of recommended publications, you will find in a variety of fields and choices — from original photo albums that address important issues of our current turbulent times, through visually appealing graphic novels, to an exceptional cookbook that reflects on the history of Central and Eastern Europe, its cuisine and arts. If you still don’t know what to put under your Christmas tree this year, take inspiration from this selection of special publications.

Long-awaited MARCEL DUCHAMP’s monograph

One of Duchamp’s most lasting achievements in this sense was his understanding of the flexible, extended relationship between time and art.

When exclusive grand-deluxe and deluxe editions in French and trade editions in French and English were published at the end of 1959, ‘Marcel Duchamp’ became a much-loved book about the artist and has remained so for many decades. Now, sixty-one years after the first and only publication in English of the definitive monograph of the artist’s oeuvre, created jointly by Duchamp and his close friend Robert Lebel, the book is being reissued for a new audience by Hauser & Wirth Publishers. The book was conceived by Duchamp as a work itself, as was virtually everything else in his life; an assemblage sculpture masquerading as a book. ‘He did the layout,’ Lebel said, ‘and there was not one comma in it that was not overseen by him.’

The new edition consists of two hardcover volumes in a slipcase, being the culmination of years of efforts by artist Jean-Jaques Lebel, Robert Lebel’s son, to bring the influential and increasingly rare English edition back into the world’s readership.

 Hauser & Wirth Publishers, Marcel Duchamp

Hestia Artistic Journey 2002–2022

Over the past twenty years, since the first edition of the Hestia Artistic Journey competition was organised in Sopot at the beginning of 2000, a lot has changed in the art world — and not only in Poland. And this competition has transformed over the years as well. It began by opening up to the whole country, inviting students from art schools all across Poland. It then moved to Warsaw — first to the Jabłkowski Brothers’ House, then to the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. It proceeded to gain the rank of the most important art competition for artists of the younger generations. Finally, after a successful twenty years, the Hestia Artistic Journey competition has now come to an end. But the journey itself has not ended; ERGO Hestia and the Hestia Artistic Journey Foundation are starting a new chapter. The competition itself has altered the artistic horizon and as such, this change of direction is the central focus to which the publication Hestia Artistic Journey is dedicated.

The publication is not only a documentation of the twenty years of the competition, but it is also a guide to contemporary art branding tools and to building relationships between business and art.

‘Hestia Artistic Journey 2002–2022’, book

Journey through local cuisine of Central and Eastern Europe

For many of us growing up, the kitchen was the symbolic safe harbour of childhood — a space filled with the aroma of home-cooked meals, where one could always scrounge up some delicious snacks. This unusual cookbook takes a closer look at the local cuisine throughout Central and Eastern Europe and takes the reader on a unique sentimental journey pleasing to the palate.

The book, published by Contemporary Lynx Publishing, is a collection of recipes for tasty dishes that can be easily and quickly prepared in one’s own kitchen. The cookbook will inspire you with recipes from Georgian, Ukrainian, Qazaq or Romanian cuisine, among others, and many more home-made meals. They were gathered on the Kitchen Conversations podcast from seventeen artists representing different post-Soviet regions. Through the recipes, you will learn more about the various artists’ practice and their reflections on contemporary Eastern Europe. The recipes are accompanied by visuals created by Ukrainian photographer Alex Blanco, Romanian photographer Cristiana Malcica and Georgian visual artist Sophia Tabatadze.

‘Kitchen Conversations Cookbook: Homey Recipes from Artists’, Contemporary Lynx Publisher

The Graphic novel on Feminist Art

Bringing together four major voices in the feminist art movement of the 1970s and 1980s into one group biography, the author presents the rise of contemporary feminist art. It includes the story of Judy Chicago, best known for her installation ‘Dinner Party’, in which the artist walks around New York City reflecting on the many times she was told that women could not make art or be taken seriously in its world, and Faith Ringgold, an African-American artist who creates narrative quilts, as well as work across many different media, that explore the intersection of gender and race. The next is Cuban artist Ana Mendieta, who weaves narratives of place, belonging and adoration of the Mother Goddess into her earth sculptures and also works in various other media. Last is the Guerilla Girls, a collective of anonymous female activists who famously wore masks and draped New York City with posters about gender inequality in museums in the 1980s.

The author collaborated with Eva Rossetti, whose painterly and colourful graphics undoubtedly enhance the text, making the publication a collective story of four feminist art pioneers told in the colourful form of a graphic novel.

The Women Who Changed Art Forever: Feminist Art — The Graphic Novel by Valentina Grande and Eva Rossetti, published by Laurence King Publishing

© Laurence King Publishing
© Laurence King Publishing

Photo album combining image and music

Artist Christian Marclay is known for his ability to locate music and sound in the most unexpected contexts. As the world closed down in the spring of 2020 in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Christian began photographing London’s empty streets. During his daily walks, he began to imagine that there might be music in the landscape, such as in the photograph of an iron gate adorned with decorative white balls, reminiscent of a musical score. It was then that he decided to ask his friend, composer Steve Beresford, to write music to reflect the photographs of the deserted city. 

A collection of twenty of Marclay’s photographs with twenty of Beresford’s scores, ‘Call and Response’ reproduces the pairs of images and scores chronologically in an elegant, reduced and tactile volume reminiscent of a music notation book. Even for those who cannot read music, these are magical pairs where the imagination fills the silence and the eye conducts the music. In contrast, for those who can hear Beresford’s scores, they reveal the possibilities of the musical imagination translating the visual world into the aural one. In both cases, ‘Call and Response’ provides some answers to the question of how to connect in a world full of dislocation and isolation.

CALL AND RESPONSE by Christian Marclay and Steve Beresford, published by siglio

© Siglio Press
© Siglio Press
© Siglio Press
© Siglio Press

I Am Warning You

 ‘I Am Warning You’ is a book-quadtych by Rafal Milach dedicated to three different border walls: the US-Mexican (#13767), the Hungarian-Serbian-Croatian (‘I Am Warning You’) and the Berlin Wall (‘Death Strip’). The photographs, alongside a collection of essays by Michael Dear, Ziemowit Szczerek and Antje Rávic Strubel, provide an architectural overview dedicated to propaganda and control, while also collecting the experiences of border communities such as memories and scars that are part of that everyday life. The quadtych depicts the various physical structures that degrade as they pass from one book to the next — from the heavily fortified American wall, to the Hungarian electric fence, to the traces and memory imprints of the Berlin Wall.

‘I Am Warning You’ by Rafal Milach

Colours of Lost Time

Bownik’s art album consists of 35 works from the series ‘Colours of Lost Time,’ which were created by superimposing illustrations and photographs of extinct bird species onto a rotating disc, which the artist then set in motion and photographed. The colours of the resulting circles mix gradually, marking their sequential revolutions. This peculiar record of movement and the passage of time is also a symbolic chronicle of grief. In his commentary to one of the pieces reprinted in the album, Bownik revisits the event that precedes the moment of naming: ‘Abstract and accelerated dying out has become reality. What is the colour of loss?’ He then writes, adding: ‘I imagine everyday life in which, on odd days, all the news stations on the blue planet talk about death for 24 hours — but only about death caused by human civilisation and its consequences for the world.’

This beautiful album consists of photographs, an essay by art historian Grażyna Bastek and a commentary by the artist himself. Bownik worked on the series between 2017 and 2019, and presented the works for the first time at Warsaw Gallery Weekend (WGW) in 2019.

‘Bownik: Colours of Lost Time’

About The Author


Past LYNX Collaborator

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