Art books we loved in 2016

Art books we loved in 2016

Kinokuniya’s commitment to present the best in global art & design publishing saw many new & exciting titles jockey for attention on our shelves in 2016.

We’re currently featuring a selection of these wonderful titles in our art department. All books have been nominated by our art staff as their favourite new arrivals to the Kinokuniya family in the past year. These are the books that surprised, delighted & inspired us. Come visit us in the flesh to see the full smorgasbord of art book goodness which include some of the titles highlighted below.  We hope you enjoy!

Radical CitiesRadical Cities

Justin McGuirk

One of the best books I have read this year! This book completely changed how I think about cities & the purpose(s) of social housing. McGuirk is a master who really makes you feel as though you are in the places he writes about. If you have any interest in architecture’s social potential & responsibility, READ THIS BOOK! If not, read it anyway, because I guarantee you will afterwards. (Favourite chapters 5&6)

Reviewed by Ida


The Prospect of ImmortalityThe Prospect of Immortality

Murray Ballard

While cryonics might not be the most endearing subject, Ballards’s decade long project makes it clear that it is undoubtedly one of the more fascinating. Life, death, or freeze yourself & cross your fingers that science catches up. Even though the detailing is particularly handsome (those micrograph endpapers are nothing short of MAGNIFICENT), Ballard’s nonjudgmental eye is what makes this book so very special. We’re all just humans being human.

Reviewed by Kim


Daido TokyoDaido Tokyo

Daido Moriyama

One of my favourite Daido monographs since the small format publications reprinted under Kodansha. Silver ink is printed on black pages to elevate the iconic grittiness of Moriyama’s black & white photography. But the frosting on the cake is how Moriyama’s colour photography is handled. FINALLY, Moriyama’s colour photography printed in a quality that reflects the vibrancy & sheer clarity of his world.

Reviewed by Jo



Karen Knorr

A surreal & beautiful book. Just look at that cover! The young man admires his (invisible) reflection. He stands so tall he dwarves the door behind him – it’s as though we’re peering in at him through the window of a dollhouse. Which sums up this book perfectly. Photographing the ultra-rich residents of London’s Belgravia during the Thatcher era, Knorr gives us an almost satirical glimpse into a world of power & excess – of a privileged few, so out-of-touch with the “common people”, it’s almost grotesque. An incredible book.

Reviewed by Raquel


The UnseenThe Unseen

Edward Thompson

“Ghosts move very quickly through our space…”

The human eye can detect visible wavelengths of light between 400-700 nanometers, however, infrared can reveal up to 700-900. Using some of the last remaining stock of Kodak Aerochrome III infrared film, Thompson exposes the damages on vegetation after a flood in India in arresting reversed colours. Meanwhile, his nude portraits startle & challenge our ideas of conventional beauty. The Unseen is visually stunning & will force the viewer to consider this other hidden realm just beyond the spectrum of our visual perception.

Reviewed by Lynn


Bernd RibbeckBernd Ribbeck

Ren Zechlin

These mesmerizing paintings by Bernd Ribbeck are created by layering acrylic paint, ballpoint & felt-tip pens then sanding back and etching into each layer. Incredibly detailed & dense, there is a beautiful contrast in the structured and ordered geometry combined with the painterly, immediacy of the scratched lines.

 Reviewed by Miriam


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