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A list of all items tagged with aesthetics


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Human space

O.F. Bollnow

Human space is an English translation of one of the most comprehensive studies of space as we experience it. Since it was published in Germany in 1963, Bollnow’s text has become a key reading in architecture, anthropology, and philosophy, and has been kept continuously in print (in 2010 the German edition was issued in its eleventh impression). The book is serious academic research and something more – showing a great sensitivity to the near and the everyday. The text is enlivened and illustrated with many quotations, principally from German and English literature. Our edition is translated by Christine Shuttleworth and has an afterword by Joseph Kohlmaier, who places the work in its context of philosophical and architectural discussion.

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At ...: writing, mainly about art, for the London Review of Books

Peter Campbell

For over ten years Peter Campbell has reviewed art exhibitions for the London Review of Books. His writing is distinctive: often closely descriptive, always inquisitive about technique, it is the product of an independent mind and eye. Easy evaluations are resisted: we are invited to consider the work on show in its present place – ‘at’ the museum or gallery to which the critic has travelled on our behalf. This generous selection of reviews covers a wide range of subjects, from Bellini and Titian to Lucian Freud and Louise Bourgeois, from Hawksmoor to Libeskind. Blockbusting shows are noticed, but so too are exhibitions of unfashionable artists, of photographers and applied artists. Reviews of buildings and pieces on the everyday urban scene add another dimension to this book. Campbell is a typographer and book designer, and is also the draftsman of the London Review’s covers. His writing is of a piece with these accomplishments.

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A visual field

Large denham

Robin Kinross / 2006.09.26

An article by Juliet Fleming on ‘How to look at a printed flower’ Word & Image, vol. 22, no. 2, 2006) throws surprising light on a usually unregarded element of the typographic armoury. Fleming works her way from early appearances of flowers in English printing (Henry Denham in the 1560s), via the aesthetic theory of Immanuel Kant (‘flowers are free natural beauties’) and the printed floral wallpaper that was contemporary with Kant, via ‘arabesques’ and the pattern-making of Islamic art, to the suggestion that these flowers and arabesques achieved their effects just through this exoticism that ‘allowed them to appear to presuppose no concept, with a technology that transformed copying into standardised reproduction, and thus took it out of the force field of imitation’. Read more

Vertigo: Collecting W.G. Sebald


Terry Pitts’s blog about these books: interesting, and not just for the Sebald content: here

‘At ...’ arrived

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We have received copies of the next book, Peter Campbell’s At …. This goes on sale officially at the end of this month. At … is a collection of the author’s columns about art, applied art, buildings, townscape, nature, and more, written for the London Review of Books. Campbell is a typographer and book designer, and illustrator, as well as now someone who writes for publication, and his work – the design, drawing, and writing – fits well with our idea of what aesthetics might be and do. The form of our book tries to live up to the standard of its text: accessible, humane, serviceable, well-made. Printed by Die Keure in Bruges, the binding is by Binderij Hexspoor and uses their Otabind process. Read more

About Peter Campbell’s writings

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Robin Kinross / 2011.10.26

Peter Campbell died yesterday at his home, after being diagnosed last year with cancer. He was a special man, both in his nature and in the combination of his talents. We were very glad to publish his writings, and to add him to the list of Hyphen authors, who seem often to be people whom the world finds it hard to pin down. We expect fuller accounts of him will be published, but meanwhile we can give here the ‘afterword’ to ‘At …’, a collection of his reviews from the ‘London Review of Books’. (This also allows us to correct the description of the context of the start of the ‘London Review of Books’, which was badly muddled in the book’s text.) Read more