Sex, Sand and Seduction: Ten Photo Books to Buy This Month

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© Mark McKnight 2020, Courtesy of Loose Joints & Light Work

From rural Argentina to the sun-soaked Californian desert, November’s must-have art books offer a much-needed escape from the everyday

Field Test by Jackie Nickerson, published by Kerber

Jackie Nickerson is a master of shape, form and texture, creating perfectly sculpted photographs that are both powerful and profound. In her latest book, Field Test, the American-born artist goes even deeper, exploring the psychological effects of globalisation, fake news, environmental pollution and migration. “It’s about the collective trauma of modern living,” she told AnOther at the end of last month. “It’s about the mundane things and hidden forces in your life, which you don’t have any knowledge of control over.”

Lovers: Ten Years On by Sunil Gupta, published by Stanley/Barker

Sunil Gupta’s striking, monochrome portraits of gay couples in 1980s London are a time capsule. Taken at the height of the Aids crisis, they offer a rebuttal to the fearmongering press portrayals of the time. Instead, they celebrate an LGBT community, who – although relentlessly demonised in the media – were unafraid to be out, proud, and positive about their future.

Michael Clark Exhibition Catalogue, published by Prestel in association with the Barbican Art Gallery, London

Scottish choreographer Michael Clark is a cross-cultural dance pioneer. In the 1980s, he melded the disparate worlds of classical ballet and punk, creating an exciting new landscape in the British arts. During the course of his career, he has worked with artists and musicians as diverse as Sarah Lucas, The Fall, Leigh Bowery and Peter Doig – a testament to his fluid and trailblazing talent.

The Adventures of Guille and Belinda and The Illusion of an Everlasting Summer by Alessandra Sanguinetti, published by MACK

Photographer Alessandra Sanguinetti heads to the hazy, sunswept depths of rural Argentina for her latest offering, capturing two young girls on their journey to womanhood. The Illusion of Everlasting Summer follows cousins Guille and Belinda from the ages of 14 to 24 as they experience young love, pregnancy, and motherhood.

Andy Warhol. Love, Sex, and Desire. Drawings 1950–1962 by Michael Dayton Hermann, Drew Zeiba and Blake Gopnik, published by Taschen

In the summer of 1952, a then-unknown Andy Warhol attempted to exhibit his defiant sketches of queer intimacy. The ink drawings – which were rejected by the New York art scene at the time – were a celebration of youth, beauty and carnal pleasure. Although they were eventually overshadowed by the artist’s later work, 300 of them have been uncovered in the new book, Andy Warhol. Love, Sex, and Desire. Drawings 1950–1962.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Fly In League With The Night by Isabella Maidment, published by DAP

British artist Lynette Yiadom-Boakye conjures dark, mesmerising oil paintings of imagined Black subjects. The portraits, which are pulled entirely from her mind, are both contemporary and classical: fusing older European aesthetics with modern, everyday embellishments. Fly In League With The Night is the first major survey of the artist’s work, and contains nearly 80 lavish paintings and drawings – some never seen before.

Heaven is a Prison by Mark McKnight, published by Loose Joints

Mark McKnight’s stark, sensual new book, Heaven Is A Prison (Loose Joints), captures an unfolding love story in the Southern Californian desert. The photographer trains his lens on two men as they surrender to desire, becoming physically entangled in a vast and otherworldly landscape. “It’s about desire, and those things which we beg from others in our intimacies,” he told AnOther earlier this year. “It’s as much a self-abasement as it is a christening.”

Death Book by Bruce LaBruce, published by Baron

“Like much of my work, this book is suitable for no one lol,” joked Bruce LaBruce last month. The artist was talking about his characteristically out-there new publication, Death Book, which is oozing with images of blood, gore and brutality. It is exactly what you’d expect from the legendary provocateur: a post-apocalyptic vision of the modern world, which also doubles as a critique of Western culture’s fear of mortality.

Rimowa: An Archive, Since 1898, published by Rizzoli

This special edition book commemorates 120 years of Rimowa’s luxurious-yet-functional travel accessories. The pages share the story behind the designs, and outline the brand’s sprawling and innovative creative history through text, photography and illustrations.

Hervé Guibert ... of lovers, time, and death, published by saxpublishers

Hervé Guibert was a true polymath, and worked as a writer, actor, director and photographer during the 1980s. His sombre, meditative art flirts with the darker drives of human nature, including sex, death, depression and violence. Although mostly forgotten by much of the mainstream art world, this new book (and accompanying show) gives his work a new lease of life.