Organic reform: Reactionary tendrils, flowers, and flowing linesFor a fruitful period between the 1880s and the First World War, European and North American culture deferred to nature. With a symphony of flowing lines and organic shapes, Art Nouveau ( New Art ) inflected architecture, design, painting, graphic work, applied arts, and illustration.Art Nouveau was deliberately nouveau. With a spirit of willful reform, its practitioners sought to distance themselves from the imitative historicism that characterized much 19th-century art and replace it with undulating, decorative qualities. Turning to vine tendrils, flowering buds, and bird feathers as ornamental reference, they pursued not only a linear freedom but also liberation from the weight of artistic tradition and expectation.At the same time, Art Nouveau followed the example of the earlier English Aesthetic and Arts and Crafts movements to reject established hierarchies of artistic practice, to emphasize a return to handcraftsmanship, and to synthesize artistic media and practices into a Gesamtkunstwerk, or total work of art. In this, as in its turn to nature, Art Nouveau is often seen as an aesthetic response to the Industrial Revolution, a recoil from the mass-produced and mechanic, and an elevation of the human hand and wonders of the great outdoors.This fresh TASCHEN edition considers Art Nouveau as a broad historical phenomenon with distinct local features. We consider the style s wider artistic, economic, and political circumstances, as well as its particular flavor in such hubs as Vienna, Glasgow, Munich, Weimar, and Chicago. Outstanding proponents such as Victor Horta, Antoni Gaudi, and Charles Rennie Mackintosh are featured in connection with the cities of their greatest activity. The result is a vivid portrait of the age and a movement that is as much entrenched in our imagination of the fin de siecle as it is in the trajectory of modernism."
Bigger is better: Tom of Finland, oversized for maximum pleasureIn 1998, TASCHEN introduced the world to the masterful art of Touko Laaksonen with The Art of Pleasure. Prior to that, Laaksonen, better known as Tom of Finland, enjoyed an intense cult following in the international gay community but was largely unknown to the broader audience.In 2009, TASCHEN followed up with the ultimate Tom overview: Tom of Finland XXL, a beautiful big collector s edition with over 1,000 images, covering six decades of the artist s career. The work was gathered from collections across the United States and Europe with the help of the Tom of Finland Foundation, and features many drawings, paintings, and sketches never previously reproduced. Other images have only been seen out of context and were finally presented in the sequential order Tom intended for full artistic appreciation and erotic impact.The elegant oversized volume showed the full range of Tom s talent, from sensitive portraits to frank sexual pleasure, to tender expressions of love, and haunting tributes to young men struck down by AIDS, and was completed by eight commissioned essays on Tom s social and personal impact by Camille Paglia, John Waters, Armistead Maupin, Todd Oldham, and others, plus a scholarly analysis of individual drawings by art historian Edward Lucie-Smith.The only thing missing from Tom of Finland XXL was a widely affordable price tag until now. The new Tom of Finland XXL is still big enough to work your biceps, and includes all of the original content, but costs a fraction of the original price. You re welcome.Text in English, French, and German"