Archive for the ‘Art’ Category


Spotlight on… Whitechapel: Documents of Contemporary Art

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Whitechapel: Documents of Contemporary Art is a series of anthologies.  Each volume focuses on a specific theme or subject that has been a major influence in contemporary art. Each subject is edited by a different critic, curator, scholar or artist who provides texts by voices from different fields, defining the specific theme of the volume.

MIT Press, in combination with Whitechapel Gallery, has already published over 30 volumes with subjects such as Colour, The Archive, Chance, Documentary, Nature, Sound, and Appropriation.  Any reader interested in art will get a lot out of these books, not only students and professionals in the field.  Later this year the series will expand with Sexuality and Exhibition.

Personally, I think this is an excellent series of theory books that deserves a wide audience.

- Jesse, Art buyer at ABC Amsterdam

You Review a Local Author: This Precious Jewel: MIME, the Body as Instrument – William Dashwood

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Reviewed by Elysia Brenner

“It’s not a book just for mimes,” the blurb teases. And there is truth in that. With that in mind, the title of William Dashwood’s This Precious Jewel: MIME, The Body as Instrument sums up exactly what you should expect from the book: it’s longer and perhaps more confusing than it needs to be, and the language can be overly flowery at times… but the book will teach you how to “play” your body, finding notes you never knew existed. And, yes, it will likely change what you think about mime.

The tone flops between technical instruction, psychological exploration, and vaguely philosophical meanderings; unfortunately, the third detracts from the first two. The weakest section of the book is its opening (“Part 1: Can You Make Money at That?” – a question never really answered). It rambles and lectures through a prolonged defense of the form of miming that seems unnecessary in a book whose serious tan cover makes it unlikely to be picked up by someone not already interested. Along the way, however, many misconceptions are squashed: Pantomime is but one of the many types of miming, it turns out. There are even mimes who speak!

The book is least convincing when it emphasizes the differences between miming and other theatrical disciplines (kudos for the description “dance devours the stage”; thumbs down for insisting dancers don’t draw their movements from emotion). It is in Parts 2-5 that the book has its broadest appeal. Here it lays out, in detail, muscle movements you have never considered so that you find yourself almost subconsciously acting them out, already exploring your body’s capabilities while you read. Dancers and actors will have much to learn from the perceptions of postures, managers will find the discussion of status projection fascinating, and even writers have something to learn from the analysis of emotional conveyance and story development. Mostly, however, the book is ideal for the reference shelf of any… well, mime.

You Review a Local Author: Books with an orange connection, reviewed by ABC customers.

William Dashwood is based in The Netherlands.  His book is sold on consignment at ABC Amsterdam.

YOUR Wrecked Journal in OUR ABC window?

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Dear Keri Smith fans,

Want to show Amsterdam (and the world) your proudly destroyed Wreck This Journal in our special I WRECKED MY JOURNAL window this October? Have you shared your wrecking online? Want to win a copy of the new Wreck This Journal Everywhere?

We need 12 of you to be gutsy enough to show your creative wrecked journals! Email social@abc.nl your name and age, and send us a picture of your diary and favorite wrecked page.

We made a We Love Keri Smith window a few years ago with her help. We are trying to have her feature your work on her blog – fingers crossed!

This Just In: Art

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Seven Recently-Arrived Titles from the Art Section:

Please be sure to contact our stores for an exact stock check.

Ebook available for Infinity Net: The Autobiography of Yayoi Kusama.

ABC’s Gift Ideas: Sports, Street Art, Tattoo

Monday, November 25th, 2013

The gift-giving season is upon us – hooray!

The ABC Staff has rummaged through their sections and order lists, and come up with another year’s worth of wonderful gift ideas for you: from fiction to history to cookbooks to children’s books to travel to non-books and onwards.

In a series of blog posts and recommendation lists throughout the coming month, you will find what we think will make great gifts, whether you celebrate Sinterklaas, Christmas or just like giving books to people. And since we’re a bookstore, these posts will be alphabetical by subject. :-)

Today you’ll find gift ideas for Sports, Street Art and Tattoo as picked out by section buyers Martijn and Paul. Bear in mind that this is just the tip of the iceberg – come to either one of our stores to browse many, many more titles in any of these subjects.

We are ready as ever to be your personal shoppers again this year, and hope you will find our selections useful and inspiring!

You can find our gift ideas from previous years here (scroll down a bit pas 2013), and be sure to have a look at our ABC Favorites, too.

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