Looking for a Christmas present? For the start of Advent, here are links to my five favourite 2011 exhibition catalogues: Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement by Richard Kendall and Jill DeVonyar, from the wonderful Royal Academy of Arts show (above, until 12 December); Eyewitness: Hungarian Photography in the Twentieth Century by Peter Baki and Colin Ford, also for a wonderful RA show this autumn; de Kooning: a Retrospective by John Elderfield, accompanying the landmark MoMA show (until 9 January); Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles Art 1945-1980, edited by Rebecca Peabody, Richard Perchuk and Glenn Phillips, which provides the background to all the shows on at present in L. A. and the surrounding area; and Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990 edited by Glenn Adamson and Jane Pavitt for the current V&A show (until 15 January). Across the jump, links to articles that I’ve found interesting across the past week.
• Richard II: a play for today: Michael Dobson is very good in the Guardian on what may well be my favourite Shakespeare play.
• The future of the book as depicted in science fiction: fascinating Ryan Britt post – ‘Sometimes the medium by which people “read” is altered by technology. Other times, books are preserved in their exact form as today, either as antiques or for another reason. Sometimes, books don’t exist at all or are in the process of being destroyed. And other times, books barely even resemble themselves.’
• Interstitial, pretentious, alienated, dead – Antonioni at 100: free .pdf of the Introduction by Laura Rascaroli and John David Rhodes to their new volume of essays from Palgrave about the great director.
• The obdurate knoll: Colin Kidd in the London Review of Books considers the culture of the Kennedy assassination with a review of Stephen King’s 11.22.63.
• Librairies – where it all went wrong: Nat Torkington blogs some pointed and provocative thoughts for librarians.
• 100 notable books of 2011: the choice from The New York Times.
• What really happened to Strauss-Kahn?: a compelling investigation by Edward Jay Epstein for The New York Review of Books of events in New York on the day Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested - the mysteries include a missing BlackBerry, room key records and a strange dance of celebration.
• Inside McKinsey: fascinating Andrew Hill report for The Financial Times.
• Pre-occupied: Mattathias Schwartz examines the past and future of the Occupy movement for The New Yorker.
Image: Edgar Degas, The Dance Lesson, c. 1879 (detail). Oil on canvas, 38 x 88 cm. National Gallery of Art, Washington, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, 1995.47.6. Image courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington.