Books Make Great Gifts, Artist Recommendations, Part IV

Oops! The last post was a false alarm. Here is the final set of artist recommendations for 2010. That’s more than 30 titles; enough for an erudite 2011.

Gyöngy Laky is currently reading  The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image by Leonard Schlain, which she says,” is intriguing me in relation to much of my recent work. According to Schlain, a holistic, simultaneous, synthetic and concrete view of the world is feminine while linear, sequential, reductionist and abstract thinking is male! These are opposites that exist in all individuals, he states, but it’s the balance that is critical and the balance was upset first by writing and then by the alphabet – literacy developed the left brain.  Maybe most curiosity provoking is Schlain’s belief that art precedes physics.  Hmmmm….”

The title Gyöngy is eager to read next, Proust Was a Neuroscientist,  by Jonathan Lehrer, is a logical follow up. In his review in The New York Times, D.T. Max called it ” … a precocious and engaging book that tries to mend the century-old tear between the literary and scientific cultures.”  Gyöngy notes that in his July 2008 article in The New Yorker,  “The Eureka Hunt,” Lehrer explored what she thinks of as the basic activity of making art “…the “aha” moment of sudden insight in the brain – “…a surge of electricity leading to a rush of blood.” Lehrer’s most recent book, How We Decide also seems very germane for people in the arts, Gyöngy points out, quoting the review from The New York Times, “Explaining decision-making on the scale of neurons makes for a challenging task, but Lehrer handles it with confidence and grace. As an introduction to the cognitive struggle between the brain’s ‘executive,’ rational centers and its more intuitive regions, How We Decide, succeeds with great panache.

Gyöngy still recommends Zen Architecture: The Building Process as Practice by her friend Paul Discoe (with Alexandra Quinn and Roslyn Banish). “His collection of wood from street trees removed by local cities that he saves and mills, is a marvel,”  Gyöngy writes. “If you’d like to see some of it used in an interior and happen to be hungry in Berkeley, California be sure to visit his new and wonderful restaurant, Ippuku at 2130 Center Street.”


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