Wild life

Ladybugs, dogs, owls, otters: Charley Harper’s geometric illustrations are more than a source of delight. With a never-ending curiosity for the natural world, especially for wildlife and flora, Harper developed a unique style that influenced generations of artists and designers.

Wild Life: the life and work of Charley Harper, published by Gestalten, celebrates the centenary and legacy of Charley Harper, a master of midcentury American illustration: a vast collection of works originally created as posters, magazine covers, murals, and more.

Compiled by design writer Margaret Rhodes and the artist’s son, Brett Harper, this definitive monograph offers a glimpse into Harper’s creative universe and considers him anew in different contexts: as a student, a professional artist, a husband, an honorary naturalist, and a conservationist.

Telling the story of his life and of his masterpieces, Wild Life is essential for enthusiasts of the American master and for anyone interested in midcentury visual culture.

Coral Reefs: A Natural History

An illustrated look – by Professor Charles Sheppard and published by Princeton University Press – at corals and the reefs they build around the world, and the causes and dire consequences of their rapid disappearance.

Corals are among the most varied lifeforms on Earth, ranging from mushroom corals and leather corals to button polyps, sea fans, anemones, and pulse corals.

Bridging the gap between plant and animal, these marine invertebrates serve as homes to reef fish and share symbiotic relationships with photosynthesizing algae, which provide corals with their nourishment.

This stunningly illustrated book profiles the astonishing diversity of the world’s coral groups, describing key aspects of their natural history and explaining why coral reefs are critical to the health of our oceans.

Representative examples of corals have been selected to illustrate the broad range of species, and the book’s lively and informative commentary covers everything from identification to conservation, making it an essential resource for marine biologists, divers, and anyone who is fascinated by these remarkable sea creatures.

    • Features more than 200 exquisite color photos
    • Highlights key aspects of corals and their natural history
    • Features representative examples from around the world
    • Includes photos of rare and unusual species

Leaf ’68’

Can this leaf of a Lombardy poplar (Populus nigra ‘Italica’ L.) tell the story of a stage, a feeling, an age? Can it be a metaphor for actual fitness, vitality, resilience while representing the signs of life?

I found this leaf near the sacred burial place of my grandparents, where the high slender trees touch the heaven. I spend some time with it. My pencils found their way.

’68’ is a number to be respected and to be remembered. It’s delta shaped form indicates that keep learning is an important implicit message. Its fine geometric architecture also reflects the basic forms of the trees carrying the branches and leafs. In fact it showcases how nature masters its morphogenetic and physiologic plan for growth and development. A wise leaf it is.

Bibliography

Kruf, J.P. (2022) Leaf ’68’ [fine art print]. Breda: Private collection.