Because my attempts at any kind of creative enterprise, be it crocheting or cooking, are dependably disastrous, I’m in the minority here at Lark. I’m not half as crafty as most of my colleagues. I am, however, an all-around art lover, so when naming favorites, I gravitate toward Lark’s gallery books. I’ve had the pleasure of working on a number of these image-rich titles, and while I realize that their primary purpose is to showcase the work of our incredible contributors, the ones I like best engage me as both a reader and a viewer, providing food for thought as well as dazzlingly creative eye candy.
The books in Lark’s PUSH Series do both of these things. Each title spotlights a single medium and features 30 cutting-edge artists from around the world. In addition to showing off fantastic work, the books provide an in-depth look at the contributors, going beyond the basic bio and offering a bit of backstory for each artist. Through q-and-a’s, anecdotes, and quotes, PUSH reveals the personalities—strong, colorful, and idiosyncratic—behind the work.
PUSH Paper and PUSH Print top my list of Lark favorites. Paper is a medium I’m keen on, and the PUSH book, which was curated by illustrator Jaime Zollars, does a terrific job of displaying the material’s creative range. PUSH Paper features spread after spread of ingenious pop-up pieces, clever toys, painstakingly cut sculptures, and extreme installations. The stuff is cunningly crafted, much of it characterized by an appealing sense of play. The artist q-and-a’s on each page shed light on the work—a perfect partnership between imagery and text.
A spread from PUSH Paper featuring quilled pieces by Yulia Brodskaya.
PUSH Print is a winning introduction to some of today’s most important printmakers. Brothers Keith and Jamie Berger of Cranky Pressman curated this bold, colorful collection, which features posters, assemblages, sculptures, and more. The contributors use an assortment of techniques, including screen-printing, etching, letterpress, and lithography, and their stories are inspiring. Many of them are driven by a need to communicate—to share information and ideas as well as imagery. They’re a hands-on bunch who get a charge out of the printing process and savor its attendant challenges and imperfections. Their energy is definitely infectious.
Pages from PUSH Print, with wood engravings by Roman Klonek.
As a Lark editor, I’m conscious of the fact that the pieces reproduced on the pages of our books tell only part of the story. The art I see always awakens my sense of wonder, raising questions about the people and the processes involved. The PUSH series—edgy, informative, and visually spectacular—never fails to fill in the blanks.
PUSH Print and PUSH Paper are both included in Lark’s Book Love sale!: