Art, Architecture & Print Culture

Books in this online selection represent only a sliver of what we offer in the store. If you've got a particular book in mind and want to check on its availability, call us at 415-362-8193.



   
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Welcome to Painterland
Bruce Conner and the Rat Bastard Protective Association
The Rat Bastard Protective Association was an inflammatory, close-knit community of artists who lived and worked in a building they dubbed Painterland in the Fillmore neighborhood of midcentury San Francisco. The artists who counted themselves among the Rat Bastards—which included Joan Brown, Bruce Conner, Jay DeFeo, Wally Hedrick, Michael McClure.
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About Looking
John Berger
As a novelist, art critic, and cultural historian, John Berger is a writer of dazzling eloquence and arresting insight whose work amounts to a subtle, powerful critique of the canons of our civilization. In About Looking he explores our role as...
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Ways of Seeing
John Berger
John Berger's Ways of Seeing is one of the most stimulating and the most influential books on art in any language. First published in 1972, it was based on the BBC television series...
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Shoot An Iraqi
Art, Life and Resistance Under the Gun
Wafaa Bilal, Kari Lydersen
An award-winning Iraqi artist's life story and the impact of his highly provocative interactive art piece
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Dada Cyborg
Visions of the New Human in Weimar Berlin
Matthew Biro
In an era when technology, biology, and culture are becoming ever more closely connected, The Dada Cyborg explains how the cyborg as we know it today actually developed between 1918 and 1933 when German artists gave visual form to their utopian hopes and fantasies in a fearful response to World War I.
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Prison/Culture
Sharon E. Bliss, Kevin B. Chen, Steve Dickison, Mark Dean Johnson, Rebeka Rodriguez
Nearly fifty artists, poets, and activists examine the contemporary prison system through heartrending art and community
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San Francisco Chinatown
A Guide to Its History and Architecture
Philip P. Choy
Both a history of America's oldest Chinese community and a guide to its significant sites and architecture San Francisco Chinatown is the first book of its kind, written by someone born and raised there.
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Kenneth Patchen A Centennial Selection
Kenneth Patchen, Jonathan Clark
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Widow Basquiat
A Love Story
Jennifer Clement
A vivid portrait of Jean-Michel Basquiat in 80s New York City. Graffiti, drugs, music, and the relationship between him and his muse Suzanne Mallouk. This is a sad, moving, and poetic read about this fascinating artist.—Recommended by Don, City Lights Books
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Bibliodeath
My Archives (With Life in Footnotes)
Andrei Codrescu
Award-winning author Andrei Codrescu's Bibliodeath: My Archives (With Life in Footnotes) surveys the evolutionary relationship between language and technology by examining his own career as a prolific American writer for more than four decades,
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Blind Spot
Teju Cole
Teju sees the world through a lens that captures the minutia of locale in fully intriguing ways—the way he articulates prose around these photos is completely immaculate. —Recommended by Jared, City Lights Bookstore
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How to Read Buildings
A Crash Course in Architectural Styles
Carol Davidson Cragoe
This practical primer is a handbook for decoding a building’s style, history, and evolution. Every building contains clues embedded in its design that identify not only its architectural style but also the story of who designed it, who it was built...
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The Architecture of Happiness
Alain de Botton
The Achitecture of Happiness is a dazzling and generously illustrated journey through the philosophy and psychology of architecture and the indelible connection between our identities and our locations. One of the great but often unmentioned causes of...
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Capacity
Theo Ellsworth
One of my very favorite books in any genre and a perfect gift to inspire young artists or writers. Ellsworth's drawings and stories are bursting with ideas on every square inch of the page, as he brilliantly reveals an artist's journey into their own "capacity" for self-discovery and creation. —Recommended by Chris, City Lights Publishers

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