Art & Architecture
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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'Pataphysics
A Useless Guide
Andrew Hugill
Of all the French cultural exports over the last 150 years or so, 'pataphysics—the science of imaginary solutions and the laws governing exceptions—has proven to be one of the most durable. Originating in the wild imagination of French poet and playwright Alfred Jarry and his schoolmates, resisting clear definition, purposefully useless...
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Fever Water
Darius James
"Fever Water" is a limited edition artist's book of one hundred and fifty numbered copies created by San Francisco based visual artist Tân Khánh Cao in collaboration with author Darius James. Its pages are printed on acid free one hundred percent cotton paper and vellum with archival ink and hand bound. Its melding of text and graphics...
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Concerning the Spiritual in Art
Wassily Kandinsky
Pioneering work by the great modernist painter, considered by many to be the father of abstract art and a leader in the movement to free art from traditional bonds. Kandinsky’s provocative thoughts on color theory, nature of art. Analysis of...
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Curse of the Black Gold
50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta
Ed Kashi, Michael Watts
Curse of the Black Gold: 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta takes a graphic look at the profound cost of oil exploitation in West Africa. Featuring images by world-renowned photojournalist Ed Kashi and text by Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka.
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The Way It Wasn't
From the Files of James Laughlin
James Laughlin
Lavishly illustrated, The Way It Wasn't offers an intimate firsthand encounter with 20th-century Modernism, from the extraordinary man who defined it for America. James Laughlin—poet, ladies' man, heir to a steel fortune, and the founder of New...
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Everything Is Its Own Reward
An All Over Coffee Collection
Paul Madonna
"The book is fantastic. Of time and tenderness. Beautiful drawings. Beautiful text. Ethereal and serious at once. The book is its own reward." -- Maira Kalman, author of "And the Pursuit of Happiness"
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Women of the Avant-Garde
1920-1940
Mette Marcus, Kristen Degel, Michael Juul Holm, Jeanne Rank
Women of the Avant-Garde 1920-1940 presents eight female artists who made major contributions to Dada, Surrealism, Constructivism and other European avant-gardes of the modernist era: Claude Cahun, Sonia Delaunay, Germaine Dulac, Florence Henri...
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Here
Richard McGuire
A beautiful exploration of a single place through time, from void to form to void again. Go ahead, open to a page, any page... —Recommended by Vanessa, City Lights Books Also recommended by Paul, City Lights Books
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Urban Code
100 Lessons for Understanding the City
Anne Mikoleit, Moritz Pürckhauer
Cities speak, and this little book helps us understand their language. Considering the urban landscape not from the abstract perspective of an urban planner but from the viewpoint of an attentive observer, Urban Code...
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Skovbo
Viggo Mortensen
In this new collection of images and poems are trees and the memory of trees, ghosts, words, nights, days, lives, deaths, and safe haven for them all in the place where "...the twigs become branches, / And the mist becomes make-believe..." (Osip Mandelstam). If you daren't enter the forest, or cannot find it, then perhaps you might...
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A Place of My Own
The Architecture of Daydreams
Michael Pollan
Michael Pollan’s unmatched ability to draw lines of connection between our everyday experiences— whether eating, gardening, or building—and the natural world has been the basis for the popular success of his many works of nonfiction, including the...
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Destruction Was My Beatrice
Dada and the Unmaking of the Twentieth Century
Jed Rasula
The perfect companion to Hugo Ball's Flight Out of Time, Huelsenbeck's Memoirs of a Dada Drummer, and Hans Richter's Art and Anti-Art. Jed Rasula has done a great service to Dada lovers everywhere. This is sure to be the "go to" book for years to come. —Recommended by Peter, City Lights Books
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American Canyon
Amarnath Ravva
Blending myth with interviews and first-person narrative, California-based writer Amarnath Ravva's American Canyon uses prose, documentary footage and still photos to recount the fragmented and ever-evolving story of one person's apprehension of the ghosts of history.
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Just Kids
Patti Smith
Just Kids illuminates the impressive lover of literature that Patti Smith is. Her memoir will be of particular interest to City Lights enthusiasts as she is our quintessential reader, a fan of the Surrealists...

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