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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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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The Death and Life of Great American Cities
Jane Jacobs
A direct and fundamentally optimistic indictment of the short-sightedness and intellectual arrogance that has characterized much of urban planning in this century, The Death and Life of Great American Cities has, since its first publication in 1961...
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Rudolf Kuenzli
Eminent scholar Rudolf Kuenzli presents a rich selection of the Dadas' experimental visual and literary works to give a lively, accessible and comprehensive assessment.
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Philosophers on Art from Kant to the Postmodernists
A Critical Reader
Christopher Kul-Want
Here, for the first time, Christopher Kul-Want brings together twenty-five texts on art written by twenty philosophers. Covering the Enlightenment to postmodernism, these essays draw on Continental philosophy and aesthetics, the Marxist intellectual...
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All Over Coffee
Paul Madonna
"A comic strip with no characters, plot or comedy – just exquisitely observed, fine-lined drawings of sunlit San Francicso, captioned with bittersweet fragments of dialogue. For fans of . . . Pekar's slice-of-life miniatures . . ." – Entertainment Weekly
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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
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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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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A Book of Instructions and Drawings by Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono
Quiet.It's a bomb. --Recommended by Tân, City Lights Books Back in print for the first time in nearly thirty years, here is Yoko Ono's whimsical, delightful, subversive, startling book of instructions for art and for life. "Burn this book after...
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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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Art and Anti-Art
Hans Richter
"One of the best documents on this extraordinary movement."―The Sunday Times 'Where and how Dada began is almost as difficult to determine as Homer's birthplace’, writes Hans Richter, the artist and film-maker closely associated with this radical and transforming movement from its earliest days.
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Kurt Schwitters
Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948), inventor of his own personal branch of Dadaism called "Merz," is best known for his collages and for his monumental constructions called Merzbau. But Schwitters' stated goal was "to erase the boundaries between the arts" -...
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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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