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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Utopic San Francisco exists in the unrelenting imaginations of some of our most brilliant local artists and activists. This series of essays and photographs challenges us to reimagine urban space as an artistic playground for all—not just for techies and the nouveau riches. —Recommended by Ivy, City Lights Books
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Surf Craft
Design and the Culture of Board Riding
Richard Kenvin
Surfboards were once made of wood and shaped by hand, objects of both cultural and recreational significance. Today most surfboards are mass-produced with fiberglass and a stew of petrochemicals, moving (or floating) billboards for athletes and their brands, emphasizing the commercial rather than the cultural. Surf Craft maps this evolution.
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Textures of the Anthropocene
Grain, Vapor, Ray
Katrin Klingan, Christoph Rosol, Bernd M. Scherer, Ashkan Sepahvand
We have entered the Anthropocene era—a geological age of our own making, in which what we have understood to be nature is made by man. We need a new way to understand the dynamics of a new epoch. These volumes offer writings that approach the Anthropocene through the perspectives of grain, vapor, and ray.
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Tiny Homes
Simple Shelter
Lloyd Kahn
Tiny Homes presents some 150 builders who have taken things into their own hands, creating tiny homes (under 500 sq. ft.). Homes on land, homes on wheels, homes on the road, homes on water, even homes in the trees. There are also studios, saunas...
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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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Wall and Piece
The collected works of Britain's most wanted artist. Artistic genius, political activist, painter and decorator, mythic legend or notorious graffiti artist? The work of Banksy is unmistakable, except maybe when it’s squatting in the Tate...
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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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What Is Art?
Leo Tolstoy
During his decades of world fame as a novelist, Tolstoy also wrote prolifically in a series of essays and polemics on issues of morality, social justice and religion. These works culminated in What is Art?, published in 1898. Impassioned and...
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White City, Black City
Architecture and War in Tel Aviv and Jaffa
Sharon Rotbard
A compelling case study of cultural hegemony: the colonizer versus the colonized. Important. —Recommended by Jeff, City Lights Books
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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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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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