3:02 PST. Pacific Standard Gift Book Time, part 2

This is a follow-up to my earlier post on holiday gift suggestions for people who like their art, and art catalogs, served with a hearty helping of design content.

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Catalog L.A.: Birth of an Art Capital 1955-1985

Centre Pompidou exhibition catalog

For graphic design enthusiasts, the best overview of Southern California’s current Pacific Standard Time program was published five years ago. And it wasn’t even produced for a Los Angeles show: it was for a 2006 retrospective at the Pompidou Center in Paris.

Succinctly titled Catalog L.A., this book mingles eclectic selections of a variety of art and design from 1955 to ’85. And as a precursor to PST, it includes several of the same graphics-oriented creative talents: Saul Bass, Wallace Berman, and John Baldessari; Robert Heinecken, George Herms, and Dennis Hopper; and of course, Ed Ruscha. It also places a helpful emphasis on cultural events, politics, and printed ephemera of the times.

Catalog L.A. is an enjoyable read. And its smart design and layout makes it a handy visual and text reference for investigating the intersections of news, pop culture, and the arts.

Essays are by Catherine Grenier, Howard N. Fox, and David E. James. Chronicle Books. 384 pages.

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