New & Noteworthy Visual Books, From Boxing to Hollywood Candids

FACE TO FACE: The Photographs of Camilla McGrath, by Camilla McGrath et al. (Knopf, $75.) From the 1950s to the ’90s, the socialite captured casual moments with some of the biggest names in entertainment. More than 600 of her photos are here, with text from the likes of Harrison Ford and Fran Lebowitz.

RALPH STEADMAN: A Life in Ink, by Ralph Steadman. (Chronicle Chroma, $60.) This career retrospective collects a half-century’s worth of ink-splattered illustrations by the British artist and illustrator behind “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” a co-founder of gonzo journalism with Hunter S. Thompson.

BISA BUTLER: Portraits, edited by Erica Warren. (Yale University, $35.) Published to coincide with an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, this catalog explores the multimedia artist’s bold compositions, layering bright fabrics, photographs and more together to represent African-American lives.

OBJECTS: U.S.A. 2020, by Glenn Adamson. (The Monacelli Press, $50.) Following a tradition established by the Smithsonian in 1969, this book ushers in a new generation of American craftsmen, pairing each with a corresponding artist from more than 40 years ago.

BOXING: 60 Years of Fights and Fighters, by Neil Leifer. (Taschen, $1,000.) There are only a thousand of these, all signed by Leifer, the veteran sports photographer who’s been up close to the ring at the most important boxing matches of the last 60 years.

I often think of the floral designer Amy Merrick’s whimsical arrangements, at times a mix of lilies, wild grasses and colorful blossoms, when creating my own. When I learned she was writing a book last fall I couldn’t wait to buy it, though I didn’t actually get around to reading until after the election. It felt like something that would soothe the spirit after a long year punctuated by loss and isolation. ON FLOWERS: Lessons From An Accidental Florist is far more beautiful than I imagined. It is part journal, part meditation on humble and decadent blooms alike that is filled with soulful photography and illustrations. I think of it whenever I spritz myself with jasmine, linger in front of bodega flowers searching unlikely combinations among the carnations, milk thistles and daisies, and most of all while walking through my neighborhood, where blue-violet Wood’s Purple asters reach out of pavement (and warm my heart).

—Isvett Verde, staff editor, Opinion


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