Friday, 18 July 2014


Ever find yourself muttering "Jungle Fresh, Jungle Fresh" when you hear the word 'peanuts'? Maybe it's just me.

Anyway, Shelf Life is taking a commercial break for a few weeks over the summer and will return ready for action at the end of August. Stay hungry!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Re. Flux

Thomas Kellein
Thames & Hudson, London, 1995

Robert Filliou, General Semantics A-Z, 1967

Fluxus Collective Editions, 1961-5

Fluxkit, after1964

Performance of Philip Corner's Piano Activities, 1962

Joe Jones, Mechanical Fluxorchestra, c.1966

Robert Watts, Events, 1964

La Monte Young, The Tortoise: His Dreams and Journeys, 1964

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Robert Stewart

Robert Stewart
Design 1946-95
Liz Arthur
Glasgow School of Art Press, 2003  

Robert Stewart was an artist who for many years taught at the Glasgow School of Art. Prolific and protean, he produced work in almost every medium and for many purposes, from commercial fabric design to public commissions to private collections.

Turned wooden figures, 1953/4

Sun Man fabric design, 1953/4, Liberty of London

Stewart and students, 1969. Note chin-stroker.

Genesis tapestry, 1970, Strathclyde University

Design for tankard, 1957-63
I discovered his work whole researching school murals, and Stewart produced some fine examples. They are very much of the period but I like them for that, and imagine Jerry Cornelius cavorting on the rooftops above this example from Kensington.

Ceramic mural, Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, 1964

Mural installation at Eastwood High School, Renfrewshire, 1965

Mural for Adelphi Street School, Gorbals, Glasgow, 1965

Ceramic mural, Douglas Academy, Milngavie, 1966

Ceramic mural, Glendareuel and Kilmodan Primary School, 1975

Ceramic panel based on gravestones
A-frame guest house and Stewart's studio, Loch Striven

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Pay the Piper

John Piper
Penguin Modern Painters Series
John Betjeman

Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, Middx., 1944 

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Games Design

Abram Games
Naomi Games and Brian Webb
Woodbridge, Antique Collector's Club, 2013 

There is more information about the design of the BBC's original Television Symbol here, including an animated version and clock version.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Day to Day

Robin and Lucienne Day
Pioneers of Contemporary Design
Lesley Jackson
Mitchell Beazley, London, 2011

Festival of Britain signpost (1951)
Living Room, Peter Moro's house, Blackheath, London, 1959

Seating and dining areas, Barbican

Friday, 4 July 2014

Square Bear

Josef Albers
Formulation : Articulation
London, Thames & Hudson, 2006

Most people know Joseph Albers as the master of the square. As you will see from the cover there are some nice examples in this facsimile collection of prints, however it's a nice surprise to find a range of other strong designs included.

The book contains reproductions of two sets of prints Albers produced as the summation of 40 years teaching and theorising about art and colour. The beautifully printed images often appear disarmingly simple at first, and it is when the viewer is forced to figure exactly out how the colours and lines interact to create pictures that one's brain begins to ache a bit, in the nicest possible way.