An archive of my ever expanding book and print collection

Month: April, 2012

Stephen Gill – Hackney Flowers

Hackney Flowers, published by Stephen Gill‘s imprint Nobody Books,  takes the fascination and love of Hackney Gill first showed in his book Hackney Wick and builds on it through use of found objects and manipulation of photographs taken around the London borough. For this series, Gill collected flowers, seeds, berries and other objects and pressed them in his studio. These preserved objects were then layered on to images of Hackney and it’s residents, and the resulting collage rephotographed. In addition, some of the original images were first buried and allowed to decay to add a further layer and affirm the strong geographical link. The resulting images are colourful, whimsical and imbued with a vibrant feeling and rhythm. This clothbound hardcover book was printed in an edition of 3500 and has since sold out with the publisher but copies can still be found online.

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Matthew Barney – The Cremaster Cycle (Beaux Arts Catalogue)

In 2002, Matthew Barney presented his entire Cremaster Cycle for the first time in France. The exhibition, held at the Musee D’Art Moderne’s ARC site, combined the films with sculptures, drawings and site specific installations related to the films. To accompany the exhibition, Beaux Arts created a catalogue that highlighted the themes of the individual films; whilst it only runs to 32 pages it is oversized, well printed and contains a plan of the exhibition along with an essay.

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Beaux Arts

Beaux Arts

Beaux Arts

Beaux Arts

Beaux Arts

Paul Graham – Untitled, Paris, 1988 (Man on Metro) Artist Edition Print

To mark the iminent release of Paul Graham’s latest book The Present, published by Mack Books, I thought I would post a print I bought that Graham released through the Whitechapel Gallery last year as part of his retrospective. The image is taken from his New Europe series, created in the early 90’s. This series sought to dig beneath the sheen of a newly unified Europe and remind us of the historical events that shaped the countries we know today. His work touches on the dictatorships of Franco and Hitler, the Holocaust and the Irish conflict and weaves these references in to images of todays society.

The print (55.88 x 43.18cm), was produced in an edition of 115 and a few are still available directly from the gallery here.

Whitechapel Gallery Print

Mat Collishaw – The End Of Innocence

Until now I have used this blog just for my book and print collection but from today I will also start posting about the private views and exhibitions I attend. First up is Mat Collishaw’s new work The End Of Innocence which I attended the private view of last night. In this piece, Collishaw has created a digital reinterpretation of Francis Bacon’s appropriation of Velazquez’s Pope Innocent X. The work is in a constant state of flux; as blocks of colour run down the screen like water, the image shifts and morphs so that Bacon’s work slips in and out of view. The work is epic in scale (around 7m tall) and, fittingly, occupies an entire wall of a converted church in Southwark park. Below is a video of the work, although watching on a computer screen doesn’t do it justice, it has to be seen up close and in the flesh to be fully appreciated. The End Of Innocence is on display until the 27th May at Dilston Grove and is definitely worth a visit.

(Best watched full screen and in HD)

Visionaire 43 – Dreams

In issue 43, Visionaire turned dreams in to reality. Using the latest precision laser cutting techniques, ethereal images from some of the worlds foremost artists, such as Maurizio Cattelan, Lamsweerde and Matadin, Rachel Whiteread, Simon Periton, Karl Lagerfeld and Mario Sorrenti, were burnt into black paper; in effect, this whole issue was printed without ink. Each loose leaf image is protected in it’s own colourful metallic page within a hardback book which is housed in a laser cut slipcase, in itself is a work of art. Many of the images can be enjoyed in the book but some really come to life when they are held up to the light against a white background. The issue was limited to 1500 copies, a small print run for Visionaire, and as such is hard to find.

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Detail Shot

Visionaire 58 – Spirit (A Tribute to Lee Alexander McQueen)

Following the tragic death of Alexander McQueen in 2010, long time collaborators Visionaire dedicated a whole issue to his genius. Inside a satin covered case, embellished with metal brocade from the S/S10 collection, are a selection of images created by some of the most respected artists in the art and fashion world such as Lamsweerde and Matadin, Mert and Marcus, Mario Testino, Steven Klein and Nick Knight. Some of the images included are reproduced from previous issues McQueen collaborated on, such as the lenticular cover for Visionaire 27 of Kate Moss on a swing. The remaining images are printed on paper embedded with wildflower seeds so that if you were crazy enough to plant the pages and water them, the pages would blossom. The issue was limited to just 1500 copies, one of the smallest print runs Visionaire does, and sold out immediately.

(Click images to enlarge)

Jean-Paul Goude – Jungle Fever

Jean-Paul Goude recently had a career retrospective exhibition at Les Arts Decoratifs that cemented his reputation as a photographer, illustrator, graphic designer and creative director. He began his career in the 60’s working as an illustrator for Printemps department stores before quickly progressing to become the art director for Esquire magazine in 1970. From here his fame and notoriety for creating groundbreaking imagery grew; he produced some of the most iconic and memorable editorial and commercial images of the 70’s and 80’s, including his unforgettable work with Grace Jones.

In 1983, he published Jungle Fever, a pictorial autobiography of his career to date. In the book, Goude divides his work in to chapters that show a clear progression in his work; sketches, works in progress and mock-ups are shown alongside the finished images to show how the image developed from concept to reality. Accompanying each chapter is an essay that describes the ideas behind the projects and also gives brief insights in to how his personal life and beliefs informed his work. The book clearly documents Goude’s interest in New York’s nightlife and the characters associated with it at a time when disco and clubs such as Studio 54 exploded on to the scene; it also shows Goude’s obsession with the female form and his use of collage and post-production to accentuate or contort his subjects in to impossible poses. The largest section of the book is of course dedicated to his work with Grace Jones, here we see the development of their working and personal relationship and how they created images and stage shows that are still referenced (and often unashamedly appropriated) to this day.

Jungle Fever has since become a seminal book in the fashion and editorial world with many artists and perfomers referencing it as a key inspiration for their work. The book is out of print and highly collectible; I was lucky enough to meet Goude a few years ago and he inscribed my copy.

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Cerith Wyn Evans – Something Like A Picture (For Gustav) 2009 Artist Edition Print

In addition to the Marina Abramovic print I have previously posted, the Serpentine Gallery released a print by Welsh conceptual artist Cerith Wyn Evans to coincide with the Gustav Metzger exhibition at  in 2009. Wyn Evans produced the print as an homage to Metzger and hoped that the picture “attain the status of something like a key to the fabulous possibilities of the real that don’t castigate blame or promote promotion”.

The print (31.5 x 21.5 cm) was produced in an edition of 150 and is still available to purchase from the Serpentine here.

Stephen Gill – Coming Up For Air

In Coming Up For Air, British photographer Stephen Gill presents a collection of images shot whilst travelling around Japan in 2008 and 2009; this book was his first major departure from the usual setting for his projects, Hackney, London. All the images were captured in and around aquariums, the images are often close cropped or slightly blurred in an almost deliberate attempt to strip away the contextual setting of the image; the book is also purposefully devoid of information on the location and context of the images which further reinforces this notion. As with much of Gill’s work there is an element of intervention and personalisation; with this book, Gill painted by hand the covers of each copy in a variety of different colours so that no two books are the same.

Signed copies are still available from Gill’s own publishing house Nobody Books.

(click images to enlarge)

Hand Painted Cover


(Inside images taken from Nobody Books)

Matthew Barney – Drawing Restraint 7

Matthew Barney produced Drawing Restraint 7 in 1993 as a three channel video installation. In the video, three satyrs travel in a limousine through the tunnels of New York; in the front seat a hairless kid satyr chases its own tail, whilst in the back a ram and a ewe satyr wrestle each other. The concept of a drawing restraint is embodied by the fighting satyrs battling to try and use each others horns to draw an image of themselves in the condensation on the cars sunroof. The video comes to a head when the satyrs and the car upholstery are flayed, a final punishment for an act of hubris (a recurring motif in much of Barney’s work); trying to recreate their own image. The video, along with drawings and photographs associated with the project, was shown at the 1993 Venice Biennale where Barney won the Aperto prize for his work. The catalogue to accompany the project was published by HatjeCantz and has since sold out.

(click images to enlarge)


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