The Incomplete Thombu
An unexpected yet poignant artist’s book, commenting on the tragic civil war in Sri Lanka from 1983-2009. A “thombu” is a Dutch term for a public land registry. This beautifully designed project records the displacement of Tamil people in an achingly personal way: each entry is a simple floor plan, drawn from memory by a displaced Tamil-speaking citizen. A vellum overlay with an architect’s crisp drawing makes the lost home “real” in yet another way. Drawings are accompanied by the name of the person who lost their home, their profession, and a brief interview, telling the story of the upheaval and the memories they took with them. The maps vividly reveal what was lost in a conflict that lasted more than 30 years. A moving example of how art and politics can intersect.
April 2012 / Softcover / 9 x 11.75 inches
320 pp / 80 b/w and 160 color
ISBN: 978-0-9556674-5-9 · Retail Price: $65.00
Not So Too Much of Much of Everything
September 2007, Softcover, 41/4 x 7 inches
72 pp, Text only
ISBN: 978-1-870699-97-6 · Retail Price: $18.00
A year into his appointment at the Bauhaus, Paul Klee was teaching pictorial configuration as part of the basic course. Following a brief introduction, he immediately got to the heart of the matter: “I’m starting precisely there, where pictorial form begins, with the point that is set in motion.” In a poetic-metaphorical manner Klee laid out a plausible working method for drawing: the artist/ designer takes the line for a walk. This catalog based on the Klee exhibition at the Zentrum in Bern focuses on the significance of handwriting, writing and scriptive signs in artistic practice. In the modern era, script, characters and calligraphy have been areas in which artists have been able to choose between spontaneity and control, and between intuition and rule in their work, exploring the spaces in between. Klee saw letters as well as drawing as based on the line. From abstract expressionist scratchings to mystical symbology, from ancient hieroglyphics to the Art & Language movement, how has the dichotomy of line as decoration and line as communication influenced modern art? This deeply engaging catalog brings together the script works of Paul Klee; the calligraphic-based works of Henri Michaux, Mark Tobey and Brice Marden; the script-like characters of Cy Twombly; the palindromes of Olav Christopher Jenssen; and the spontaneity of Christopher Wool’s graffiti-like works and Jonathan Lasker’s pastose painting style to create an electric snapshot of one of fine art’s most compelling recurring themes. In addition to biographical essays and reproductions of the artists’ relevant works, this playful volume also includes essays by Fabienne Eggelhofer on the art of merging control and spontaneity, Regine Bonnefoit on the relationship between Klee and the poet and painter Henri Michaux, and Martin Dobbe on the possibility of abstract writing.
ZENTRUM PAUL KLEE, BERN
July 2014 / English & German / Exhibition catalog
Hardcover / 10 x 12 3/4 inches / 192 pp / 130 color
ISBN: 978-3-86442-072-6 · Retail Price: $72.00
Art critic Kay Heymer, in her excellent essay here, calls the artist TAL R the “devourer of images.” His new group of ceramic sculptures, shown in this catalog, invokes predecessors such as André Derain, Alberto Giacometti, Willem de Kooning, Jean Fautrier, Hans Josephson, Georg Baselitz and Günther Förg. TAL R has devoured this tradition as quickly as he has regurgitated it; he is fascinated and inspired by much older traditions of sculpture firmly rooted in religious and social behavior, such as votive offerings—body parts for healing purposes—which can be found in the hundreds, often stacked in piles, across the world. TAL R’s sculptures, his reformulations, are simultaneously naïve and refined, virtuosic and amateurish, reflective and genuine, artificial and authentic, vulgar and absolute, and full of pure childlike innocence. Full-page illustrations make this catalog an important document of this important new work.
September 2013 / English & German
Exhibition catalog / Hardcover
9 1/2 x 12 3/4 inches / 56 pp / 70 color
ISBN: 978-3-86442-045-0 · Retail Price: $45.00
The Elephant Behind the Clown
An exhibition catalog for Israeli-born painter TAL R shows the latest evolution in the work of this popular artist. TAL R’s signature naïf style, playful and brightly colored, seems to be moving in a less figurative, more abstract direction. The 50 color reproductions in the catalog emphasize the artist’s free yet stylized forms, which make a powerful impression and bring to mind the work of Marc Chagall (minus the religious dimension). Interestingly, the Copenhagen-based painter has renounced his previous techniques. Instead of the application of pastose oils, he applies a mixture of rabbit-skin glue and pigments directly on ungrounded canvas so that a fresco-like tone dominates the surface. Includes an interview with the artist by Florian Waldvogel.
November 2011 / English & German / Exhibition catalog
Softcover / 8 5/8 x 10 3/8 inches / 88 pp / 45 color
ISBN: 978-3-940953-79-7 · Retail Price: $69.95
VOX POPULI: Tokyo
Following Vox Populi, Norway and Vox Populi, Sydney, this Tokyo version is the third of Indonesian-born artist Fiona Tan’s remarkable explorations into the soul of a country through its family albums. The Amsterdam-based Tan presents a social portrait of a people and a nation by choosing images selected from family photo albums, creating a sense of place and identity that is unique in this case to Japan, and also – as her series of work continues in more countries – highlights what human beings have in common across borders. Drawing on the documentary tradition, in combination with contemporary concerns of participation and egalitarianism, Vox Populi, Tokyo, continues this ever-expanding map of the world. Published to coincide with an exhibition in Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany.
April 2008, Softcover, 5 x 7 inches
128 pp, 128 color reproductions
ISBN: 978-1-906012-00-7 · Retail Price: $29.95
VOX POPULI: Switzerland
Globe-spanning artist Fiona Tan presents the fourth publication in her continually surprising Vox Populi series: a “snapshot” of Switzerland selected from a random collection of family photo albums. These intimate, private pictures, when presented as a collection, reveal shared intimacies and humor, and shared Swiss traditions such as Christmas holidays and dining tables laden with elaborate cakes and pastries. These may appear, at first glance, culturally specific, but when seen in the context of the whole Vox Populi project, shared and comparable traditions clearly cross borders, nations and cultures. Drawing on the documentary tradition, this book gives an intensely private peek into the psyche of a nation.
2011 / Softcover / 5 x 7 inches / 128 pp / 128 color
ISBN: 978-1-906012-28-1 · Retail Price: $29.95
VOX POPULI: London
Indonesian-born artist Fiona Tan has been commissioned to make London the focus of the fifth and final installment of her Vox Populi series. Following her work in Norway, Sydney, Tokyo and Switzerland, Tan now uses the family photograph albums of Londoners. By lending their albums, the contributors confer onto the artist the unique access to domestic imagery ranging from the celebratory to the mundane. Intuitively themed by Tan, the work presents an intimate and collective image of London, calling into question the notion of self-representation and the consumption of those representations of one another. Also featured is a text by Brian Dillon, editor of Cabinet.
August 2012/ Softcover/ 5 x 7 inches, 128 pp/ full collor
ISBN: 978-1-906012-39-7 · Retail Price: $29.95
VOX POPULI: Sydney
February 2007, Softcover, 5 x 7 inches
128 pp, 156 color reproductions
ISBN: 978-1-870699-94-5 · Retail Price: $29.95
Eleven Boys, One Girl
After working early in his career with contemporary materials like steel and resin, Japanese sculptor Koji Tanada turned to a material that underlined his cultural identity: wood, specifically mokucho, the traditional Japanese wood-carving technique that began with artisans making Buddhist figures in the pre-modern age. He was also fascinated by late-Gothic German carving. This book features his figures of children, remarkably touching and tender pieces, exquisitely detailed down to protruding ribs and single strands of hair. He then paints the surfaces in a proprietary combination of acrylics and floor wax, creating strangely realistic and individual figures. These works balance conceptual and concrete, innocence and maturity, vulgarity and holiness.
2009 / English & Japanese / Exhibition catalog / Hardcover / 8 x 10 1/4 inches / 144 pp / 78 color
ISBN: 978-4-904257-03-6 · Retail Price: $32.00