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Artists & Others: The imaginative French book in the 21st century

decoration01 June 2016|30 July 2016

From the Koopman Collection, National Library of the Netherlands: The Grolier Club is pleased to be the sole US venue for a presentation of French artists’ books from the remarkable Koopman Collection at the National Library of the Netherlands. The exhibition “Artists & Others: The Imaginative French Book in the 21st Century” focuses on work designed and produced in the past 15 years, approximately 70 visually expressive books have been organized in six themes by curators Paul van Capelleveen and Sophie Ham.

The exhibition emphasizes various aspects of modern typography and art that can be seen in books created by contemporary book artists, underscoring the extent to which the modern world is represented in their books. The collection was formed by Dr. Louis Koopman at the beginning of the 20th century as a tribute to his deceased lover, Anny Antoine. After Koopman’s death in 1968, the library built on his lifelong fascination with French literature and contemporary French artists’ books by amassing a collection that now numbers 10,000 volumes. The Koopman Collection is part of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, the National Library of the Netherlands.

Several sections of the exhibition focus on Globalism. Publishers such as Collectif Génération have invited artists to illustrate texts, reflecting new book forms and new attitudes towards graphic design through international collaboration. Three exhibition cases display French books that are conversant with Politics and Society including issues of privacy as well as waste and pollution, and women’s concerns and the body. Stylistically, the exhibition reveals how combining of genres has become commonplace: conventions taken from conceptual art appear alongside methods drawn from the world of the private press, but the traditions of the French “livre d’artiste” and of graphic design are also incorporated. On view are a protest publication in the form of a limited edition, a book of stories that mimics an accounts book, anarchistic works from a publishing collective La zone opaque that resemble private press publications, and cartoons presented as etchings. Included are works by artists, printers, authors and publishers from the United States, Germany, Italy, Australia, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Egypt, Russia, The Netherlands, Belgium, and Morocco.


01 June 2016|30 July 2016
47 East 60th Street (between Park and Madison)
New York
The Grolier Club
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