Collector of art and art books (and friend of VoCA) Bill Clarke continues his tour of his bookshelves:
4. A YOUNG MAN OF EXTRAORDINARY PERSONAL BEAUTY by Gareth Jones; 2007. Published by Four Corners Press, London.
This book is the first in a series of classic British novels being reprinted by Four Corners Press, which is inviting young artists to oversee the designs. British artist Gareth Jones was commissioned to design a text of Oscar Wilde’s The Portrait of Dorian Grey. Throughout the text, Jones places advertisements for Gitanes cigarettes from the 1970s that feature male models, transporting the story to more recent times visually. The entire publication, from its baby blue cover to the models’ heavy moustaches and earrings, is clever, kitschy and sexy.
5. THE GETTING INTO THE SPIRITS COCKTAIL BOOK by General Idea; 1980. Published by Art Metropole in an edition of 900 signed and numbered copies.
The Canadian collective General Idea (active late-60s to 1994) produced over 100 multiples and publishing was central to their practice (i.e., FILE magazine). This book accompanied an exhibition called the Colour Bar Lounge. The Cocktail Book sees G.I. serving up recipes for conceptual cocktails that wittily take jabs at collectors, artists, art dealers, taste-makers and the media.
6. SANS SOUCI by Christian Boltanski; 1992. Published by Verlag Buchhandlung Walther Konig, Koln, in an edition of 2,000 copies.
The French artist Christian Boltanski’s entire oeuvre is haunting and enigmatic and I really wish we saw more of his work over here. Much of his art deals with issues of memory, loss and the human cost of war. This book is a facsimile of a found family scrapbook from Germany dating from the early days of the Third Reich. On first glance, there appears to be nothing particularly exceptional about the images – photos of people picnicking, boating, enjoying holidays – until you realize that there’s a swastika or a picture of Hitler on almost every page.
For David Mirvish Books, please click HERE