Rare Artist’s Books at the ICA

Visited the Room & Book ICA Art Book Fair today.
The ICA ( Institute of Contemporary Arts) on The Mall has recently reintroduced it’s £1 day membership! Making it officially one of my favourite places in London to see contemporary art…again. (Let’s face it it’s always been achingly cool and uber avant-garde…I love it).
The book fair was held upstairs in two rooms with several book dealers showing work from the last 30 yrs. Some dealers I recognised from the Antiquarian scene, such as Quaritch. They were showing the wonderful skull covered in antique paper manuscripts,  that was at Olympia. The skull is constructed of layers of  corrugated cardboard and fragments of handwritten antique manuscripts are decoupaged over the surface. An Italian Studio ‘Figura/Sfondo’ has designed these.
These have been extremely popular and they’re into their 3rd edition. I was told by Andrea the dealer that there would possibly be just one more edition, this time using antique music scores that Quaritch are currently sourcing.
The Walther Koenig stand had two books that I desperately wanted, both by Gérard Richter, ‘Sindbad’ and ‘November’. Exquisitely produced, printed on fabulous paper. ‘Sindbad’ is a lusciously printed book, with close ups of Richters thick impastos in glorious, glossy paper; glossy paper that makes you stroke it lasciviously & yet leaves no fingerprints!  Gorgeous. ‘November’ is a discrete artwork in itself, a real artists book, beautiful, moody inks spread & mutate into soulful landscapes. I’d like to ‘read’ it whilst listening to some deep, dark, jazz. Both books had an extra zero at the end, that made them out of my league but really a very affordable way to have your very own Richter.
Anagram Books is where I spent my cash, always an excellent selection of good quality affordable books, a little more pragmatic than my hearts desire but still most useful.
The main ICA exhibition downstairs is currently by Tauba Auerbach:The New Ambidextrous (until 15th June) featuring several sculptures influenced by physics & mathematical theory. She also had a stand in the book fair with some impressive short editions. In particular a lovely book with pages made of brightly coloured geometric shapes printed onto acetate, ring bound also in bright colours, echoing some of the sculptures downstairs.
All in all a very enjoyable,  inspiring day.



Filed under Miscellaneous

2 responses to “Rare Artist’s Books at the ICA

  1. Über avant-garde? Did they do a manifesto? I missed them completely 😦


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