Exhibition featuring artists' books from the Art & Project collection

The exhibition Photography in artist's books. From the Art & Project collection opens at the RKD on 10 October. The temporary exhibition shows a selection from the extensive collection of artists' books from the Art & Project archive, which is kept at the RKD. Photography plays a major role in these artists' publications, mainly made in the 1970s and 1980s.

Art & Project

The Amsterdam gallery Art & Project was a leader in the development of contemporary art in the Netherlands and far beyond for over thirty years. Between 1968 and 2001, founders Adriaan van Ravesteijn and Geert van Beijeren presented a pioneering program of works by artists such as Ger van Elk, Richard Long, Gilbert & George, Lawrence Weiner and Sol LeWitt. Art & Project's archive is housed at the RKD and contains over 75 meters of archival material – from artists' files with correspondence and footage to small printed matter and almost nine hundred artists' publications. A diverse selection of these artists' books, in which photography plays a major role, can now be seen at the exhibition in The Hague.

1. Ger van Elk, Art & Project Bulletin 19 (1970), Art & Project collection, RKD
2. Gilbert & George, Art & Project Bulletin 47 (1971), Art & Project collection, RKD

Photography in artists' books

One of the pioneers in the use of photography in artists' books is Ed Ruscha. In the 1970s, he creates books in which car parks, swimming pools or palm trees are documented sec and objectively. Sol LeWitt documents his possessions through photographs. In 1980, he publishes a catalogue with more than a thousand black-and-white photos arranged by subject such as houseplants, cushions, cooking utensils and bathroom accessories. The photographs in the books of Richard Long and Hamish Fulton focus on landscape, and were taken during walks the artists took through natural areas in England, Mexico and Nepal. Where Fulton takes contemplative photographs, Long manipulates the landscape before photographing it.

1. From: Ed Ruscha, Nine swimming pools and a broken glass, Hollywood: Heavy Industry Publications, 1968, Art & Project collection, RKD
2. Richard Long bij de Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, postcard, 1968
3. From: Hamish Fulton, Nepal 1975, Eindhoven: Van Abbemuseum, 1977, Art & Project collection, RKD

Series and postcards

Besides a wide variety of books, other forms of artist's publications are on display at the exhibition. The series of numbered photographs published by Richards Jarden in 1970 are reminiscent of sequential film images. They show a movement, like falling, or a gradual change, like tide and traffic jam. In 1972, Eleanor Antin's best-known conceptual work is published: 100 Boots. She sends 51 postcards, each with a photo of one hundred black rubber boots, staged in a location between California and New York. Some Art & Project Bulletins are also be seen in the exhibition, which is on view from 10 October 2023 to 1 September 2024.

The exhibition at the RKD ties in with the exhibition The Love of Art Comes First. Art & Project at the Kröller-Müller Museum, which is on display from 30 September 2023 to 25 February 2024 at the Kröller-Müller Museum. Here, in addition to artworks and documentation material, over fifty other artists' books from the RKD's Art & Project collection will be shown.

Selection of three postcards from: Eleanor Antin, 100 Boots, Solana Beach: self-published, 1972, Art & Project collection, RKD