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Tetyana Myronova: “Art album is an almost a full-scale art exhibition bound to a cover, that can be kept at home to enjoy the works of a favorite author every day”

12 May 2016

Anatoliy Kryvolap has issued his first two albums of selected works, presented on the 23rd of April in the new art space Mironova Gallery. Gallerist Tetyana Mironova, the publisher of “The Great Ukrainian History. Anatoly Kryvolap” talks about an art album as an accomplished art object.

The first one to publish a book, presenting the works of an artist, was a French gallerist and art dealer Ambroise Vollard. In 1900 he published the lithography of Pierre Bonnar accompanying the poems of Paul Verlaine. Thanks to Vollard, the world saw the books, decorated by Arp, Chagall, Picasso, Braque. The text in such books was gradually losing its importance and was reduced to a suggestion for the artist’s imagination. The books were more akin to themed art albums. Henceforth the idea of livre d’artiste (artist’s book) was born.

Anatoliy Kryvolap, The great Ukrainian history. Anatoly Kryvolap

Vollard knew that books, containing the works of artists, in in a way a mini-exhibition under cover, giving a possibility to look at the talent of the master from another point. And after all, this exhibition-album can be demonstrated to a lot of people, positively influencing the sales. This is why the books of Vollard were incredibly sublime. For each livre d’artiste special watermarked paper was created, and expensive cloth was used for the hardcover. Each book was bound by hand, and the total number of copies never exceeded 50-100. These were the true art objects, that are now kept in the museums. Today every gallerist understands that the publishing of a catalogue is essential for the successful partnership with an artist. ‘Livre d’artiste’, created by Vollard, are an etalon for all of the modern art publishers, producing collectible and gift albums and books.

The first one to publish a book, presenting the works of an artist, was a French gallerist and art dealer Ambroise Vollard

Take the beautiful books of the Taschen publishing house, for example. The house issues books on architecture, photography, lifestyle and art history, of such great quality, they look like works of art themselves. Taschen is constantly looking for the roads less taken, with publishing, for example, a huge book of extremely detailed Leonardo Da Vinci’s works. The issue of these grandiose XXL books made the publishing famous far beyond the art world. The album “Sumo” by Helmut Newton, created in a large-scale format and signed by more than 80 celebrities, pictured in the album, was sold at an auction for $300 000 and became the most expensive book of the 20th century.

I am convinced that the XXL-format, coined by the Taschen is the best way to present an art album. A book like that is almost a full-scale art exhibition bound to a cover, that can be kept at home to enjoy the works of a favorite author every day. The collectible album “The Great Ukrainian History. Anatoly Kryvolap” was created following the example of the best art books of the world, and published in an XXL format. Although we found out that Ukraine has no equipment for the creation of the books in an XXL format, and therefore our books, just like the livre d’artise of Ambroise Vollard, are bound by hand. Each album bears a unique id and artist’s signature. Every painting is positioned on the centerfold. With a total width of 90 cm, it allows enjoying the works of the best Ukrainian colorist in their full glory. Every issue of the series will present 15 to 20 paintings of a different period of his art. In this case the size does matter, because it conveys the unmistakable Kryvolap-esque Ukraine: bright, vivid, juicy, philosophic and poetic.