The Bob Calle Prize for artists’ books celebrates its 4 th edition at Ecole des Beaux Arts

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The laureates, Alberto Vieceli and Sebastian Cremers with Laurence Dumaine Calle

Laurence Dumaine Calle is a fighter. And for the 4th edition of the “Prix Bob Calle du livre d’artiste“, she again splendidly organized the ceremony in the Grand Auditorium at Ecole des Beaux Arts. Antoine de Galbert, president of the jury, could not have been more full of praise. Of the 52 books presented by ten different countries, 21 were selected and three special prizes awarded along the laureates, two Swiss artists, Alberto Vieceli and Sebastian Cremers, with “The End of Books”  published by everyedition. The book is a series of photographs of 2 000 bookends, assembled in a “subtle dramaturgy of all literary styles”. My favorite book was “Garden” by two Polish artists Marta Zgierska & Mateusz Sarello published by Blow Up Press, Warsaw. The criteria for the Prize is that the books should not be a catalog, nor a book of photographs, nor a book of literature. That the artist is alive and published it in the last three years.

Astrid de la Forest, Philippe Apeloig, Cécile Pocheau-Lesteven and Jean Michel Alberola, members of the Jury

Just at the time when Carré d’art in Nîmes, created on May 9 1993 by Jean Bousquet (alias Jean Cacharel who was present) with Bob Calle, (1920-2015)  is celebrating its 30 th anniversary and its architect Norman Foster is having the largest ever exhibition at Centre Pompidou, the grand Auditorium of Ecole des Beaux Arts was vibrating with young International artists who had designed books. Doctor Robert Calle, a brilliant oncologist who ran Institut Curie, was also a fantastic collector and close friend with artists such as Boltanski, César and Daniel Buren… This enabled the city of Nîmes to acquire many contemporary art treasures with a small budget. A recent article in the Figaro by Guillaume Mollaret compared the birth of this museum, “the only contemporary art place between Nice and Barcelona”  to the Frank Gehry Luma foundation in Arles, two years go.

Antoine de Galbert and Laurence Dumaine Calle in front of the Ingres painting in the Amphithéâtre d’Honneur

What makes this Prize for artists’ books so special is the quality of its 17 experts who come from ten European countries. The eight members of the jury spent a whole day deliberating on the laureates. And they work at Bibliothèque National, in contemporary art, at the Académie des Beaux Arts, or in  typography… Organized every two years with the sponsoring of Vera Michalski until now, Fondation Antoine de Galbert, Daniel Malingue, Lydia Salmon and Serex courtage assurances in the future, it is unique in its genre. Artists’ books are not art books, they are a work of art, original and unique and Bob Calle particularly liked them. The award is of 5 000€.

“The End of Books” on bookends won the Prize

The books were very different from each other, some containing no words, others showing art or photographs. You can go and see them all at the library of Ecole des Beaux Arts. And acquire them on the link of the Prize. The evening was a true moment of joy and friendship and the quality of each book was obvious to all as was the love that presided over this tribute to Bob Calle. Laurence Dumaine who used to publish artists’ objects in her shop AXIS, rue Guénégaud, has always been surrounded by young artists and one of her recent protégés, the painter Jules Milhau, had come up from Arles for the Prize. He is exhibiting in Cadaqes this summer.

Bob Calle loved artists and their books

Prix Bob Calle du Livre d’artiste.

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2 Comments on “The Bob Calle Prize for artists’ books celebrates its 4 th edition at Ecole des Beaux Arts”

  1. Hello Laure,
    do you know where Jules Milhau will show in Cadaqués during Summer ?
    I would be interested to see his exhibition …
    Best regards,

    Catherine Sagnier

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