art 2003/2

Albumas Antanas Mončys. 2003, dailininkas Eugenijus Karpavičius. Lietuvos dailininkų sąjungos Dailės leidybos ir informacijos centras artseria

Tulvi Hanneli Turo (Estija). Märt Laarman. 2003, senovinio įrišimo interpretacija, inkrustacija, 30,5x28

Isabelle Poitras (Kanada). Riopelle. 2003, oda, inkrustacija, 34,5x22,1x1,8

Francoise Petitjean (Prancūzija). Rabah Belamri. 2003, akordeono struktūros įrišimas, knygos nugarėlė dekoruota dažyta bizono oda, 18x17,5

A Severe Transformation-into-an Album Syndrome

by Rolandas Rastauskas

In the present issue the subject on the book art is being developed. Through the year 2002, the “Dailė” magazine was involved in the analysis of book art fundamentals and the situation of book publishing in Lithuania. The recipients of the awards of the Competition on the Most Beautiful Book for 1992 – 2001 were introduced. In this present issue of “Dailė” magazine a discussion on the situation of art and photography albums is offered.

This eloquently sarcastic overview of the photography and art albums since the soviet period till nowadays, starts out by listing of their main publishers: “Iskusstvo”, “Sovetskij chudozhnik”, “VEB Verlag der Kunst”, and “Arkady”. Lifeless albums produced by these mostly overburdened bookshelves or were used as gifts for higher-ranking bureaucrats or needy physicians. Their main qualities were poor printing and poor design; they were so boring, that the author critically compares them to grave markers.
The revolutionary improvement in design, brough about by professional desk-top lay-out, was not accompanied by any modification in the general trend of album industry as demonstrated by such recent products as Rimtautas Gibavičius (published by the Vilnius Academy of Art Publishers, 1995), and Antanas Mončys (published by the Center of Art Publishing of Lithuanian Artists’ Association, 2003). The album, as a representative of this particular genre, remained a lamentable structure incorporating the elements of illiustrations and a book, yet never becoming a piece of art in itself.
The author regretfully comments that the tendency of publishing books to look like albums is ever increasing. Are photography albums to be considered along the same line with the albums of painting and graphic arts? He is not sure, should such “monsters” as Sauka, artist R. Dichavičius, and Devyni aukštai, artist A.Aleksandravičius, or the fancy monography as Vincentas Smakauskas by V. Drėma (2001), be rated as albums or are they something else? Yet, the tendency for any elegant book to be published as an album is ever alive, if we take a look at Nemuno šalies pasakos by P. Cvirka (illiustrations by Algirdas Steponavičius, 1988); or the catalogues by the Contemporary Art Center, as Proper (Vilnius date) (lay-out by Evaldas Stankevičius, 2000) and Lietuvos dailė 1989–1999; dešimt metų (lay-out by Evaldas Stankevičius) in particular.
This “severe transformation-into-an album syndrome” will get ever more severe with the possibilities offered by an electronic book when a single CD-Rome will hold the complete Comedy Divine by Dante, and all the commentaries to it!

On the 13th–14th of November Vilnius hosted the Fourth International Symposium on Artistic Book Binding titled “The Book”. This year the Symposium was dominated by “The Heritage” theme, with Aušra Petroškienė as project designer and Roma Survilienė as curator. 89 artists from 15 countries were participants in the Fourth International Symposium on Artistic Book Binding. The International Jury selected three specimen of the most aesthetic and professional bookbinding. The first award went to Tulvi Hanneli Turo of Estonia, the second was given to Isabelle Poitras of Canada, and Francoise Petitjean of France was the recipient of the third award. Jūratė Armonavičiūtė received the International Jury special award.