Friday, February 4, 2011

Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers

"With the Void, Full Powers" is a wonderful little monograph on the artist Yves Klein published last year by the Hirshhorn Museum and the Walker Art Center to coincide with a traveling exhibition of the same name. Yves Klein is an artist I'd always been intrigued by, but it was until I'd seen a piece of his in person that I was really won over. Last fall's contemporary and modern art auction at Phillips de Pury & Company featured a small blue flower growing from a craggy chunk of rock (the viewing hours at these auction houses are a great opportunity for casual art enthusiasts to see some important works in person). Klein's piece made quite an impression on me; there was so much control imbued in such a small, simple thing.

I feel this monograph has the same feel of strength through control and simplicity as the flower that was auctioned at Phillips. The book is dwarfed in comparison to the other monographs on my shelf (Taschen, specifically), but "With the Void, Full Powers" manages to make those other books look more swollen than they do luxurious--"With the Void" reminds consumers that a really special and well-made art book does not need to be enormous and hundreds of dollars to be a treasure.

The book design alone is pretty amazing. There isn't really a jacket, just a title band around the middle of the book. The boards run straight through to the edge of the page trim, all of which have been coated in that iconic Yves Klein blue.

Currently reading:
Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King

Currently listening to:
Twilight Singers, "Dynamite Steps"


  1. Love your blog -- do you think you could feature upcoming releases of special editions, etc? You have great finds.

  2. Hi Wyatt--

    Thanks so much for your comment, and thanks for following the blog! Your support is much appreciated.

    As for upcoming limited editions, I've always got an eye out and will certainly post on any upcoming title I know about. Right now there's not much on the horizon that I'm aware of. I do know there's a leatherbound limited edition of the Murakami in the fall, but details are still being finalized.

    Stay tuned-- and thanks again for reading!

  3. Awesome! Looking forward to more great reads.