Collages & assemblages is a book of more than a thousand pages featuring images from the Verbeke Foundation collection.
The book Collages & assemblages was published to coincide with the fifteenth anniversary of the Verbeke Foundation. Part of the special collection owned by art collectors Geert Verbeke and Carla Lens, which now consists of more than 6,000 works, is featured across 1,008 pages. The book is designed as a long and uninterrupted stream of images. Without headings or separations, the work of one artist flows smoothly into that of the next. The aim is to bring the collages together as a whole and present the collection as a work in itself. The book is 6 centimetres thick, the maximum that can be finished in an industrial process.
Collages & assemblages is very literally (and figuratively) a solid piece, which succeeds with flying colours in the difficult task of depicting a comprehensive collection of 6,000 works. The design is a discreet presence, but it more than succeeds in making the artworks accessible to the reader. The book has an excellent rhythm of images and information. The design works in a very smart and accessible way. All the details are well considered and the typography and layout are contemporary and functional.
Six years ago, the Verbeke Foundation released its first catalogue of the collection under the same title. It was well received by visitors and quickly sold out. In 2022, the Foundation celebrated its fifteenth anniversary with a large exhibition focusing on its own collection. That was the opportunity to issue a new, comprehensive edition of the Collages & assemblages book. During a chance meeting with Geert Verbeke, I was given a tour of the warehouse. I was impressed by the amount and variety of works and wanted to make that experience come across in the book.
The assignment was very clear from the beginning and it spoke for itself: collages, in large quantities. Built with strong subjectivity and freedom, the collection itself creates the framework for the book: an eclectic microcosm of diverse collage practices. The development process was also special to me. It was impossible to learn about so many works and individual artistic practices in detail in a short time. So Marie Verboven, the author of the book, often came to my studio to give me background information, select images and build content. That way, form and content were immediately merged.
The book is the starting point for a new design for the Verbeke Foundation website. I look forward to continuing the work on the collection online as well. To be continued!