An exhibition of more than 50 works by the French publisher Gervais Jassaud
Annie Cohen-Solal, Cultural Councillor at the French Embassy in New York, said of the exhibition: “Looking at the books of Collectif Generation, one senses an adventure of the scope of ordinary mortals. Enamored of contemporary art and literature, Gervias Jassud is building an archipelago of books in the middle of the ocean of the 90’s.
Carried by an utopian vision, that of an imaginary library, he is patiently and stubbornly constructing a publishing oeuvre worthy of his illustrious predecessors.
From each of them he drew inspiration for his endeavour.
Thus, it is squarely within the history of the French livre d’artiste that Gervais Jassaud finds his place as a publisher. It is an illustrious history, encompassing such masters as Bonnard, Picasso, Miro, Matisse and such bibliophilic treasures as Parallelemente, Le Chant des Morts, Parler seul, and Jazz.
Building on these foundations, Jassaud develops a new concept of the artist’s book, that of the activated book, which puts into play, into action, into language, the body of the book.
In addition to these questions which are addressed in the essay in this catalogue, one must also keep in mind another point, that of the vision of the publisher.
With his unerring taste, he is bearing witness to our “fin de siecle”, capturing in his books the art and literature of our epoch.
With its intense scrutiny of the nature of the book, an exceptional discernment in contemporary art, a firm stance in favor of trans-national culture, Collectif Genérétion has become, in little over two decades, the only publishing house in the field of artists’ books to keep up with its epoch, and indeed to create it.”
Support for the Center for Book Arts’ visual arts programming is provided, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.