The work of Karel Martens occupies an intriguing place in the present European art-and-design landscape. Martens can be placed in the tradition of Dutch modernism – in the line of figures such as Piet Zwart, H.N. Werkman, Willem Sandberg. Yet he maintains some distance from the main developments of our time: from both the practices of routinized modernism and of the facile reactions against this. His work is both personal and experimental. At the same time, it is publicly answerable. Over the now 50 years of his practice, Martens has been prolific as a designer of books. He has also made contributions in a wide range of design commissions, including stamps, coins, signs on buildings. Intimately connected with this design work has been his practice as an artist. This started with geometric and kinetic constructions, and was later developed in work with the very material of paper; more recently he has been making relief prints from found industrial artefacts. This book looks for new ways to show and discuss the work of a designer and artist, and is offered in the same spirit of experiment and dialogue that characterizes the work it presents.
|availability||out of print|
|dimensions||232 × 170 mm|
The first edition of Printed matter was published on the occasion of the award to Karel Martens of the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Art: it rapidly sold out and was reprinted. A second edition was published in 2001, with similar success. After that edition had gone out of print, copies became rare commodities. This third edition brings the survey of Martens’s work to 2010 (it thus marks fifty years of practice), and adds an interview with him. We do not intend to reprint or make further editions of the book. (For an outline history of the successive printings and editions of this work, see here.)