Artists’ books from Iceland, 1983 [catalogue]

Artists’ books from Iceland, 1983
29,7 x 21 cm
plastic strip binder, SC, 9 pp.
ill. and listing of exhibited books
stencil print
2nd edition
published by Galerie A, Amsterdam
€ 95,- plus € 12,- Track & Trace EU registered mail


This catalogue accompanied an exhibition on tour in Amsterdam and Reykjavik, Iceland.

page 1:

page 2:

inner cover, backside:


21 x 21 cm
SC, 4 pp., hand bound; screen print on various kinds of paper, glued, linen spine
edition 200, here 1/200
signed, numbered
only 3-5 copies have been produced
published by Silver Press, Amsterdam / Reykjavík
condition: yellowed cover, with light bend in cover,
extremely rare
€ 4.000,- plus Track & Trace registered mail
inv.KG 1048-pr

In the seventies Kristján Gudmundsson lived with his family in a large appartement in the Daniel Stalpaertstraat in Amsterdam. He produced more than a few books and “Ef/If” was one of his hand made artist’s books published by Silver Press, founded and owned by himself in Reykjavík, Iceland.
The complete book is in screen print, also the printed text on tracing paper that introduces the concept of the book:
Ef staer∂ þessarar si∂u táknar ibúafjölda jar∂arinnar, þá tákna hringarnir ibúi Kina, Tanzaníu of Íslands.

If the size of this page represents the number of people in the world, then the circles represent the people of China, Tanzania and Iceland.

The works of Kristján Gudmundsson invite to contemplate on his method of working related to what his art encompasses. Usually texts on his works contain either personal memories or chronological summery. In fact, in many works he attempts time by time again to capture factual data into hand sized works, like here in this thin booklet that contains the amount of inhabitants of China, Tanzania and Iceland. In the middle of the last page a tiny bright white screen printed (sic) dot of 1 mm diameter may be detected, when exposed to strong daylight.
Right from the start the production of the book caused problems. In order to keep the costs low the text was prepared for the printer through adhesive letters, hence the dancing letters on the title page. The running direction of paper was not taken into account which caused waving binding. The very thin tracing paper of the first page stuck to the screen when printed. And the most problematic part of the book was the white circular dot of less than 1 millimeter on the last page; with a magnifying glass the print had to be checked every time, and more than quite often no dot at all could be detected; again a misprint or in fact no print. Not being well provided with enough production money Kristján Gudmundsson soon stopped the printing of the book.

A very fragile and extremely difficult book to find; in Kristján Gudmundsson’s catalogues and monographs this book is always overlooked. Therefore, by now it may be considered almost as a unique work of art. KvG

BIRGIR ANDRÈSSON, Eyktarmörk se∂ frá Haekinsdal í Kjós, n.d. [1979]

BIRGIR ANDRÈSSON, Eyktarmörk se∂ frá Haekinsdal í Kjós, n.d. [1979]
20 x 16 cm
artist’s book, SC, 8 pp. + 7 pages of tracing paper in between the photographic images
published by the artist / printed at the Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, Netherlands
splendid condition, very rare


The title of Eyktarmörk se∂ frá Haekinsdal í Kjós could at best be translated as Orientation point of dayparts seen from Haekinsdal in Kjós.
This artist’s book of Birgir Andrèsson (1955 – 2007) shows seven parts of the day with the help of reading the shadows on surrounding mountains at fixed moments of the day. In the 18th century Icelanders in the countryside used this method for reading the time within each period of 24 hours. The eighth period of twelve ‘o clock at night was never used.

The book is dedicated to Douwe Jan Bakker (1943-1997) who lived and worked in Haarlem and visited several times Iceland where he studied the Icelandic vocabulary related to different conditions and characteristics of the Icelandic landscape.