Amsterdam, Netherlands: Boekie Woekie, 1999.. 1999.. Very good. - Quarto [11-1/2 inches high by 8-1/4 inches wide], softcover bound in pictorial wrappers printed in French fold. There is some light creasing to the top & bottom edges of the wraps with some minor chipping to the bottom edge of the rear wrap. Unpaginated. Title, 2 pages of text, numerous pages of color illustrations printed in French fold & pictorial index plus colophon. Near fine.
A catalog printed, bound and published by Boekie Woekie, Books by Artists, Amsterdam, on the occasion of an exhibition at Bound and Unbound, New York City during the summer of 1999, in an edition of 38 numbered copies. This is copy number 12. The book is signed on the colophon by Jan Voss, Runa Thorkelsdottir and Henriette van Egten.
Boekie Wookie, a shop devoted to artist's books, was founded in a tiny space in Amsterdam in 1986. The original founders were six artists seeking to improve the sales and distribution of their own books. During the first five years they were repeatedly approached by other artists who asked them to stock their books, and in 1991, by which time one of the founding artists had died and two had left to start families, Jan Voss, Runa Thorkelsdottir and Henriette van Egten reestablished the shop in a larger space. Their highly precarious business expanded from a hundred of their own books to seven or eight thousand artist's books, which they accepted and sold on consignment. Boekie Woekie has expanded its activities, exhibiting books at book fairs and occasionally opening temporary branches of their shop in other countries. As artists who have managed to meet the many daunting challenges of running a business, they have created a welcoming space for those trying to survive in the often harsh world of art-as-business: "Boekie Woekie is about art, life and friendship; they are one and the same."
"Some Pages of a Very Big Book" originated in the piles of coasters which were kept in the shop to prevent books being stained by coffee cups or bottles of beer. Noticing that some of the stained coasters had acquired a decorative look, artists began beautifying them with images of their own. Dozens of these striking, brightly colored coasters are here reproduced in their actual size, with a brief text by Jan Voss.