Antoon Melissen – Jan Schoonhoven

How does one provide an appropriate environment for Jan Schoonhoven’s monochromatically white reliefs in papier mâché, paper and cardboard? It looks a doddle, given the compelling nature of the work. But this book also shows us the development of his oeuvre and his role as an influential artist in the European avant-garde of the Zero movement or (in the Netherlands) the Informal Group.

Clarity is good and the consistency of the design is admirable. Despite that, the book has within it a deal of guts and rhythm. In the tradition of Swiss typography it is even a ‘superb book’, with much respect for all that white, colourless work. There is considerable variety in the placing of the images.

Only the binding gave rise to some controversy, and it took a while to die down. Indeed, one panel member thought the book was ‘bound without love’, on the grounds that the whole front cover had warped. The printing is conventional, except for the grey type. This Cool Gray was a deliberate choice to emphasize the monochrome white of the art.

Edition: 2015
Language: English / Dutch, translated by Lynne Richard, Open Book Translation, David McKay
Final editor: Els Brinkman, Barbera van Kooij
Publisher / commissioner: nai010 publishers, Rotterdam
Designer: Studio Joost Grootens, Amsterdam (Joost Grootens, Dimitri Jeannottat, Silke Koeck)
Lithographer: Marc Gijzen imaging and digital lithography, Voorburg
Printer: NPN Drukkers, Breda (text printed in Cool Gray 05)
Binder: Abbringh, Groningen
Dimensions: 220 x 300 x 20
Amount of pages: 192 p.
Number of copies: 2,750
Price: € 39.95
ISBN: 978 94 6208 249 6 (E) / 978 94 6208 248 9 (D)
Font and foundry: Neue Haas Unica (Linotype)
Binding style: sewn hardback
Material: 130gsm Schleipen Fly 07 (interior and endpapers), 120gsm Wibalin Natural 500 White, over grey board (binding)