Paris: Musee National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, 1977. First edition. Wraps. Square 4to, 104 pp., illus. No. 146 of 600. Signed by Gervais Jassaud, (Gerard) Duchene, and two others. Wrappers worn, foxed, tape-repaired at head of spine, and separated from text block; first two leaves loose and laid in; foxing to page edges and margins.
For more than 40 years Gervais Jassaud has been publishing artists books, about 150 titles to date, under the banner of Collectif Génération. Moved by a utopian vision, that of an imaginary library, he has patiently and stubbornly constructed a publishing enterprise worthy of his illustrious predecessors, from whom he drew inspiration for his own endeavours.
• It was from Kahnweiler, whose eye for contemporary artists and writers became legendary, that Jassaud drew his passion for art and literature without frontiers.
• In Tériade, whose taste in literature was nothing if not old-fashioned, Jassaud emulated the exceptional visual generosity that this master was able to extract from Matisse, Picasso and Chagall.
• Finally, with Iliazd, Jassaud drew inspiration concerning the architecture of the book. Instead of building good-looking books, Jassaud pushed the idea of book as object even farther until the book became something more than a simple structure for words and illustration.
• Thus, it is squarely within the history of the French livre d'artiste that Gervais Jassaud developed a new concept of the artists book, what he calls the activated book, which puts the body of the book into play, into action, into language.
• Collaborations between relevant contemporary writers and artists brought together in the artists books of Collectif Generation, are proof of a firm stance favouring trans-national culture.
• In so doing Gervais Jassaud has both created and found his rightful place as a publisher who is trying to keep up with its epoch and, at the same time, create it. Fair. Item #5298