Designed by (Studio) Jonathan Hares
230 x 150 mm, paperback
288 pages, 140 colour illustrations
Published by White Cube, October 2022
White Cube Companion is an annual anthology of art and writings, platforming the practices of artists White Cube has worked with. Visual essays, in-conversations, recorded lectures, poetry and short stories are just some of the forms of creative expression and discourse brought together in a single volume.
The anthology begins with an epistolary piece exploring queer romance, guilt and shame, by artist Nakhane, commissioned on the occasion of Michael Armitage’s exhibition ‘Amongst the Living’ (2022). Elsewhere in the publication, Estelle Hoy responds to White Cube Paris’ group exhibition ‘Sweet Lust’ through a short story that teems with the ambivalences of lust and desire. And poetry by Etel Adnan, Brendan Shaughnessy and Amy Key provide reflexive moments of pause through intense descriptive clarity and potent symbols of longing.
A one-sided game of pursuit underlies Sophie Calle’s Suite Vénitienne (1980–96), an outstanding performative work of art that writer Chris Kraus and photographer Juliana Halpert consider and discuss. Equally enigmatic and elusive is the legendary David Hammons, whose works appear alongside an excerpt from an illuminating essay by Booker Prize winner Ben Okri, which attends to the artist’s ‘radical absence’.
Virginia Overton and Cecilia Alemani discuss the embeddedness of material histories within the artist’s practice, a notion that in part also characterises the work of Haim Steinbach, which Jenny Jaskey reads through the philosophical framework of object-oriented ontology. Briony Fer’s text on Gabriel Orozco’s new series ‘Diario de Plantas’ (2022), which feature delicate leaf-prints and hand-drawn geometric forms, addresses non-human or vegetal being, and the infinite creativity of nature. Also appealing to a fascination with the botanical is Danh Vo’s ‘Untitled’ (2022) series, portraits of flowers that line a route around the Fondazione Querini Stampalia in the artist’s new project co-curated with Chiara Bertola.
Visual essays by Christian Marclay, Gilbert & George and Jonas Marguet, who has photographed Isamu Noguchi’s galvanised steel works, punctuate the longer passages of text and serve to prioritise the act of looking.
These archival materials, special commissions and new writing are a few of the highlights of this year’s anthology. Granting direct access to artists and their work, Companion is an essential record of the contemporary art and writing of the past year.
Contributors: Etel Adnan, Cecilia Alemani, Michael Armitage, Chiara Bertola, Sophie Calle, Briony Fer, Gilbert & George, Louise Giovanelli, Juliana Halpert, David Hammons, Estelle Hoy, Jenny Jaskey, Klara Kemp-Welch, Amy Key, Chris Kraus, Danica Lundy, Christian Marclay, Jonas Marguet, Nakhane, Isamu Noguchi, Ben Okri, Gabriel Orozco, Virginia Overton, Jessica Rankin, Ilana Savdie, Park Seo-Bo, Brenda Shaughnessy, Jennifer Sliwka, Haim Steinbach, Alina Szapocznikow, Danh Vo and Jeff Wall.
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