Variable dimensions approx. 23 x 16 x 1 cm
Edition of 6 (each unique), signed and numbered
Please note that these works are each unique, inquire to select your chosen edition.
About the work
William Cobbing has created three editions especially for Whitechapel Gallery to accompany Life Is More Important Than Art, 14 June - 3 September 2023.
Part of the artists’ 'cover version' series, the works take as their basis Cobbing’s love of books. Selected from both titles the artist has enjoyed reading, and the covers of which he finds visually interesting, Cobbing interprets these literary works through imprinting the cover text and images into clay, loosely reference ancient middle eastern clay tablets imprinted with cuneiform characters.
The editions play with the idea of book as object, and as such the imprint digs into the clay surface, skin deep, to create a relief form. Cobbing chose vibrant glaze colours that both simplify and abstract the colour scheme of the original cover.
“For the Whitechapel edition I chose three books I've enjoyed reading, Joan Didion 'The Year of Magical Thinking', James Baldwin 'Giovanni's Room' (this was also chosen as a reference to the exhibition 'Life is More Important than Art', and Max Porter's 'Lanny'. All three covers have a leaf design on them, connecting to themes of nature and the environment, as well as connecting to themes in these books in subtly different ways.” – William Cobbing
About the artist
Starting from a sculptural sensibility William Cobbing’s (b.1974, UK) art practice encompasses a diverse range of media, including video, photography and installation. Performative encounters are devised with material, such as clay, in which the protagonists’ are engaged in a repetitive and absurd cycle of manipulating formless surfaces. The works allude to concepts of entropy, underlining the extent to which earthly material is irreversibly dispersed, giving rise to a definitive blurring of the boundaries between the body and landscape, whilst putting the possibility of conclusion on hold.
Whitechapel Gallery editions are generously donated by the artists. All proceeds from the sale of these works directly support our exhibition and education programmes. As is traditional in editions publishing, prices will rise as an edition starts to sell out.
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