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“Form is the condition through which a common life becomes possible: through which a relationship between people comes about. Design determines the quality of our common life.” Hardly anyone experiments more passionately and playfully with the relation of forms as Karel Martens himself has – for over half a century to date. For the Dutch graphic Designer Martens, working with grids, geometrical shapes and colours was at no time a mere accessory, a final appealing touch under the spell of advertising. Studying fine arts in Arnhem, at a time, when graphic design was not even considered as a career path worth following, Karel was fully drawn into the material (paper) world. ‘Karel Martens Re-Printed Matter’ pays tribute to Martens’ mathematical, kinetic approach when it comes to setting the grid, arranging the types, designing books and posters, or the Dutch architectural magazine OASE. Buy

Karel Martens occupies an intriguing place in the current European landscape of art and design. His work is both personal and experimental, but also publicly answerable. [expand title="more"]Martens, a prolific book designer, has also contributed to a wide range of design commissions, including stamps, coins, and signs. His artistic practice is intimately connected with this design work, from geometric and kinetic constructions, to works on paper and monoprints. Covering almost 60 years of practice and now in its fourth edition, this book offers new ways to look at and discuss the output of this designer and artist, and is offered in the same spirit of experiment and dialogue that characterises the work it presents.[/expand] read Review

Published as part of ‘Motion’, an exhibition by Dutch artist and graphic designer Karel Martens at Kunstverein München, this book is the seventh instalment of the ‘Companion’ series produced by the Kunstverein and Roma Publications. [expand title="more"]With concept and design by Julie Peeters, the greater part of the book’s content is derived from the video ‘Not for Resale’, a sequence of photographs of the array of images and objects found on the artist’s studio wall, taken in 2000. Material from two other videos, ‘Lost & Found’ (2004) and ‘Tol’ (2008), is also included, along with a transcription of a conversation between Martens and Chris Fitzpatrick, director of the Kunstverein.[/expand]