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Emma Cline is launching a new imprint of highbrow “Picture Books” for Gagosian.

Emily Temple

November 18, 2021, 12:47pm

This December, Gagosian is launching Picture Books, a new imprint imagined by Emma Cline. In this series, artists will be “given carte blanche” to respond visually to an author’s work, and both final pieces will be published together (with the art accompanying the book as a poster) in limited hardcover editions designed by Peter Mendlesund.

The first two Picture Books publications will be Ottessa Moshfegh’s “My New Novel” (2021), which will be accompanied by art by Issy Wood; and Percival Everett’s “Grand Canyon, Inc.” (2021), accompanied by art by Richard Prince.

“Picture Books creates a space for a new kind of dialogue between art and fiction,” said Emma Cline in a press release. “While writers often engage with art and artists in the form of a catalogue essay or a critical review, there was no equivalent platform for artists to respond to a work of fiction. Gagosian was the ideal partner in bringing this project to life: the gallery has a strong appreciation for the echoes and illuminations that result from conversations between different mediums and between artists. Peter Mendelsund was another natural fit: across his fiction, nonfiction, and visual work, Peter is always thinking deeply about the interplay between words and images. It’s exciting to create the opportunity for that interplay in the form of these beautiful objects.”

“As someone who has spent much of his adult life making pictures and writing books, I’m naturally invested in understanding the intersection of these two media (and interested in understanding the limits of each; what can’t words show, and what can’t art say?),” Peter Mendlesund added. “So, when Emma and I first started discussing the Picture Books series, in which we’d pair fiction and fine art, I found myself tickled in my sweet spot. Seeing the two forms side by side, responding to one another, will be revelatory in speaking to exactly these intersections and limits.”

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