World Food Books is a book shop in Melbourne, Australia.
Founded in 2010, World Food Books is a book service dedicated to the presentation of a rotating, hand-selection of quality international art and design journals, artists’ monographs, exhibition catalogues, artists’ editions, collected writings and printed ephemera.
Presenting new titles alongside rare and out-of-print publications spanning the fields of contemporary art, modern art, cultural theory, photography, film, poetry, fiction, fashion, architecture, interior design, typography, illustration, politics and much between, World Food Books wishes to encourage active and thoughtful reading, looking, writing, publishing, and exchanging of art and design press, both contemporary and historical.
As well as our book shop, located in Melbourne's historical Nicholas Building, all of our inventory is available internationally via our online mail-order service. We also have outposts at MUMA (Monash University Museum of Art) and Westspace, both also in Melbourne.
World Food Books semi-regularly co-ordinates "Occasions", a program of exhibits and events at the bookshop and in partnership with other hosts (such as museums and art galleries) that develop out of the activities, relationships and content of the bookshop itself.
World Food Books
The Nicholas Building
Studio 19, Level 3
37 Swanston Street
THURS 11-5 PM
FRI 11-7 PM
SAT 12-4 PM
& OPEN BY APPOINTMENT
MAIL ORDER RUNS EVERY DAY
World Food Books
PO Box 435
Theory / Essay
Architecture / Interior
Graphic Design / Typography
Fiction / Poetry
Film / Video
Sculpture / Installation
Performance / Dance / Theater
Sound / Music
Group Shows / Collections
Illustration / Graphic Art
Ceramics / Glass
Italian Radical Design / Postmodernism
"Various Works 1986 - 1999"
02 February 16 - September 10, 2016
Various works 1986 - 1999, from two houses, from the collections of John Nixon, Sue Cramer, Kerrie Poliness, Peter Haffenden and Phoebe Haffenden.
Including: Geometry of Cakes (various shelves), 1993; Poor People’s Law (black and white plate), 1993; White Absence (glasses, ruler, set square, silver spoon, silver ladel with skin photograph and wooden cubes), 1990-1996; Exploitation of the Dead (grey and red star painting, wooden painting, black spoon with red table, red plate), 1984-1990; Money and Zeros (zero tie, paintings made for friends in Australia (Sue, John, Kerrie), numbers painting), 1991-1992; Words - Slogans (various t-shirts) - “they talk about the death of art...help! someone is trying to kill me”, “my sweet little lamb”, “work is a disease - Karl Marx”; Various artist books, catalogues, monographs, videos; Poster from exhibition Insulting Anarchy; "Circular" Croatian - Australian edition; Artist book by Vlado Martek (Dostoyevsky); more.
Thanks to Mladen Stilinović and Branka Stipančić.
Curated by Nic Tammens
March 26 - April 4, 2015
B.Wurtz works from a basement studio in his home on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
This local fact is attested to by the plastic shopping bags and newsprint circulars that appear in his work. As formal objects, they don’t make loud claims about their origins but nonetheless transmit street addresses and places of business from the bottom of this long thin island. Like plenty of artists, Wurtz is affected by what is local and what is consumed. His work is underpinned by this ethic. It often speaks from a neighborhood or reads like the contents of a hamper:
“BLACK PLUMS $1.29 lb.”
“USDA Whole Pork Shoulder Picnic 99c lb.”
“RITE AID Pharmacy, with us it’s personal.”
“H. Brickman & Sons.”
“Sweet Yams 59c lb."
Most of the work in this exhibition was made while the artist was in residence at Dieu Donne, a workshop dedicated to paper craft in Midtown. Here Wurtz fabricated assemblages with paper and objects that are relatively lightweight, with the intention that they would be easily transportable to Australia. This consideration isn’t absolute in Wurtz’s work, but was prescriptive for making the current exhibition light and cheap. Packed in two boxes, these works were sent from a USPS post office on the Lower East Side and delivered to North Melbourne by Australia Post.
Wurtz appears courtesy of Metro Pictures, New York.
Thanks to Rob Halverson, Joshua Petherick, Sari de Mallory, Matt Hinkley, Helen Johnson, Fayen d'Evie, Ask Kilmartin, Lisa Radon, Ellena Savage, Yale Union, and "Elizabeth".
December 15 - January 20, 2014
The presentation of John Nixon's archive offered a rare showcase of this extensive collection of the artist's own publications, catalogues, posters, ephemera, editions and more, from the mid 1980s onwards, alongside a selection of his artworks.
Organized by John Nixon, Joshua Petherick and Matt Hinkley.
at Minerva, Sydney (curated by Joshua Petherick and Matt Hinkley)
November 15 - December 20, 2014
Lupo Borgonovo, Janet Burchill & Jennifer McCamley,
Lewis Fidock, HR Giger, Piero Gilardi, Veit Laurent Kurz,
Cinzia Ruggeri, Michael E. Smith, Lucie Stahl, Daniel Weil, Wols
“...It contained seven objects. The slender fluted bone, surely formed for flight, surely from the wing of some large bird. Three archaic circuitboards, faced with mazes of gold. A smooth white sphere of baked clay. An age-blackened fragment of lace. A fingerlength segment of what she assumed was bone from a human wrist, grayish white, inset smoothly with the silicon shaft of a small instrument that must once have ridden flush with the surface of the skin - but the thing’s face was seared and blackened.”
William Gibson, “Count Zero”, 1986
"Autumn Projects Archive"
Curated by Liza Vasiliou
March 6 - March 15, 2014
World Food Books, in conjunction with the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival 2014, presented the Autumn Projects archive, consisting of a selection of early examples in Australian fashion with a particular interest in collecting designers and labels from the period beginning in the 1980’s, who significantly influenced the discourse of Australian Fashion.
Curated by Liza Vasiliou, the exhibition provided a unique opportunity to view pieces by designers Anthea Crawford, Barbara Vandenberg, Geoff Liddell and labels CR Australia, Covers, Jag along with early experimental collage pieces by Prue Acton and Sally Browne’s ‘Fragments’ collection, suspended throughout the functioning World Food Books shop in Melbourne.
presented by CENTRE FOR STYLE
November 14, 2013
"Hey Blinky, you say chic, I say same"
H.B. Peace is a clothing collaboration between great friends Blake Barns and Hugh Egan Westland. Their pieces explore the divergences between 'character’ and ‘personality’ in garments....etc
Special Thanks to Joshua Petherick and Matt Hinkley of WFB and Gillian Mears
and a Very Special Thank you to Audrey Thomas Hayes for her shoe collaboration.
Janet Burchill & Jennifer McCamley
May 10 - June 8, 2013
The first of our occasional exhibitions in the World Food Books office/shop space in Melbourne, "Aesthetic Suicide" presented a body of new and older works together by artists Janet Burchill & Jennifer McCamley, including videos, prints, a wall work, and publications.
During shop open hours videos played every hour, on the hour.
Softcover, 304 pages, 24 × 17 cm
Published by Hyphen Press / London
$55.00 - In stock -
Anarchy was a journal of ideas published in London in the 1960s. Although its contributors were many and diverse, Anarchy was essentially the creation of one person, Colin Ward (1924–2010). With this journal, and throughout his work as a writer, editor, and activist, Ward proposed the idea that anarchist principles of mutual aid and autonomous organization outside a centralized state can be achieved here and now. This book gives attention for the first time to the covers of Anarchy, designed mostly by Rufus Segar. These little-known works provided the enticing entry to the plain text pages of the journal. The book reproduces all of the covers in a sequence that suggests, incidentally, something of the history of graphic design in Britain in those years. And it goes beyond the images, with an array of supporting texts that give a full picture of Anarchy and its context.
Daniel Poyner, Introduction
The covers of Anarchy
Raphael Samuel, ‘Utopian sociology’
Daniel Poyner, A conversation with Rufus Segar
Richard Hollis, ‘Anarchy and the 1960s’
Robin Kinross, An index to Anarchy
‘Autonomy’ doesn’t try to present Segar as some great innovator of graphic design. He wasn’t one and makes no claim to be. What the book sets out to do, and it succeeds magnificently without visual or verbal hyperbole, is to enrich and add nuance to our understanding of a 1960s graphic landscape we might think we know inside out by acquainting us with unfamiliar work that provided an important forward-thinking publication with its public face. Segar believed in the journal’s cause and 40 years later, he reports, he and his wife Sheila are still anarchists.
Rick Poynor, Creative Review, January 2013
Softcover, 304 pages, black and white, 29.7 x 21 cm
Published by Occasional Papers / London
$65.00 - In stock -
The first anthology of its kind, Graphic Design: History in the Writing (1984–2011) comprises some of the most influential published texts about graphic design history. The book documents the development of the relatively young field of graphic design history from 1983 to today, underscoring the aesthetic, theoretical, political and social tensions that have underpinned it from the beginning. Included in the anthology are texts by:
Jeremy Aynsley, Steve Baker, Andrew Blauvelt, Piers Carey, François Chastanet, Wen Huei Chou, Denise Gonzales Crisp, Brian Donnelly, Johanna Drucker, Steven Heller, Richard Hollis, Robin Kinross, Ellen Lupton, Victor Margolin, Ellen Mazur Thomson, Philip B. Meggs, Gérard Mermoz, Abbott Miller, Rick Poynor, Martha Scotford, Catherine de Smet, Teal Triggs, Massimo Vignelli, Bridget Wilkins
Edited by Catherine de Smet and Sara De Bondt
$24.00 - In stock -
This issue poses as a retroactive non-catalog for the group exhibition “White Petals Surround Your Yellow Heart” at the Institute for Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania curated by Anthony Elms. As such, its nominal theme is Fashion. Bulletins from the edges of that world are from Angie Keefer, Robin Kinross, Joke Robaard, Brian Eno, Nick Relph, Eli Diner, Chris Fite-Wassilak, Stuart Bailey, Sarah Demeuse, Adloph Loos, Kuki Shûzô, Sanya Kantarovsky, and Perri MacKenzie.
Softcover, 272 pages, 210 × 125 mm
Published by Hyphen Press / London
$53.00 - In stock -
A brisk tour through the history of Western typography, from the time (c.1700 in France and England) when it can be said to have become ‘modern’. A spotlight is directed at different cultures in different times, to trace the developments and shifts in modern typography. Attention is given to ideas, to social context, and to technics, thus stepping over the limited and tired tropes of stylistic analysis. This is a reprint of the second edition, which has some variations in the pictures as well as corrections and updatings in the text.
This history of typography starts with the early years of the Enlightenment in Europe, around 1700. It was then that typography began to be distinct from printing. Instructional manuals were published, a record of the history of printing began to be constructed, and the direction of the printing processes was taken up by a new figure: the typographer. This starting point gives the discussion a special focus, missing from existing printing and design history. Modern typography is seen as more than just a modernism of style. Rather it is the attempt to work in the spirit of rationality, for clear and open communication. This idea is argued out in the introductory chapter.
The chapters that follow trace the history of typography up to the present moment. Different cultures and countries become the focus for the discussion, as they become significant. In the nineteenth century, Britain provides the main context for modern typography. In the twentieth century, the USA and certain continental European countries are prominent. Kinross provides concise accounts of modernist typography in Central Europe between the wars and in Switzerland in the 1950s and 1960s. Traditionalist typography in the USA, Britain, Germany and the Low Countries is also discussed sympathetically. A concluding chapter considers ‘modern typography’ in the light of the social, political and technical changes of the recent period.
A separate chapter of illustrations resumes the argument. Representative examples are shown, and analysed in captions.
The book concludes with a critical discussion of the literature of typographic history, and a full bibliography.
For this second edition, the reference content of the first edition (1992) has been thoroughly revised, the concluding chapter rewritten, and the illustrated examples are presented in freshly made colour pictures.
Softcover, 392 pages, 210 × 125 mm
Published by Hyphen Press / London
$53.00 - In stock -
A book of writings from twenty-five years of engagement on the peripheries of both journalism and academic life, and drawn largely from small-circulation and now hard-to-access publications. Persistent themes include: editorial typography, the emergence of graphic design in Britain, emigré designers, Dutch typography, the work of critical modernist designers.
Over twenty-five years Robin Kinross has written for publication in magazines and journals, making a case for typography as a matter of fine detail and subtle judgement, whose p