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
FRI 12-7 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.
1983, Japanese / German / English
Softcover, 164 pages, 24 x 25 cm
1st edition, Out of print title / used*,
Published by Yomiuri Shimbun / Tokyo
$115.00 - In stock -
Incredibly scarce Japanese book on the work of German artist Max Ernst, published to accompany the traveling solo exhibition (Sapporo, 15 September-23 October, 1983; Kokura, 28 October-13 November, 1983; Osaka, 18 November -6 December, 1983; Shimane, 7 January-29 January, 1984; Tokyo, 3 February-15 February, 1984; Kamakura, 25 February-25 March, 1984)
With an introduction by German art historian Werner Spies, in German and Japanese, this profusely illustrated book is quite a valuable volume on Ernst as it concentrates its pages on a huge collection of his lithography, frottage, collage, drawing, etching, and other graphic works, rather than his more well-known works in painting and sculpture, bringing to the surface many lesser-seen works of the artist. A very visual book, containing over 300 colour and black and white reproductions.
Text by Werner Spies.
In Japanese and German, with titles and introduction in English.
Max Ernst (2 April 1891 – 1 April 1976) was a German painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and poet. A prolific artist, Ernst was a primary pioneer of the Dada movement and Surrealism.
1993, Japanese / French
Softcover (w. french folds), 190 pages, 22 x 27 cm
1st Edition, Out of print title / used / very good
Published by Yomiuri Shimbun / Tokyo
$120.00 - In stock -
Supports/Surfaces developed away from Paris, in the south of France, with the first major exhibition held in 1969 at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. In June 1969, during an exhibition at the Havre Museum entitled “La peinture en question”, Vincent Bioulès, Louis Cane, Marc Devade, Daniel Dezeuze, Noël Dolla, Jean-Pierre Pincemin, Patrick Saytour, André Valensi, Bernard Pagès and Claude Viallat write in the catalog: “The subject of the painting is the painting itself and paintings on display refer only to themselves. They make no appeal to an “elsewhere” (the personality of the artist, his biography, history of art, for example). Early exhibtions took place in towns like Coaraze, Montpellier, Nimes and Nice in the mid-1960s. After the student revolts of 1968, the movement ratcheted up its activities, exploding in such exhibitions as “Supports/Surfaces,” which took place at ARC in Paris in September 1970. These shows occurred at or around the same time as those of other French artist groups like GRAV and BMPT (Daniel Buren, Olivier Mosset, Michel Parmentier and Niele Toroni). Like them, Supports/Surfaces questioned the role of painting as both an art object and a social one.
As its name suggests, Supports/Surfaces was interested in articulating what its artists felt were all too readily ignored aspects of painting: basic concepts like ‘support’ and ‘surface,’ for example, and the presence of painting as a product of individual labor. At the same time, these artists were very much interested in painting and its own peculiar history. Daniel Dezeuze points out that he was looking for a means of “revolting against the art world and the world in general without having to make anti-art.” (Raphael Rubinstein, Polychrome Profusion: Selected Art Criticism: 1990 – 2002.) In fact, those involved with Supports/Surfaces, as Rubinstein also notes, were some of the few French artists of the period to engage directly with American Painting from Abstract Expressionism to Color Field, albeit doing so within the context of their Maoist discourse.
This scarce and visually rich monograph, published in Japan by The Yomiuri Shimbun and The Japanese Association of Art Museums on the occasion of a rare major exhibition that toured Japan in 1993-1994, gives a generous overview of the many works of the artists of Supports/Surfaces from 1966-1974, through colour and black and white photographs. It also provides texts (in Japanese and French), interviews, historical photos of the group and their installations, work list, a chronology, a biography and many essays. One of the few major publications on the work of Supports/Surfaces.
1972, Japanese / French
Softcover, 180 pages, 21 x 21 cm
1st Edition, Out of print title / Used*,
Published by Yomiuri Shimbun / Tokyo
$70.00 - In stock -
Wonderful and scarcely seen Japanese catalogue on the work of Argentine artist Leonor Fini. Profusely illustrated throughout with Fini's incredible (Surrealist) paintings and drawings from 1936-1972, in colour and black and white. Includes biography and artist's introduction by Fini in French. All other texts are in Japanese.
Leonor Fini (1907–1996), an Argentine painter, designer, illustrator, and author, known for her depictions of powerful women, is considered one of the most important women artists of the twentieth century and also one of the most misunderstood.
Fini had no formal artistic training. Born in Buenos Aires, she travelled extensively from a young age, living in Milan and then moving to Paris in 1931-32 where she was considered part of a pre-war generation of Parisian artists, becoming acquainted with Carlo Carrà and Giorgio de Chirico, who inspired much of her work, and also Paul Éluard, Max Ernst, Georges Bataille, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Picasso, Salvador Dalí, and André Pieyre de Mandiargues. She had her first one person show in Paris when she was twenty-five at a gallery directed by Christian Dior. Her work caught on fast and was included in the pivotal and groundbreaking Fantastic Art, Dada and Surrealism exhibition at the MOMA in 1936 while at the same time she had her first New York exhibition at the avant-garde Julien Levy Galley. Surrealist artists in France came to know her as important in the movement. She is mentioned in most comprehensive works about surrealism, although she did not consider herself a surrealist, nor a part of any particular artistic movement. Fini preferred to stake her own claim on modernism with a vision that owes more to the farthest shores of her imagination than to any affiliation with art trends, schools or movements. The originality of her art as well as her intelligence, famous wit and charisma accorded her celebrity status in the Paris art world and beyond beginning in the late thirties. Her panache and glamour, once they found a place in the collective imagination of the time, turned her into a much-publicized fashion and feminist icon. Always controversial, with as many detractors as admirers, she lived and painted consummately on her own terms.
In Paris in 1939 she curated the inaugural exhibition of her friend Leo Castelli’s first gallery (of surrealist furniture) and shortly thereafter, just before the German occupation, she traveled with André and a new lover to Arcachon in the southwest of France to begin waiting out the war. She remained there for almost a year with Salvador and Gala Dali before moving to Monte Carlo where she met the young Italian diplomat, Stanislao Lepri who became one of the great and enduring loves of her life. As the war intensified she moved with Stanislao to Rome where she lived, worked and formed close friendships with Anna Magnani, Luchino Visconti and other leading figures of world of art and letters. After the Liberation of Paris in 1946 she returned there to live and work for the remainder of her life, exhibiting extensively around the world.
The predominant themes in Leonor Fini’s art are sexual tensions, mysteries and games. One of her favored subjects is the interplay between the dominant female and the passive male, and in many of her most powerful works the female takes the form of the sphinx to which she felt a strong identification. She was also a renowned portraitist, and among her subjects were such friends as writers André Pieyre de Mandiargues, Jean Genet, Klaus Mann (son of Thomas), such actresses as Anna Magnani and Suzanne Flon, ballerina Margot Fonteyn, film director Luchino Visconti and artists Meret Oppenheim and Leonora Carrington.
Her genius for stage and screen design is evident in her numerous ground breaking theater decors with their elaborate conception, costumes and phantasmagorical masks. She designed for the Paris Opera, George Balanchine’s ballet Palais de Crystal, and choreographer Roland Petit’s company Ballets de Paris, for Maria Callas at the La Scala theater in Milan, as well as over seventy productions at theaters in Paris between 1946 and 1969. She had a unique talent for film design and created costumes for Fellini's 8 ½ as well as for Renato Castellani's Romeo and Juliet and John Huston’s A Walk with Love and Death.
In the 1970s, she wrote three novels, Rogomelec, Moumour, Contes pour enfants velu and Oneiropompe. Her friends included Jean Cocteau, Giorgio de Chirico, and Alberto Moravia, Fabrizio Clerici and most of the other artists and writers inhabiting or visiting Paris. She illustrated many works by the great authors and poets, including Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Baudelaire and Shakespeare, as well as texts by new writers. She was very generous with her illustrations and donated many drawings to writers to help them get published. She is, perhaps, best known for her graphic illustrations for Histoire d'O.
The provocative and much-publicized life of Leonor Fini was pure theater. Her story is that of a hard-won struggle to forge her life as a woman artist in a man’s world and to invent herself on her own terms. It is the story of a woman possessing exceptional independence, a highly original vision and great personal magnetism who lived passionately through her art and friendships and in the process became a feminist role model.
$85.00 - Out of stock
Wonderful Japanese catalogue produced in 1992 to accompany the travelling Japanese exhibition "Lucio Fontana - La Penetrazione dello Spazio", curated by Toshiaki Minemura.
This generous full-colour book, designed and printed in Japan, presents the work of Italian artist Lucio Fontana across canvas, ceramic, drawing, and relief, dating throughout the 1930 up until the late 1960s, concentrating on his famous Concetto Spaziale works. Includes texts by Enrico Crispolti, Toshiaki Minemura and an artist biography and catalogue of works exhibited.
1991, Japanese / French
Softcover, 147 pages (colour and b/w ill.), 33 x 25 cm
1st Edition, Out of print title / Used*,
Published by Yomiuri Shimbun / Tokyo
$90.00 - Out of stock
Rare Japanese large-format catalogue produced on the occasion of the Man Ray retrospective exhibition at Bunkamura Museum of Art, July 5-Aug. 4, 1991, organized by Bunkamura, The Yomiuri Shimbun, and Japan Association of Art Museums; and at five other institutions until Feb. 16, 1992.Tokyo, in 1991. Includes a wonderful collection of Man Ray's photography, art objects, paintings, drawings, etc. Texts are in Japanese and French.