April 9, 2017
2017 marks ABC's 20th anniversary.
Quite an achievement given the number of challenges books and bookselling have faced in the 21st century : the recession, the arrival of the e-book, Amazon's expansion, and the closing of many independent bookstores.
In hindsight we see that, while the recession was indeed real, the supposed "death of the book" is reminiscent of the much-touted "death of painting". Neither really happened.
Now, independent bookstores are re-opening and e-book sales are stagnating. Even Amazon is opening bookstores. And electronic exhibition catalogues remain rare.
Book publishing and bookselling has survived by specializing. General publishers and general bookstores are being replaced by independent, thematic bookstores. These new bookstores talk of their "curated" selections: a very deliberate nod to gallery and museum publishers.
There are few specializations more specific than promoting and distributing Canadian exhibition catalogues. ABC has survived the events of the past 20 years by continuing to offer a highly selective selection of publications.
We are often solicited by publishers who are not Canadian art institutions - non-Canadian publishers, individual publishers, one-title publishers. We have refused because, to promote and sell publications that do not fit our mandate, is to dilute our offer and our identity. For anyone searching for Canadian exhibition catalogues, ABC is an unavoidable choice: all to our publishers' advantage.
Bookselling in the 21st century has been an adventure and we are deeply grateful to our gallery and museum publishers for their tenacity and ambition. It is because of our shared desire to see their publications in the world's most prestigious stores and libraries that ABC remains a major force in this very niche publishing sector.
March 1 2017
Monographs on the work of Howie Tsui published by the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and by Carleton University Art Gallery are now available at the Vancouver Art Gallery for the Canadian artist's first solo museum exhibition 'Howie Tsui: Retainers of Anarchy' (March 4 to May 28, 2017).
Howie Tsui: Friendly Fire
Jan Allen, Steven Loft and Paul Robertson
Agnes Etherington Art Centre
Howie Tsui’s Horror Fables
Carleton University Art Gallery
Vancouver Art Gallery
Innovation in Collections-Based Exhibition:
November 18 2016
The Ontario Association of Art Galleries 2016 Awards
We congratulate our publishers!
Brendan Fernandes: Lost Bodies
Agnes Etherington Art Centre / Textile Museum of Canada
Curatorial Art Writing:
Beyond Measure: Domesticating Distance
The Robert McLaughlin Gallery
Art Publication Awards:
The Illuminations Project: Shary Boyle & Emily Vey Duke
Jane Buyers: Gather Arrange Maintain
Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery
July 25 2016
International Symposium on Contemporary Art of Baie-Saint-Paul
For one month each year artists from around the world are invited to create artwork on a chosen theme in full view of the public. The program includes conferences, debates, performances and presentations. As in previous years, dozens of publications distributed by ABC Art Books Canada are available for purchase. The events runs from July 29 through to August 28, 2016.
May 30 2016
Publications distributed by ABC available in the world's most prestigious museum shops.
This month ABC has placed copies of Beauty’s Awakening: Drawings by The Pre-Raphaelites and Their Contemporaries (National Gallery of Canada) at Tate Modern. The Tate also ordered copies of Mona Hatoum (Rennie Collection) to accompany an exhibition currently on display. At the same time, ABC has placed copies of Dana Schutz (Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal) at the Whitney Museum and copies of The Unvarnished Truth: Exploring the Material History of Paintings (McMaster Museum of Art) at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Le Prix Pierre-Ayot recognizes the exceptional quality of work by artists under 35 years old. Le Prix Louis-Comtois recognizes the exceptional quality of work by mid-career artists. Sponsored by the City of Montreal and the Contemporary Art Galleries Association (AGAC). These recent monographs chart each artist's caree:.
December 9 2015
Jon Rafman awarded the Prix Pierre-Ayot and Nicolas Baier the Prix Louis-Comtois 2015.
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal
English and French
Nicolas Baier : Pareidolies
Musée régional de Rimouski
English and French
December 11 2015
Geoffrey Farmer to represent Canada at the 2017 Venice Biennale.
Geoffrey Farmer has one of the most destabilizing voices of today's young Vancouver artists. Through an aesthetics of accumulation he explores pop culture, art history and the very act of exhibiting. While awaiting the release of the accompanying publication - published by the National Gallery of Canada and available from ABC - an excellent overview of the artist's career is currently available:
'Geoffrey Farmer '
Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
English and French
Kelly Mark: Everything is Interesting
November 18 2015
Ontario Association of Art Galleries (OAAG): Publication of the Year Award.
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery
September 19 2015
Pascal Grandmaison wins 2015 Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Artist Award for outstanding achievement by a Canadian mid-career artist.
Two monographs chart Grandmaison's spectacular career:
Pascal Grandmaison: Double Take
Carleton University Art Gallery (2009)
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (2006)
M.C. Escher: Letters to Canada 1958-1972 will be available at the British gallery's shop during its upcoming exhibition 'The Amazing World of M.C. Escher' which runs from October 14 2015 to January 17 2016.
August 1 2015
National Gallery of Canada's Escher publication featured at London's Dulwich Picture Gallery
Dulwich Picture Gallery
May 5 2015The Scotiabank Photography Award acknowledges the outstanding contribution artists have made to contemporary art and photography. The winner’s work is a featured primary exhibition at the Ryerson Image Centre during Toronto’s Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.
Angela Grauerholz wins the 2015 Soctiabank Photography Award
The National Gallery of Canada has published a career monograph on the artist:
Angela Grauerholz: The Inexhaustable Image
240 pages hardcover
March 23 2015
Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts 2015
Among this year’s winners are several individuals whose publications belong on any basic reading list in Canadian contemporary art.
Louise Déry, director of Galerie de l’UQAM, is author of numerous publications notably The Painting Project: A Snapshot of Painting in Canada and monographs on David Altmejd, Shary Boyle and Michael Snow.
Robert Houle's paintings are featured in Robert Houle: Troubling Abstraction (McMaster Museum of Art/The Robert McLaughlin Gallery) and Robert Houle's Palisade (Carleton University Art Gallery).
Micah Lexier's work is featured in Micah Lexier: Working As a Drawing (Burnaby Art Gallery) and Micah Lexier 37 (Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal).
Sandra Meigs's work is featured in Sandra Meigs: Strange Loop (Carleton University Art Gallery) and Sandra Meigs (Musée régional de Rimouski).Rober Racine's drawings are featured in Rober Racine: Fantasmes fragiles (Galerie de l’UQAM).
December 1 2014
New Publisher. Dalhousie Architectural Press
ABC Art Books Canada is now the exclusive national and international distributor for Dalhousie Architectural Press. Based in the Faculty of Architecture and Planning of Dalhousie University, Halifax, Dalhousie Architectural Press has a prestigious list of publications on Canadian architecture, design research, urban design and development. Publications from Dalhousie Architectural Press are now available from library suppliers, book wholesalers, online sellers, and specialized bookshops throughout North America - as well as directly through ABC.
Dalhousie Architectural Press
November 22 2014
Nadia Myre wins the Sobey Award
The work of the 2014 winner of Canada's most prestigious art prize is featured in this only monograph dedicated to her career.
'Nadia Myre: Encounters'
Published by Carleton University Art Gallery with Éditions Art Mûr and Musée d'art contemporain des Laurentides.
96 pages, full colour, softcover 9782923243047 $45.00
November 1 2014
New Publisher. The Justina M. Barnicke Gallery
ABC Art Books Canada is pleased to announce the addition of one of the country's leading university galleries to our roster of Canadian galleries in distribution. The Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, situated in historic Hart House at the University of Toronto, has an active publishing program dedicated to modernist and contemporary Canadian art and artists. In the coming months the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery will be joining forces with its sister gallery, the University of Toronto Art Centre, to offer a combined list of new and previously released publications.
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery
Vancouver Art Book Fair 2014
ABC Art Books Canada participated once again in the Vancouver Art Book Fair held at the Vancouver Art Gallery the 4th and 5th October 2014. Free and open to the public, the event is the only international art book fair in Canada and is anticipated to attract over 1,500 visitors.
Vancouver Art Book Fair 2014
David Altmejd in Paris
ABC has placed copies of the monograph David Altmejd, published by Galerie de l'UQAM, at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris for Altmejd's solo exhibition opening October 2014. As this publication was the first-ever dedicated to Altmejd's work there is sure to be interest among Parisian visitors.
New Publisher. The Beaverbrook Art Gallery
ABC Art Books Canada is pleased to announce the addition of one of the country’s most renowned art institutions to our distributed list of Canadian art publishers. The Beaverbrook Art Gallery, New Brunswick's officially designated provincial art gallery, has an active publication program dedicated to both contemporary and historical thematics. This June 2014 the Beaverbrook is announcing three books all distributed exclusively by ABC: a major overview of contemporary painting, Off the Grid: Abstract Painting in New Brunswick, as well as career monographs on the work of Eric Atkinson and Elma Johnson McKay. More forthcoming publications, also distributed exclusively by ABC, will be announced later this year.
ABC has placed books at Tate Liverpool to coincide with their exhibition Liverpool Biennial: Dazzle Ship which opened 13 June 2014. Dazzle painting was an optical camouflage technique used by the British and Canadian navies to protect their ships during The First World War. The Robert McLaughlin Gallery's publication Razzle Dazzle is on the very subject and is now available at the Tate. The exhibition runs through 2015.