Altea Grau Vidal

Altea Grau has quite an impressive cv with a BA in Fine Arts at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, where she also completed a Bachelor Degree in Music. Furthermore she has a MA in Book Arts at Camberwell College Arts and a PhD from Chelsea College of Arts. She lives and works as a technician at UCA in London, before which she worked at Thumbprint Editions assisting artists such as Antony Gormley, Cornelia Parker, Anish Kapoor or Gillian Ayres amongst others to develop their print projects.

In her own practice Grau explores the materiality of the notion of double page spread and how it is perceived in relation to concepts such as duality, echo, reflection, mirroring or the idea of folding page.

As a graphic designer I work a lot with the double spread and for me Grau’s research about artists like William Morris and Dieter Roth is very interesting because it adds a historical and artistic perspective to the work I have done for more 20 years.


  • OneDrive (2021) Artist Talk: Altea Grau Vidal. [Online]. Available at: Documents/General/Recordings/Meeting in _General_-20210423_100159-Meeting Recording.mp4?web=1 (Accessed 29 May 2021)
  • Drawing room (2020) Altea Grau investigates the book and the page. [online] Available at: (Accessed 30 May 2021).
  • Altea Grau Artist (2021) Altea Grau Artist. [online]. Available at: (Accessed 30 May 2021).
  • Altea Grau Vidal (2013) Altea Grau Vidal. [online]. Available at: (Accessed 30 May 2021).
  • UCA (2021) Altea Grau Vidal. [online]. Available at: (Accessed 30 May 2021).


Clara Bryan originally studied Graphic Design at Salisbury College of Art (1983-87) and worked in the industry for several years before returning to study Printmaking and Bookbinding at Croydon College of Art (1994-96) followed by an MA in Bookarts at Camberwell College of Art (1997-98).

She is a member of ‘FOLD’ a group of four artists who formed in 2002 working with a combined interest in print and bookarts and I am particularly fascinated by Bryan’s hand cut artist books with so many hand cut details.


  • Clare Bryan (2021) Clare Bryan. [Online]. Available at: (Accessed 31 May 2021)


Anish Kapoor was born in Bombay in 1954 and has lived and worked in London since the early 1970s. He studied at Hornsey College of Art (1973–7) and Chelsea School of Art (1977–8). Kapoor’s work explores polarities such as light and dark, substance and emptiness, place and placelessness, through materials including water, stainless steel and alabaster.

I am particularly interested in Kapoors prints, especially his Fold series, where he explores not just shadow and light, but also the folded page.


  • Anish Kapoor (2021) Anish Kapoor. [Online]. Available at: (Accessed 29 May 2021)
  • Tate (2021) Anish Kapoor. [Online]. Available at: (Accessed 29 May 2021)
  • Lisson Gallery (2021) Anish Kapoor. [Online]. Available at: (Accessed 29 May 2021)
  • Paragon Press (2021) Anish kapoor. [Online]. Available at: (Accessed 29 May 2021)
  • It’s Nice That (2012) Brighten the Corners live up to their name with this colour-saturated annual report. [Online]. Available at: (Accessed 30 May 2021)
  • Motto (2021) Anish Kapoor (leporello). [Online]. Available at: (Accessed 29 May 2021)
  • Anish Kapoor (1998) Wounds and Absent Objects. [Online]. Available at: Wounds and Absent Objects (Accessed 31 May 2021)


Anselm Kiefer was born in 1945 and is a German painter and sculptor. His works incorporate materials such as straw, ash, clay, lead and shellac. Spirituality and history are important themes in Kiefer’s works, which frequently address and seek to process taboo and often dark, controversial issues from recent history, such as the horrors of the Holocaust.

I especially research Kiefers huge artist books such as his The Secret Life of Plants shown below. In addition, I enjoy how Kiefers work has an element of impermanence as he wants his works to continually evolve and be fluid.


  • Tate (2021) Anselm Kiefer. [Online]. Available at: (Accessed 29 May 2021)
  • Ivory Press (2008) Anselm Kiefer The Secret Life of Plants. [Online]. Available at: (Accessed 29 May 2021)
  • Royal Academy (2014) Anselm Kiefer: a beginner’s guide. [Online]. Available at: (Accessed 29 May 2021)
  • Louisiana Channel (2015) Anselm Kiefer Art is Spiritual. [Online]. Available at: (Accessed 29 May 2021)
  • YouTube (2019) Anselm Kiefer: “My paintings change”. [Online]. Available at: https:/ (Accessed May 30 2021)


Olafur Eliasson was born in 1967 and grew up in Iceland and Denmark and studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine arts from 1989-1995. In 1995 he moved to Berlin where he founded Studio Olafur Eliasson. He is best known for sculptures and large-scale installation art employing elemental materials such as light, water, and air temperature to enhance the viewer’s experience.

However, when I was searching for art using laser cutting but the result were few, or rather non-existing, except for Eliasson’s artist book Your House. As readers leaf through the pages, they have the illusion of slowly making their way through the rooms of Eliasson’s house in Copenhagen from front to back.


  • Tate (2021) Olafur Eliasson. [Online]. Available at: (Accessed May 30 2021)
  • Tate (2021) How Eliasson is changing our perceptions. [Online]. Available at: (Accessed May 30 2021)
  • Olafur Eliasson (2016) Your House. [Online]. Available at: (Accessed May 29 2021)
  • Louisiana Channel (2014) Olafur Eliasson, The Shape of an Idea.  [Online]. Available at: (Accessed May 30 2021)
  • Ivory Press (2013) Olafur Eliasson. A View Becomes a Window. [Online]. Available at: (Accessed May 30 2021)


In 2006 London's Whitechapel Gallery and MIT Press formed an editorial alliance to produce a new series of books called Documents of Contemporary Art. Each volume in the series is a definitive anthology on a particular theme, practice, or concern that is of central significance to contemporary visual culture.

The Sublime examines how contemporary artists and theorists explore ideas of the sublime within five different ways the word is broadly used; the unpresentable, transcendence, terror, the uncanny, and altered states. In addition, nature and  technology are two main contexts for such a discussion.

I am particularly interested in artist like Tacita Dean, Olafur Eliasson, Anish Kapoor, Anselm Kiefer, Yves Klein, Hiroshi Sugimoto, James Turrell, and Bill Viola who all explore the sublime in relation to transcendence or nature. Some of these will be discussed further in the critical thinking section.


  • Morley, S. (2010) The Sublime. London: Whitechapel Gallery
  • mitpress (2021) The [Online]. Available at: (Accessed 25 April 2021)
  • Tate (2010) Staring into the contemporary abyss, The contemporary sublime. [Online]. Available at: (Accessed 31 May 2021)
  • Academia (2021) The Sublime Unknown. [Online]. Available at: (Accessed 3 May 2021)

A Philosophy of Emptiness

Gay Watson has a PhD in Religious Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. She trained as a psychotherapist with the Karuna Institute in Core Process, a Buddhist inspired psychotherapy.

In her book Watson describes the philosophy of emptiness in a historical context from Buddhism, Taoism and religious mysticism to the contemporary world of philosophy, science and art practice.

I am particularly interested in her theories about emptiness in the visual arts, where she describes how the progressive loss of the object and breaking down of the perspective, question the value of the artis’s unique subjectivity and place meaning in the experience produced by the viewer’s encounter with the work.

I find it interesting that Olafur Eliasson, Anish Kapoor, Anselm Kiefer, Hiroshi Sugimoto, James Turrell and Bill Viola are all mentioned in this book as well as The Sublime, so there is something I have to look into.


  • Provider: ProQuest Ebook Central. Watson, G (2014), A Philosophy of Emptiness, Reaktion Books, Limited, London. Available from: ProQuest Ebook Central. (Acessed 4 April 2021)
  • Reaktion Books (2021) A Philosophy of Emptiness. (2021) [Online]. Available at: (Accessed 25 April 2021)
  • YouTube (2015) Gay Watson on a Philosophy of Emptiness. [Online]. Available at: (Accessed25 April 2021)


Materiality is another book in the Documents of Contemporary Art series by Whitechapel Gallery and MIT Press (like The Sublime).

It focuses on the moments when materials become willful actors and agents within artistic processes and investigates the role of materiality in art. Hence, the meaning of the term materiality is not bound to objects, artefacts or commodities alone but connected to far-reaching philosophical concepts and models.

The book examines terms such as dematerialization and immateriality in the digital world and the hybrid context of inter- and transmateriality. What Materiality ultimately proposes is that we learn to see material, that we listen to matter and that we let the substances that art is made of communicate their own agency.


  • Lange-Berndt, P. (2015) Materiality. London : Whitechapel Gallery



  • Koepnick, L. (2001) On Slowness, New York: Columbia University Press
  • Davidson, P. (2016) The Last of the Light, London: Reaction Books Ltd
  • Beckley, B. (2001) Sticky Sublime,  New York: Allworth Press
  • Sontag, S. (1979) On Photography. London: Penguin; New Ed edition


  • Tacita Dean
  • Yves Klein
  • Hiroshi Sugimoto
  • James Turrell
  • Bill Viola
  • Dieter Roth