Words, ideas and textures: The art of imagining unique books

An ARTIKA edition exclusively includes expert studies that provide insights into an artist’s personality. It also might offer unprecedented readings of classics like Blood Wedding or Don Quijote. With Book Day being celebrated this month, we highlight that the written word is an essential part of our works.


Art to admire and read 

Each ARTIKA copy is a work of art in itself. Our editions include insights from those who know the artists best and can decipher the keys to their creative vision.

We collaborate with museums and foundations to obtain studies and authorized opinions. In this way, our works are completed with texts that analyze each style and position each work in its rightful place in the history of art.

The relationship between ARTIKA editions and the written word extends beyond essays by historians, technicians and curators. Sometimes, the artists themselves show how their inspiration is born.


This is the case with works like Jaume Plensa 61 and Landscapes, where Plensa and Antonio López, respectively, open the doors of their studios and narrate in the first person their life and artistic journey.


Books with more than one reading

Another contribution of ARTIKA is to devise new ways of merging art and literature. Thus, some of our editions re-interpret the text of a literary classic through the personal interpretation of an artist.

This led to the project of transforming the story of a tragic love narrated by García Lorca into a work brimming with light and emotionBlood Wedding, the artist’s book emerged from the inspiration of Lita Cabellut.

In this edition, the scenes of the original text come to life. Lita portrays the soul of the characters through a detailed process that includes everything from staging with models directed by the artist to creating the appropriate textures for each print.

Left: Bodas de sangre (Blood Wedding) by Federico García Lorca, 1936 (Photo taken from the Universo Lorca website).

Right: Blood Wedding by Lita Cabellut, 2020.


Classics that have marked the history of ARTIKA 

Some of our now sold-out editions are true collector’s gems that also allow for the enjoyment of readings of great literary works. Let’s look at some examples.

Salvador Dalí was fascinated by the outlandish personality of Don Quixote. As one would expect, he wanted to imprint his personal mark on Miguel de Cervantes’ immortal work.

This luxury edition of Don Quijote includes life-size reproductions of the watercolors and drawings Dalí made for the work, which are preserved in the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres. The texts include interesting annotations by the renowned philologist Martín de Riquer.

Left: Del ingenioso cavallero Don Qvixote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes, 1971 (Photo: Daniel Leal / AFP / Getty Images). Paris ©Fundación Museu Picasso de Barcelona.

Right: Don Quijote by Salvador Dalí, 2003.


Pablo Picasso was 86 years old when he created one of his most impressive series: Suite 347. The quality of the result led the artist to select 66 prints from this work for an exclusive edition of “La Celestina” published in French in 1971.

The ARTIKA edition of La Celestina presented for the first time in Spanish this illustrated version of the text by Fernando de Rojas. This tragicomedy, which was very successful during the 16th century, always fascinated Picasso.

Pere Gimferrer (editor and academic writer of the Royal Spanish Academy), Antonio Prieto (Emeritus Professor of Literature) and Lourdes Cirlot (Professor of History of Art), among others, took part in the Study Book.

Left: La Célestine by Pablo Picasso, 1971. Paris ©Fundación Museu Picasso de Barcelona.

Right: La Celestina by Pablo Picasso, 2007.


The true «book of books»

If there is a work with universal character, it is undoubtedly The Bible. It has marked centuries of art history as a source of inspiration. Many of Rembrandt‘s engravings include biblical references and some have provided iconic images to scenes from the life of Christ.

Hence the challenge of creating a special edition of The Bible illustrated by the master of light and chiaroscuro. For this, ARTIKA collaborated with the Rijks Museum, the Rembrandthuis in Amsterdam, and the Teylers Museum in Haarlem.

In addition to the 65 prints that accompany the complete text of The Bible and a folder with 9 large-format plates, the work also contains a Book of Studies. This includes essays signed by the director of the Rembrandthuis, Ed de Heer, the academic and art critic Francisco Calvo Serraller, and the theologian Agustí Borrell.

The result was a historic edition, now sold out, of which only 998 copies exist.

Left: Image of the Codex Sinaiticus, a handwritten manuscript from the 4th century AD containing the oldest Christian Bible, written in Greek. British Library.

Right: La Biblia (The Bible) de Rembrandt, 2008.


Books with art: from the case to the last word

Book Day also exists to remember those who imagine, design, and craft their editions as works of art. We celebrate the most special day for all of us who love books. Because an ARTIKA can be displayed and admired, but also read.


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