Print is not dead. It sounds a big statement but it is true. In a world where digital becomes a rule, we could have imagined that printed books, magazines and newspapers would stop existing. Well, we realize that the more people go online, the more there is room for a printed document in your life. This month we met Les Editions du Griffon, a historical Publishing House in Neuchâtel. For a couple of hours, we could talk about beautiful books, arts and a lot of passion.
Les Editions du Griffon, a jewel in the art of Book publishing
During the Second world war, there was a lack of books for schools and for children. It was as we can imagine hard times. In Switzerland, in the Neuchâtel canton, Marcel Joray, decided to change the situation about books. Being a school teacher himself, he decides in 1944 to create Les Editions du Griffon. The initial mission was to publish school books in order to keep culture and education alive. With the years passing by, Marcel Joray started developing as well arts and culture in his Publishing house. He is also at the start of several cultural activities in Switzerland.
- First Swiss outdoor exhibition in Bienne about Sculpture in 1954
- First Swiss exhibition in Neuchâtel about Abstract painting in 1957
- Launch of an amazing collection called “Les Trésors de mon Pays”
- He launched one of the firsts collections of Contemporary Art books that get international recognition
- Author of several books about Contemporary Art
For his books, Marcel Joray received the International Award for Art books in Jerusalem for his work about Vasarely in 1971. He was then given the high honor of the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres title. He was as well in 1980 Honoris Doctor of Bern University. Les Editions du Griffon decade after decade specialized in the publishing of Art books and the Publishing House launched several monographies from artists of the Post-war period. To reference only some of the major editions:
For this amazing work, Les Editions du Griffon became a worldwide reference and a true Swiss heritage.
Les Editions du Griffon today and tomorrow
3 years ago, Mr Julien Gonzalez-Alonso took over Les Editions du Griffon. After being the Director of a major contemporary art auction house in Paris, Mr. Gonzalez-Alonso decided to put himself at the service of contemporary creation. And that is how he became a book publisher. He had at heart to be an actor of creation by supporting authors, artists and institutions. For Mr Gonzalez-Alonso, books are about transmission, sharing, generosity, memory and eternity.
Les Editions du Griffon has 4 main collection:
- Trésors de mon Pays: This collection celebrates Switzerland, its heritage and the memory of a lost past. It highlights landscapes, industries, men and culture. There is also special beautiful books about Swiss artists. 20 references already published from Yves Dana, Wolf Barth, Erwin Rehman, Le Corbusier, Ofön Koch… And the list will grow with future publications.
- L’Art du 20e siècle + suivants: more than 40 monographies of contemporary artists, all international references. From Victor Vasarely to Yaakov Agam, Lourdes Castro, Naum Gabo, Gunther Gerzso, Marino Di Teana, Arthur-Luiz Piza, Antoine Pevsner, Nicolas Schöffer, Jesus-Rafael Soto or Kemény. Loyal to its roots, les Editions du Griffon will continue the highlight of contemporary artists and their impressive talent.
- Bespoke Books: As a private project or a corporate one, a beautiful book is something that marks a special moment or a special project. Between 50 to 50’000 units, the Editions du Griffon will bring you their know-how and quality to all editorial projects you might have.
- Bibliothèque Scientifique: One hundred scientific, technical and philosophical books published by the Griffon and the Maison Vaudoise Fonds Rouge (redeemed by Editions du Griffon in 1959). The last available copies are still very current and desired.
New projects by Editions du Griffon, writing the future of the Publishing house.
Les Editions du Griffon is reborn and every year there will be an effort made to publish valuable and beautiful art books. On the recent projects there are 3 that are already published and one incoming major book. The following projects can be seen here on the Publishing house website:
Vasarelyptiques coffret , Victor Vasarely (1906-1997)
This anthology of the work of Vasarely brings the ultimate original copies of Vasarelyptiques albums, complemented with unpublished documents (1954-2013) gathered in exclusive boxes whose design are part of the tradition of the artist’s work .
Here is a presentation video about the coffret.
Album de Naissance, Lourdes Castro (born in 1930)
The great Portuguese artist had created this album in 1972. Here it is the artist’s book published now in limited edition of 120 copies, signed and numbered by the artist. Sketchbook containing 15 tests: Colour serigraph on Bristol, collage and photographic print. 120 copies, signed and numbered by the artist.
Monographie, Arthur Luiz Piza (born in 1928)
The first reference in terms of monography on the Brazilian artist living in Paris since 1951, covering an entire career dedicated over 60 years to the exploration of volumes. 1000 copies, 99 copies de tête and 23 copies in deluxe edition.
After these amazing publications, Les Editions du Griffon are currently working on a great new project. For the first time, you will be able to read a monograph about Isidore Isou, the creator of the Lettrism
Isidore Isou (1925-2007) by Frédéric Acquaviva
The first monograph on Isidore Isou, the creator of Lettrisme, avant-garde movement started in 1946 in Paris.
This work, which echoes the pioneering publications Griffon editions (Brancusi in 1959) will be mainly devoted to visual art Isou, while evoking its innovative designs in poetry, film or novel. 250 pages and 250 illustrations
Lettrism is a French avant-garde movement, established in Paris in the mid-1940s by Romanian immigrant Isidore Isou. In a body of work totaling hundreds of volumes, Isou and the Lettrists have applied their theories to all areas of art and culture, most notably in poetry, film, painting and political theory. In French, the movement is called Lettrisme, from the French word for letter, arising from the fact that many of their early works centred on letters and other visual or spoken symbols.
As you can see, Les Editions du Griffon is back for good and after celebrating last year its 70th anniversary, we all hope that it will be around for 70 years more. Mr Julien Gonzalez-Alonso is a very passionate person, true books lover and deserve to succeed in this endeavor. So do not hesitate to visit the company website to get more information about the incoming publications:
Info sourced at the exclusive interview for LuxuryActivist.com, wikipedia, www.hls-dhs-dss.ch, RTS, www.lespressesdureel.com, www.platinn.ch. All images are from Les Editions du Griffon and with the only purpose of illustration. All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available.