The French bookmaker Paul Bonet (1889–1971) is largely unknown in the US. He has no English-language Wikipedia page, though his drawings for book covers, endpapers and binding patterns, are in the collection of the Morgan Library and other prominent US institutions. This week, Galerie Buchholz opens ‘Drawings for Bookbindings’, an exhibition compiled by the Austrian artist Florian Pumhösl, providing a rare chance for US audiences to encounter a selection of this enigmatic artist’s work. While the show has yet to open as of this writing, we can expect that it will showcase the intricacies of Bonet’s abstract drawings, which were regularly used by the legendary French publisher Gallimard in the mid-century, from his curvy mandalas and ribbony lions’s faces to dazzling, almost cosmic plant life. Or, perhaps, we’ll find a new Bonet ferreted out of the archive – as German visitors did in the gallery’s Cologne venue in 2013, with another Bonet exhibition organized by Pumhösl. In either case, taking ample inspiration from this French cosmologist, I hope Buchholz inaugurates a new generation of Bonetistas among New York’s poets, artists and bookmakers.
- Andrew Durbin