Cabinet d’amateur, an oblique novel
by Enrique Vila-Matas
Available from 17 January 2019
225 x145 mm
10 colour illustrations
ISBN 978-0-85488-273-1

Whitechapel Gallery Publishing is delighted to present new short fiction text Cabinet d’amateur, an oblique novel by internationally acclaimed author Enrique Vila-Matas (b. 1948, Spain). Accompanying a series of displays at Whitechapel Gallery presenting artworks from ”la Caixa” Collection of Contemporary Art, it is the first of four books to be published over the course of a year. Each display is selected by a different writer who also contributes a new text.

Enrique Vila-Matas’ extensive body of work has garnered widespread international praise, with his novels translated into 35 languages. Cabinet d’amateur, an oblique novel (2019) takes the form of a metafiction in which the author considers his favourite works from the ”la Caixa” Collection. Artworks including Gerhard Richter’s haunting portrait I.G (1993) and large-scale video installation Petite (2001),by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster offer the writer an opportunity to reflect on his own literary biography.

Cabinet d’amateur, an oblique novel (2019) extends the relationship between contemporary art and Vila-Matas’ writing. His novel The Illogic of Kassel (Seix Barral, 2014) was commissioned for major art exhibition dOCUMENTA (13) and Because She Never Asked (2016)is inspired by the artist Sophie Calle. His latest  novel Mac and His Problem is to be published in English in 2019.

The first institutional Spanish collection to focus on postwar contemporary art ”la Caixa” was founded in Barcelona in 1985 as the country emerged from a period of dictatorship, to foster dialogue between Spanish and international art. It now includes more than 1,000 works by international artists across the mediums of painting, sculpture, photography, installation and film.

The book includes introductions from Iwona Blazwick, former Director, Whitechapel Gallery and Elisa Durán, Deputy Director General of ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation and a conversation between Lydia Yee, Chief Curator,  Whitechapel Gallery and Nimfa Bisbe, Head of the Contemporary Art Collection  ”la Caixa”.

Notes to Editors

Available in all good bookshops.
For more information and review copies, please contact
The display “la Caixa” Collection of Contemporary Art: Selected by Enrique Vila-Matas is at Whitechapel Gallery from 17 January 2019 – 28 April 2019
It is curated by Lydia Yee, Chief Curator, Whitechapel Gallery and Nimfa Bisbe, Head of the Contemporary Art Collection  ”la Caixa”, with Candy Stobbs, Assistant Curator and Ines Costa, Exhibitions Assistant Whitechapel Gallery.
The first in a series of bilingual publications accompanying each display, an illustrated book  will include a specially commissioned new piece of writing by Enrique Vila-Matas and an interview between Lydia Yee and Nimfa Bisbe

About Enrique Vila-Matas
Enrique Vila-Matas (Barcelona, 1948) is one of the most prestigious writers of contemporary Spanish fiction. With an extensive body of work, his novels have been translated into 35 languages, garnering widespread international praise. Notable works include: Historia abreviada de la literatura portátil (Anagrama, 1985), El viajero más lento (Anagrama, 1992 – Seix Barral, 2011), Bartleby & Co. (Anagrama, 2000), Montano (Anagrama, 2002), Never Any End to Paris (Seix Barral, 2013), Doctor Pasavento (Anagrama, 2005), Dublinesque (Seix Barral, 2010) and Fuera de aquí (Galaxia Gutenberg, 2013), a conversation about his works with his French translator and friend André Gabastou. After the publication of The Illogic of Kassel (Seix Barral, 2014) and Marienbad Éléctrique (Bourgois, 2015), a short essay on the nature of art and creation for Dominique Gonzalez Foerster’s retrospective in Paris in 2015 and Because She Never Asked (2016), his latest published novel is Mac and His Problem to be published in English in 2019.

He is the recipient of many prestigious honors and awards, including: Rómulo Gallegos Award 2001, Prix Fernando Aguirre-Libralire 2002, Herralde Novel Award 2002, National Critic Award 2002, Prix Médicis 2003, Ennio Flaiano Award 2006, Fundación Lara award 2006, Spanish Real Academia Award 2006, Elsa Morante Literary Prize 2007, Mondello Award 2009, Prix Carrière 2010, Leteo Award 2010, the Bottari Lattès Grinzane 2011, Gregor von Rezzori Award 2012, Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de France 2013, the Formentor Prize 2014, the prestigious FIL Award 2015, the Catalan Culture National Award 2016 and the Feronia Città di Fiano Award 2017. He was named Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor, is a member of the tumultuous Order of Finnegan’s.

About ”la Caixa”  –
”la Caixa” Collection of Contemporary Art was founded in 1985 and now includes more than one thousand works. The origins of the Collection lie in ”la Caixa”’s commitment to enabling people to enjoy art and culture. ”la Caixa” was founded in 1904 and became ”la Caixa” Foundation in 2014 following the reorganisation of the savings bank Caja de Ahorros y Pensiones de Barcelona.

The new Foundation inherited the social mission that ”la Caixa” has pursued since its inception to improve the wellbeing of people, particularly those most in need, and work towards the advancement of society as a whole. ”la Caixa” began organising exhibitions in the early-1980s, presenting contemporary  work and establishing a direct connection with twentieth-century art, before going on to form its own collection. The core of the new Collection was devoted to art from the 1980s, though works by outstanding artists from the 60s and 70s were also included. The questions underpinning the Collection consider: What is the role of art in society? How can we break down the barriers that separate people from art?

From the first, the Collection focused on international contemporary art. Bruce Nauman, Cristina Iglesias, Doris Salcedo, Gerhard Richter, Joseph Beuys, Donald Judd, Mona Hatoum, Dora García, Juan Muñoz, Antoni Tàpies, Cornelia Parker, Juan Uslé, Sigmar Polke, Cindy Sherman and Paul McCarthy are just some of the highly renowned artists represented.

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