Steven Tonkin

May 17th – June 3rd, 2023

Steven Tonkin Catalogue

In my artistic practice I draw a creative lineage from the radical experiments with the book form which characterised early 20th Century Modernism, specifically Constructivism and Bauhaus graphic design and typography. Conceptual art in the 1960s and Australian Post-Object practice of the 1970s provide theoretical reference points, as does a critical dialogue with contemporary self-published artists’ books and zines.

In my bookworks I explore intertwined themes and tensions between the textual and pictorial, conceptual and material, functional and sculptural, by addressing both art historical and contemporary perspectives. Like my conceptual predecessors, my bookworks and the related studies are realised with a minimum of materials and an economy of means. Central to my thinking and creative approach is the ideal and ethics of the ‘democratic multiple’ artist’s book.

As a curator and writer, I have an academic interest in Conceptual art and artists’ books within the context of global conceptualism from the 1960s onwards. My curatorial background and art historical knowledge inform my current artistic practice.