Lubok Verlag developed as publishing project following the encounter of artist Christoph Ruckhäberle with graphic designer and printer Thomas Siemon. Out of the shared fascination with artist books and the enthusiasm about graphic art arose the idea to publish graphic books with original linocuts by contemporary artists in high editions.
Lubok books are part of numerous libraries and graphic collections, including the National Library of Germany, the New York Public Library, the Bibliothèque Kandinsky of Musée National d'Art Moderne/ Centre Pompidou, the Centre d'Illustration Tomi Ungerer Strasbourg, the library of Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg as well as the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, the Städtisches Kunstmuseum Spendhaus Reutlingen, the Stiftung Museum Kunst Palast Düsseldorf, and many others.
The Lubok Series - Original linocut books by artists
Since 2007 Lubok Verlag publishes a series of original linocut books - the Lubok Series. For each volume publisher and artist Christoph Ruckhäberle invites about 10 contemporary artists to realize their own artistic signature in linocut.
One determinant thereby is the equality of the artistic positions, the compilation of young and established artists without any marking of the students and their so called masters. The artists happily accept the challenge and often use the Lubok Series as an experimental field. The results are correspondingly manifold.
Linocut and print making tradition
The books are printed directly from the original plate at the print and graphic workshop edition carpe plumbum of Thomas Siemon on a Präsident cylinder press of 1958. Within the genre artist book the editions of 300 to 1500 copies are high and allow to make the books at a reasonable price available to a wider audience.
Lubok books thereby continue a russian tradition of the same named popular broad sheets: inexpensive originally printed graphics that were sold on funfairs well into the 19th century. Like then art and especially graphic art and prints should according to its technical possibilities become available to broad sections of the population. It should become democratized without losing the pleasure of an original, its colours, its haptics and its smell.
Lubok Spezial, Others and lubok solo
Besides the compilations within the Lubok Series numerous linocut monographs have been published. While the Series impresses through a common format and the strong black and white contrasts within the books Lubok Spezial feature various original printing techniques, formats and colours.
The enlargement of the publishing program with Others, meaning offset or cliché printed publications allows not only access to the medium artist's book in the fields of photography, drawing, collage and conceptual art but also enables to present artists beyond their graphic work.
Since 2011 the slim linocut booklets lubok solo complement the collective volumes of the Series. Each booklet contains 16 black and white linocuts by one artist. The edition is limited to 300 copies.
Lubok on Tour
Lubok Verlag takes part in international Book and Art Fairs like the New York Art Book Fair, the Salon Light Paris and the London Art Book Fair. In 2010 Lubok Verlag was invited to the Art Basel, section Off Press, and to the Independent New York.
With Lubok book and graphic art exhibitions in museums and galleries like 2009 at the Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig, 2010 at the Lyonel-Feininger-Galerie in Quedlinburg and 2011 at the Kunstmuseum Spendhaus in Reutlingen the publishing, the books and the participating artists receive important institutional attention and reach a broad public.
The exhibition hightlight so far is the group exhibition „LUBOK.Grafica contemporanea y libros de artistas de Leipzig" with about 190 graphic works by 27 artists involved with Lubok and with the linocut books published by Lubok Verlag that was shown first in 2012 at Museo Nacional de la Estampa in Mexico City. After that the show toured through Mexican museums for almost two years.