BOOOOOKS invites a single arts publisher at a time and presents a selection of their work. For the fourth season, a collection from Belgian artist and publisher Bernard Villers is presented that includes both recent and rare works in a variety of formats produced over the past six decades.
Belgian painter and publisher born in 1939, Bernard De Villers, known as Bernard Villers, lives and works in Brussels. He claims to be a painter, but a good part of his practice, including painting, develops in various editorial forms: more than one hundred and fifty books, brochures, leaflets or magazines. His work progressed notably under the banners of several successive publishing houses: 'Le petit remorqueur', 'Les éditions du Remorqueur' (1976 - 2003), 'Le Nouveau Remorqueur' (2003-2015) and since 2016, 'Le Dernier Remorqueur'.
Minimalist in appearance, Bernard Villers’ work is of great complexity, working in a more or less invisible way in a dialogue with language, literature, philosophy; and sensitivity, seeking his inspirations in various banal, marginal or imperceptible aspects of daily experiences.
As much as his first books were more “pictorial” – sometimes books-as-objects – those published by Le Nouveau Remorqueur, more “conceptual” than the others, take into account the book as an anthropological object: folded pages as a printed medium of a text and/or plastic/typographic forms, books that are easy to circulate in the social space and accessible to all budgets. He then recognises himself more in the general idea of the book. Still, if Bernard Villers claims to be a painter, while being the publisher of his books, the "matter" of his painting extends well beyond the shapes and colours that the painter traditionally handles, involving paper (with its sensitive qualities), the fold (as a sculptural action), writing (as an object of a game), literature (as a book interlocutor), even philosophy (as inspiration); and this list is probably not exhaustive.