Dublin Art Book Fair 2020:
Design as an Attitude
Guest Curator Alice Rawsthorn

  • 23 November — 06 December 2020

Exhibition Events

Further Information

Dublin Art Book Fair 2020: Design as an Attitude (DABF20) takes place online at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios (TBG+S). Guest curated by world leading design critic and author Alice Rawsthorn (UK), Ireland’s only art book fair celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2020, sponsored by Henry J Lyons.

Design as an Attitude explores how design is opening up to become an increasingly elastic and extensive field that addresses the major challenges of our time, such as the climate emergency and refugee crisis, the rise of inequality and intolerance, ensuring that accelerating advances in technology will affect us positively, not negatively, and how to rebuild our lives after the devastating Covid-19 crisis.

Gathering together a unique selection of books alongside a curated programme of events, DABF is celebrated for how it embraces art practice publishing, artist-run culture, and participatory events with specialist themes at the intersection of art and contemporary culture. Taking place online in 2020 over a two-week period, DABF extends its reach to loyal and new audiences, Irish and international.

Headlining the curated programme is Alice Rawsthorn’s talk, Design as an Attitude. Her guest, Hans Ulrich Obrist, artistic director of Serpentine Gallery, London, curator and historian of art, will discuss Édouard Glissant – one of the most influential postcolonial theorists, writers and poets. Artist Sarah Pierce talks across continents to Tammy Rae Carland and Kathy Slade, on self-publishing, dissemination and reflecting on aspects of design in protest. Other highlights include filmed events with artists Aleana Egan and Richard Proffitt, Aisling McCoy and designer Mary Leonard, the National Irish Visual Arts Library, and a workshop by Eimear Walshe plus featured online book launches.

DABF20 champions creative, small and independent publishers, Irish and international, with books on art, design, visual culture, philosophy, architecture, select fiction and poetry. As a centre for the contemporary artist book, DABF20 features over 50 different limited edition artist books made especially for the Fair by participating contemporary artists and designers, who experiment in a myriad of ways with the medium of the book and its potential for artistic expression. Here you will find a thrilling range of responses to the book form as a space for artistic experimentation. Inga Meldere’s books are filled with original gouache paintings; Julie Merriman’s printed editions are made with a gestetner dublicator from circa 1890; Helen Hughes' uses a neon-like text, in a vibrant fold out; equally, Isadora Epstein’s book comes to life in a foldout presentation in the manner of a theatrical performance; Eve O'Callaghan's limited edition, a miniature portfolio, each containing unique, exquisite drawings; Martin Healy’s Kites is a series of photographs of skies and trees; Nathan O Donnell’s book is a history essay telling the story of the Clondalkin Paper Mills strikes, and created with the Clondalkin community. Each book is an artwork in its own right, creating an accessible way to collect art. A beautifully curated selection of nominated titles suggested by Alice Rawsthorn, and her invited nominees - including international artists, curators, a bookshop owner, a museum director, a choreographer, a philanthropist and others, alongside studio artists and the TBG+S team - shape the exceptional range of books at DABF20.

Alice Rawsthorn is an award-winning design critic and author, whose books include Hello World: Where Design Meets Life and, most recently, Design as an Attitude. Her weekly design column for The New York Times was syndicated worldwide for over a decade. Born in Manchester and based in London, Alice is chair of the boards of trustees at The Hepworth Wakefield art gallery in Yorkshire and Chisenhale Gallery in London, and a founding member of the Writers for Liberty campaign for human rights. Alice has been awarded an OBE for services to design and the arts. She is a co-founder with Paola Antonelli of the Design Emergency project to investigate design’s response to the Covid-19 crisis and its aftermath.