Career of printmaker and publisher Ron King celebrated in display of books in Chichester

By Ruth Hazard | 07 June 2012
Bluebeard's Castle, Ron King's first pop-up book in collaboration with Roy Fishe (1972)
Exhibition: Ron King: On and off the Page, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, until June 18 2012

A last chance to see Pallant House Gallery’s tribute to Ron King, the prolific printmaker and book artist, before it closes on 18 June.

King is the founder of Circle Publishing, a specialist house for artists’ books which was set up in 1967.

To mark his 80th birthday, Pallant House is displaying a diverse body of King’s work, produced as a result of collaborations with more than 100 artists, writers and poets throughout his career.

King originally trained as a painter rather than publisher, but after the commissioning editors of his first book, The Prologue to Chaucer’s Tales, failed to fulfil heir contract, he formed Circle Press to publish it himself.

The exhibition includes examples from some of King’s key collaborations, such as his first pop-up book with Roy Fisher, Bluebeard’s Castle, which is based on the story in Bartok’s Opera that features seven secret doors.

Ron King, Anansi Cover, 1992
There is also examples of the artist’s painting and sculpture pieces, such as embossed wire drawing series, Turn Over Darling, and a collection of book works sawed into a log.

Log Book was made in celebration of King’s family history in the publishing trade after King discovered he was actually a seventh generation publisher.

Ron King will give a talk at the gallery on June 14 at 6pm. More details on the gallery website.

  • Open: Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm (8pm Thursday, 12.30pm-5pm Sunday). Admission £2.30-£8.25 (free Thursday 5pm-8pm, half-price all day Tuesday, family ticket £17-£18.70).
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