A to Z of Caribbean Art Launched in Trinidad

Robert & Christopher Publishers has launched its newest, long-awaited art book, A to Z of Caribbean Art. The book is available for pre-order at robertandchristopher.com and will ship from December 1st, 2019. In Trinidad, books can be bought at Paper Based Bookshop (Normandie Hotel), Rainy Days (Ellerslie Plaza) and Con Brio.

A to Z of Caribbean Art is a visual overview of Caribbean art, from the beginning of the 20th century to now. The book serves as a resource of information on many of the most outstanding, prolific, groundbreaking, critical, fascinating, and controversial artists of the region. Sequenced alphabetically, it mixes genres including drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, installation and performance.

Edited by Melanie Archer and Mariel Brown, A to Z features works from 260+ artists who come from the English-, Dutch-, French- and Spanish-speaking Caribbean. Each artist is represented by a page that shows a definitive work, biographical details, and a short write-up about their oeuvre. These artists were selected based on a number of factors, including critical discourse around their work, inclusion in a significant publication, work written about in regional or international trade magazine, and participation in a curated exhibition at a major institution, or at a regional or international biennial.  A to Z creates a significant and lasting archive of Caribbean art that can be enjoyed and referenced by artists, art lovers, students, professors, curators, art historians, and culture lovers for years to come.

A to Z of Caribbean Art has been made possible in part through the generous support of our funders, KAÉRA, Shell Trinidad and Tobago Limited, NLCB (National Lotteries Control Board),  the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts,  and backers on Indiegogo.

Three new contributing writers for A to Z!

At Robert & Christopher, it has been a deep honour to be able to work with some of the leading specialists in the field of Caribbean Art on our upcoming title, A to Z of Caribbean Art.  Today we introduce writers (from left to right) Veerle Poupeye, Rob Perrée and Indra Khanna.

Veerle Poupeye is a Belgian-Jamaican art historian, curator and critic. She was educated at the Universiteit Gent in Belgium (BA. and MA in Art History) and at Emory University in Atlanta (Ph.D. in Art History and Cultural Studies). She has published extensively on Caribbean art and culture and her best-known publications are Caribbean Art (1998), in Thames and Hudson’s World of Art series, and Modern Jamaican Art (1998). Poupeye has as the Executive Director of the National Gallery of Jamaica and had previously worked there as a Curator. She lectures in Material Culture and Curatorial Studies at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston and has also taught at the University of the West Indies-Mona, and at Emory University and New York University. She lives and works in Kingston, Jamaica, where she presently works as an independent curator and writer.

Rob Perrée studied Art History and Dutch Language and Literature at the University of Amsterdam. He works as a freelance writer and curator, with a focus on contemporary African-American, African, Caribbean and media art. His articles have appeared in many catalogues, books, magazines and newspapers; he has also published books on video art and African-American art, Nan Hoover, Marcel Pinas, Tirzo Martha and René Tosari. Perrée is the founder and editor of Africanah.org. He divides his time between Amsterdam and Brooklyn, New York.

London-based Indra Khanna achieved an MA in Fine Art Printmaking at Chelsea School of Art, and was a practising artist, teacher, and active member of grassroots artist’s organisations for 15 years. Khanna worked at Autograph ABP (The Association of Black Photographers) for seven years, eventually becoming curator, and working with artists such as Pieter Hugo, Shemelis Desta, Franklyn Rodgers and Santu Mofokeng. She started curating independent projects in 2003, the first of which, FlyPitch, was a series of interventions in Brixton’s outdoor market.  She went on to curate group and solo shows in the UK, working with artists such as Donald Locke and Tim Shaw.  She also acts as an artist’s advocate, and created the Caribbean Artist’s Salon.


Guadeloupe supports publishing of A to Z

Trinidad and Tobago illustrated art book imprint, Robert & Christopher Publishers (R&C) is delighted to announce a publishing partnership with Guadeloupe arts organisation, KAERA, towards the publishing and distribution of the forthcoming book, A to Z of Caribbean Art.

With over 40 Trinidad and Tobago visual artists represented, A to Z of Caribbean Art – a comprehensive, visual overview of Caribbean art, from the beginning of the 20th century to now – will be Robert & Christopher Publishers’ sixth title. R&C is currently working towards a Trinidad launch of A to Z at Bocas Lit Fest in late April 2018.

Shell Trinidad and Tobago Limited has made a financial contribution that has been applied to the research and writing phases of the book. R&C has also raised funds through a crowdfunding campaign. While KAERA’s contribution will cover part of the cost of printing the book, R&C is still actively fundraising to cover the balance of costs needed to produce a book of this calibre.

Robert & Christopher Publishers is telling a Caribbean story through the A to Z of Caribbean Art – one of a shared past, connected cultural identities and unfolding selfhood. The strength of this publication comes from the links they are forming by collaborating with writers, editors, curators, artists and institutions here at home and throughout the region.

“We are particularly grateful for KAERA’s support because R&C has been trying, without success, to gain the support of our own local government,” explain Robert & Christopher co-editors, Melanie Archer and Mariel Brown. “We have completed a number of applications for funding; none of these has been successful to this point, but we currently have an application in with the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts. We’re hoping that, like the French government, our own government is able to see the importance of contributing to this seminal project and helping to ensure increased visibility – both within the Caribbean and internationally – and posterity for Trinidad and Tobago artists.”

KAERA is a Guadeloupe-based organisation that promotes artistic achievement in digital or traditional form. KAERA works collaboratively to create and curate art-centred events that will bring greater recognition of Guadeloupean artists.

“We believe that collaboration between the Caribbean islands can only strengthen and enhance our international profile, as well as enrich the practice of participating artists. This spirit of collaboration makes us happy to participate in publishing A to Z of Caribbean Art,” says KAERA director Hélène Dabriou.

Robert & Christopher Publishers (R&C) is a small and ambitious illustrated art book imprint based in Trinidad and Tobago. Its primary concern is to produce high-quality books that document and elucidate our Caribbean story, as seen through the eyes of Caribbean artists.  R&C’s dedicated team aims to produce the highest quality of relevant books that will be accessible to a wide reading and creative audience, in Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean and internationally. R&C is the first Caribbean imprint to have a book distributed by Distributed Art Publishers (DAP), the most prestigious distributor of illustrated art books, with clients that include the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Guggenheim and many more. As a result, R&C’s books can be found in the libraries of MoMA, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Columbia University, New York University, The University of Virginia, The University of California. Our titles can also be found in local and regional institutions including The University of the West Indies, The University of Trinidad and Tobago, the National Gallery of Jamaica and many more.

In addition to its most recent title, See Me Here: A Survey of Contemporary Self-Portraits from the Caribbean, Robert & Christopher has also published: Pictures from Paradise: A Survey of Contemporary Caribbean Photography, Che Lovelace: Paintings 2004 – 2008, Meiling: Fashion Designer and Barbara Jardine: Goldsmith. In 2014, R&C was invited to co-curate an exhibition, “Pictures from Paradise,” with Wedge Curatorial Projects in Toronto, Canada, as part of the annual CONTACT Photography Festival – the largest public photography festival in the world.

Meet our Jamaica writers

Work continues apace on the A to Z, and we’re happy to introduce our two writers from Jamaica: Monique Barnett-Davidson and Nicole Smythe-Johnson. Barnett-Davidson has worked in various aspects of the visual arts in Jamaica including art education, exhibition programming and development, as well as art museum education and research. She is currently the Assistant Curator in Education at the National Gallery of Jamaica. Smythe-Johnson is a writer and independent curator based in Kingston. She has written for several local and international publications. Most recently, she was Assistant Curator on Neither Day Nor Night (2017) an exhibition of the work of John Dunkley at the Perez Art Museum in Miami. She is currently Editor of Caribbean Quarterly, the University of the West Indies’ flagship journal.

A to Z success with Indiegogo!

Our recently concluded crowdfunding campaign for A to Z of Caribbean Art has been a great success and brought us a tremendous boost as we move forward with work on the book.

Thank you so much to everyone who backed our campaign or shared our links or encouraged others to support. We really couldn’t have done it without you!

We’re crowdfunding our next book!

The A to Z of Caribbean Art is a 300+ page art book that will offer a visual overview of Caribbean art, from the beginning of the 20th century to now. Featuring more than 200 artists, this richly illustrated book will be a key resource of information on the greatest artists of the region. We’re passionate about this project and its potential reach and longevity, and we’re looking forward to your support in helping us to bring it to life!

Please take a minute to look at our crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, and make a contribution if you can.  Thanks!