Library by Michael Dumontier and Neil Farber / ISBN 9781770464124 / 108-page hardback, about 7.25 x 7.25 inches, from Drawn & Quarterly
Two of Canada’s most famous visual artists take on the book medium in their own hilarious way
Library is a collection of paintings by two of Canada’s most influential contemporary artists, Michael Dumontier and Neil Farber. From the simple premise of the book title comes a series of images that are laugh-out-loud funny. A collection of book covers adorned with titles painted in simple handwritten fonts are displayed on brightly colored hardboard. Each book forms part of an ongoing series Dumontier and Farber started in 2009.
In Dumontier and Farber’s Library, titles like I Lost the Human Race, Change Your Relationship to Your Unchangeable Past, and I Have a Medical Condition That Makes It So I Don’t Have to Talk to You offer surprising and astute observations, all in the duo’s characteristic deadpan style. The simplicity of the shapes and text evokes an immediate but lasting profundity, with each piece causing one to wonder about the thoughts that roam their consciousness, and the books that take up residence on their―and our―shelves.
Dumontier and Farber are founding members of the influential art collective the Royal Art Lodge, and have been collaborating on art projects for more than fifteen years, exhibiting internationally. Library is playful and insightful as it pokes and prods at the human condition.