Smythson Makes a Date With the Art World

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To celebrate the launch of the Art Diary, Smythson has collaborated with four internationally renowned artists, John Baldessari, Gary Hume, Ed Ruscha and Rachel Whiteread.

We are thrilled to be collaborating with four such highly acclaimed artists on this exciting non profit-making project. All profits from sales on the limited editions will be donated to the artists' chosen charities.

The artists have worked closely with Smythson on the concept and artwork techniques for each of the limited edition diaries. This collaboration has created a series of diaries which are highly unusual and collectable works of art.
"It has been an honour to work with these eminent artists and a huge privilege to see their work realised with such integrity on the covers of our new Art Diary." says Samantha Cameron, Creative Director of Smythson.

The limited edition diaries are non-profit-making. Each artist has been given a sum of money by Smythson to donate to a charity of their choice.

"We are thrilled to be collaborating with four such highly acclaimed artists on this exciting non profit-making project. All profits from sales on the limited editions will be donated to the artists' chosen charities." Paddy Byng, CEO Smythson.

The Art Diary will feature an extensive directory of international listings, including details such as forthcoming exhibitions, galleries, fairs and auctions. The diary content has been edited by The Art Newspaper, the leading authority on international art news.

Notes to editors:

John Baldessari

John Baldessari was born in National City, California. He attended San Diego University and did post-graduate work at Otis Art Institute, Chouinard Art Institute and U.C Berkeley. He has taught at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia from 1970 - 1988 and University of California at Los Angeles from 1996 - 2007. His art has been featured in more than 200 solo exhibitions in the U.S and Europe and in over 750 group exhibitions. He has received numerous awards and honourary doctorates. Recently he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in May 2008, and in October 2008 he will receive the B.A.C.A International Award in Maastricht, Netherlands which will be accompanied by an exhibition of work from the last five years. He has been lauded as a gifted mentor and one of the leading figures of the Conceptualist Movement, and has been credited with eliminating the divisions between photography and painting in contemporary art practice. He is preparing for a major retrospective of his work opening a the Tate Modern in October 2009, which will tour the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York in 2010.

Design Notes

Relief on the nose and ear was achieved by de-bossing on ear and enforced raised embossing on the nose using a bespoke cutter. We worked with a specialist English printer using pigment based inks to interpret the art work on vegetable tanned lamb skin. The techniques used to ensure that the colours are more durable to avoid fading.

Chosen Charities:

The Los Angeles Mission
Union Rescue Mission

Gary Hume

Gary Hume is renowned for paintings distinguished by a bright palette, reduced imagery and flat areas of seductive colour. While Hume's paintings have always emphasised their luscious surfaces and simplified forms, many are infused with a melancholic beauty.

Hume first received critical acclaim with a body of work known as the 'Door Paintings'. His subject matter broadened yet more through the mid 1990s to incorporate images form popular culture, with portraits of celebrity figures such as Tony Blackburn, Kate Moss and Patsy Kensit. For the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (1999), he produced the 'Water Paintings'. In 2007, Hume explored new territory with 'American Tan', a body of work that addressed America, where he spends half of every year, through the image of the cheerleader. The innocence and sexuality of this figure allowed Hume to create a series of paintings and sculptures that felt both celebratory and disquieting, an ambivalence that reflects the artist's view of American culture.

Gary Hume was born in Kent in 1962 and lives and works in London and upstate New York.


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David Reilly
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