Irma Boom

Irma Boom

The Architecture of the Book

Distinguished book designer Irma Boom makes miniature versions of her books in an almost architectural manner. Watch her demonstrate and discuss these unique miniature books, which are among the world’s smallest.

“It’s all about scale, size, weight – and sometimes even smell.” Boom often creates small models – or “mini-versions” – of the books she makes in order to oversee the distribution of text and image in a foreseeable way. Furthermore, Boom finds that making a small book is more difficult than making a big book, and being fearless when it comes to rethinking the boundaries of what a book can be is essential to her: “Miniature books were made to show the craft.”

Irma Boom (b. 1960) is a Dutch graphic designer, who specializes in book making and is widely acclaimed for their iconoclastic beauty. Boom introduced the idea of a ‘fat book’ (overtly thick book) and has made more than 300 books, 100 of which are in the permanent collection of MoMA in New York. The 2,136 page commemorative ‘SHV Think Book’ (1996) – which was anti-chronological and also devoid of page numbers and index – became her international breakthrough. Boom’s design for the book ‘Weaving as Metaphor’ by American artist Sheila Hicks (2006) received the ‘The Most Beautiful Book in the World’ award at the Leipzig Book Fair. Boom’s many clients include the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Chanel, Ferrari and Camper. Her work has received numerous awards, and she is the youngest person to have been honoured with a Gutenberg Prize in 2001. Since 1992 she has been a teacher at Yale University in the U.S.

For more about Irma Boom see: http://www.irmaboom.nl/

Irma Boom was interviewed by Christian Lund at her home and studio – Irma Boom Office – in Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 2014. In the interview she shows a selection of her “models” as well as her published miniature books, such as ‘The Architecture of the Book’ (2013), which offers a complete overview of her work in 800 tiny pages.

Camera: Maurits Veldhuijzen van Zanten
Edited by: Sonja Strange
Produced by: Christian Lund
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2015

Supported by Nordea-fonden

  • Terry Winters

    Unintended Things to Happen

    In a culture full of digital images and copies, painting is a “singular lens with the capacity to reflect an individual’s vision,” says American artist Terry Winters. Hear how he applies a “painterly approach” to his work with printmaking and drawing.

  • Nobuo Sekine

    Sensibility of a Rock

    “I create works with the perspective of admiration for nature. I believe that my job is to convey the richness of nature to viewers.” Japanese artist Nobuo Sekine’s sculptures defy gravity. Learn how he got the idea to elevate a rock – and make it fly.

  • Alan Hollinghurst

    The Secret Life of a Poem

    An inspiring conversation with the award-winning English novelist Alan Hollinghurst – noted for his novel ‘The Line of Beauty’ – about being a sort of puppet master to his characters and being characterized as “a gay writer.”

  • Gardar Eide Einarsson

    The Violence Under the Surface

    “I’ve lost the youthful naivety that leads me to think authorities should be torn down. I see it as an on-going negotiation.” Norwegian-born Gardar Eide Einarsson, who is now based in Tokyo, knows first-hand how different societies deal with authority.

  • Sing Along With Brian Eno

    "I believe in singing together," says Brian Eno, widely regarded as the intellectual icon of modern western music. Join him as he humorously conducts a public morning choir with songs and spirituals of his own choice.

  • Richard Ford & Colm Tóibín

    Narrators Are Unreliable

    “You have to write about the thing you’ll be the world’s greatest expert in.” In this humorous conversation award-winning authors and friends Richard Ford and Colm Tóibín discuss each other’s work and exchange the secrets to prose writing.

  • Steve Roggenbuck

    A Poet From the Internet

    “I don’t know if you should call these videos poetry or not, but they’re what happens when a poet starts making YouTube videos.” Meet Steve Roggenbuck, a young poet who has been compared to Walt Whitman and who sees social media as poetry.

  • Gerhard Richter

    In Art We Find Beauty and Comfort

    “I don’t really believe art has power. But it does have value. Those who take an interest in it find solace in art. It gives them huge comfort.” Gerhard Richter, one of the greatest painters of our time, discusses beauty in the era of the internet.

  • Taryn Simon

    Where the Secret Goes

    Like a spy, American artist Taryn Simon uncovers the hidden places of the USA, portraying her country through its foundational spaces: religion, security, law. Like the country itself, the meaning, says Simon, is “ever morphing.”

  • Joan Jonas

    Advice to the Young

    “Love what you do. Because it’s not easy. It’s not easy to make art.” Watch as the iconic video and performance artist Joan Jonas advises her younger colleagues to enjoy what they’re doing as you never know how people will respond to your work.

  • Wura-Natasha Ogunji

    The Kissing Mask

    “Kissing can be so many things…a way of connection that is purely about recognising another person’s humanity, divinity and essence.” Meet artist Wura-Natasha Ogunji, who sees performance as a way to witness and transcend the flaws of human nature.

  • Ragnar Kjartansson

    on Stage with his Mother

    The "mother with child" is one of the oldest clichés in the art historical vocabulary. Performance artist Ragnar Kjartansson grew up in the theatre with an actress-mother who attuned him to what he calls "the realness of fakeness."