Hessel Collection




On the occasion of its 30th anniversary, the CCS Bard publishes the Hessel Collection catalogue in celebration of Marieluise Hessel – visionary founder and patron behind the leading art collection and graduate programme. Two years in the making, Zak Group worked closely with the director Tom Eccles and the curator Amy Zion on this two-volume tome. It presents a detailed overview of Hessel’s six decades of collecting over 1200 pages, compiling a total weight of 6kg.

The Hessel Collection is international in scope and ranges from the 1960s to the present, including notable representations from many of the foremost movements in contemporary art: Paul Chan, Nan Goldin, Félix González-Torres, Robert Kushner, Robert Mapplethorpe, Gabriel Orozco, Cindy Sherman, Lorna Simpson, Rosemarie Trockel, and others.

The design builds on the content organisation of encyclopedias and features a distinctive step index. The catalogue consists of two volumes and divides the artists and collectives into the groups A-K and L-Z. The title Hessel Collection is foil blocked in two parts on the spines, leaving the front and back covers entirely to works by Gabriel Orozoco, Gerhard Richter, Toyin Ojih Odutola and Karlheinz Weinberger. The waxed cloth slipcase features a tight screen printed list of the 438 names from Abakanowicz to Zwillinger.

The layout further simplifies traditional lexica and focuses on the imagery, artist name and page number. Besides the single works, special collections are presented such as Adrian Piper’s Coloured People or Bernadette Corporation’s Media Hot and Cold. Texts are typeset in True Sans, including a conversation between Marieluise Hessel and Tom Eccles; a roundtable discussion between Lauren Cornell and a group of alumnis; artwork essays by Gabi Ngcobo, Chus Martinez and others; and a detailed timeline of Hessel’s biography as a key figure of art collections and education.