The Purple Book: Sensuality & Symbolism in Contemporary Art & Illustration

By Angus Hyland & Angharad Lewis

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  • Hardback
  • 250 illustrations
  • 224 pages
  • 13.5 x 9.75 in
  • ISBN 9781780671253
  • Published May 2013

The Purple Book is a luxurious compendium of contemporary illustration that explores fantasy, sensuality and the erotic imagination. It highlights visual art and the written word as media for representing human desire’s relationship with the dream-state, make-believe and symbolism.

Much of the work by illustrators exploring these themes is unpublished, personal work, and many works here appear in print for the first time. As well as a treasury of portfolios by 21 of the very best international contemporary illustrators, a series of specially-commissioned works illustrate five classic literary texts that have inspired the themes of The Purple Book. The personalities behind this commissioned work are revealed through interviews with their creators, exploring the imaginative process behind their visual fantasies and how this translates into the final artwork.

The title of the book is inspired by The Yellow Book, the periodical published in the 1890s and initially art directed by Aubrey Beardsley. While the color yellow represented the daringly salacious in the 1890s, today the color purple is synonymous with opulence and sensuality.

About the Author

Angus Hyland is a graduate of the Royal College of Art and a partner at Pentagram Design London. His work for Laurence King includes (with Roanne Bell) Hand to Eye (2003), The Picture Book (2010) and, with Steven Bateman, Symbol (2011).

Angharad Lewis is an independent writer and editor and former editor of Grafik magazine. She has contributed articles to Eye, Icon, Crafts and Etapes magazines and contributed to, authored and edited books including Public Address System (2006), Street Talk (2006) and for Laurence King Materials Process Print (2007). In 2012 she launched online magazine and design retailer Up Side Up.

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Foreword by Angus Hyland
Introduction by Angharad Lewis

Laura Laine: interview & portfolio
Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti, illustrated by Laura Laine

Contemporary illustration by Laura Laine, Yuko Michishita, Miss Van, Deanne Cheuk, Daisy Fletcher, Tran Nguyen, Conrad Roset, Tim Hon Hung Lee, Yuko Shimizu, Izzie Klingels

Vania Zouravliov: interview & portfolio
Eleanora by Edgar Allan Poe, illustrated by Vania Zouravliov

Contemporary illustration by Vania Zouravliov, Amelie Hegardt, Tim Hon Hung Lee, Izzie Klingels, Dan Hillier, Sam Wolfe Connelly

Jules Julien: interview & portfolio
An extract from Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille, illustrated by Jules Julien

Contemporary illustration by Izzie Klingels, Jules Julien, Yukari Terakado, Miss Van,
Makiko Sugawa, Soey Milk, Sam Wolfe Connelly, Amelie Hegardt, Jasper Goodall,
Jesse Auersalo, Yuko Shimizu

Andrzej Klimowski: interview & portfolio
Szamota’s Mistress by Stefan Grabinski, illustrated by Andrzej Klimowski

Contemporary illustration by Yuko Shimizu, Natalie Ratkovski, Deanne Cheuk, Yuko Michishita, Dan Hillier, Daisy Fletcher, Kelly Thompson, Makiko Sugawa, Soey Milk

Martine Johanna: interview & portfolio
Extract from Ulysses by James Joyce, illustrated by Martine Johanna

Contemporary illustration by Soey Milk, Martine Johanna, Tran Nguyen, Conrad Roset, Ëlodie Nadreau, Tim Hon Hung Lee, Cho Kyuhyung, Yukari Terakado, Megan Pearce         
Biographies of illustrators