Van Zoetendaal Publishers

June 21, 2013

The Arrangement by Ruth van Beek


The recent presentation of Ruth van Beek’s new book ‘The Arrangement’ made a profound impression on me. Designed by Xavier Fernández and published by RVB-books, it’s a genuine masterpiece. Its format is quite striking, in the form of an elegant house enclosing, as it were, large-scale photo collages. The works themselves are fascinating, and the choice of the large format has the effect of swallowing you up completely. The selection is flawlessly balanced and edgily edited, with superb use being made of a paper white background. And we mustn’t forget the truly phenomenal linen jacket cover in proud yellow! It’s one of my favourites and will certainly feature prominently in my top ten books of 2013! I consider Xavier Fernández a self-assured designer and a major talent. His unique style complements perfectly the selection and sequence of the images. Indeed, this manner of presenting images as a collage makes it extremely hard to establish a rhythm since autonomous ‘illustrations’ (just like paintings) are notoriously difficult to link together to form a harmonious whole. But he has certainly mastered the art of avoiding clashes, or static ennui. In fact, his works possess an extraordinary level of musicality.