Bartleby & Co. - Library exhibition

Thorsten Baensch, Dreamland, 2017, Collectie Van Abbemuseum.

Bartleby & Co. Library exhibition

08/09/2020 - 16/10/2021
11:00 - 17:00
Curators: Diana Franssen, Willem Smit
Artist: Thorsten Baensch

The final exhibition to take place in the Van Abbemuseum library is dedicated to Bartleby & Co., an artist’s project by Thorsten Baensch (1967, Germany) founded in 1995. The publications and projects of Bartleby & Co. are created with the utmost care, beauty, originality, spirit, love and respect. Bartleby & Co. works with artists, artisans, authors, poets, scientists, thinkers, translators and other experts. Intensive collaboration produces projects of the highest quality. Bartleby & Co. describes its editions as

“playful and serious; complex and simple; poetic and cryptic; sociable and hermetic; often multi-lingual and mostly a combination of innovative materials and mixed print and binding techniques”.

Herman Melville

The name Bartleby is derived from a 19th century novel by the American writer, Herman Melville. In the book, office clerk Bartleby who, after getting though a high volume of work, then refuses to make copies or perform any other tasks by saying “I’d rather not”. The Thorsten Baensch editions are an homage to the deeply rooted human need for free will. They also represent a statement by the artist on the absurdity of our existence. 


Tuesday to Friday from 11 am to 5 pm.

Reservations are not required for the Bartleby & Co. 1995-2020 library exhibition, please report to the information desk or the museum guard in the Old Building during your visit to the museum.