Gottlund Verlag is a publishing project started by Nicholas Gottlund in 2007. Nicholas is the sixth generation of printers in his family. Gottlund Verlag produces limited edition artist books and multiples by hand. Nicholas’ own artistic practice is deeply informed by his work and family history in printing and publishing. He has exhibited internationally at spaces including the FOAM Photography Museum in Amsterdam; Temple Gallery in Paris; Karma in New York; and the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, among others. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. I’m an artist and book publisher. I started the publishing project Gottlund Verlag in 2007. I live in Los Angeles most of the time, but spend 3-4 months of the year at a studio in my hometown, Kutztown, PA, to make books.
How has living in Los Angeles affected your work? It’s dry out here; it rarely seems to rain. That is good for my work on paper, but I get a strange unsettling feeling after a while and need to seek out some precipitation or fresh water. Good light though, all the time.
What kinds of things are influencing your work right now? The sound of the freeway from my house. People like to compare this “white noise” sound to that of the ocean. It has a similar effect of sounding very peaceful. Also, conservation fabrics. I have this swatch book that I like to go through each morning and consider how I could use them in my work.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? I just had a show in Chicago at PLHK. I’m currently working on a few book projects with different artists including Peter Sutherland and Letha Wilson. I’m finally going to the Tokyo Art Book Fair in September (which has been a longtime goal) and planning a show of my work which will take place in an apartment here in Los Angeles later in the year.
If you were a drink what drink would you be? Water from the spring on my parent’s land. I do love a good cup of coffee, though.
How did your interest in your work begin? I come from a family of printers, but it was really the process of learning what I didn’t want to do that led me to making artist books. My personal work developed parallel to that in a very natural way I think.
What do you want a viewer to walk away with after experiencing your work? I’m not sure that what I want is so important. I do think a lot of the strength of my work lies in the details, so I would hope that the viewer would spend enough time with it to appreciate the often overlooked aspects.
What are you really excited about right now? A hole punch I had made and the new studio I’m about to move into. I’ve had a series of somewhat temporary studio situations since I’ve moved to Los Angeles 2 years ago, and it’s a relief to have what will be a very solid, comfortable space to work from.
Can you share one of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your work? The impulse to touch a piece points to the fact that there is some alluring quality to the work, which is positive. It is drawing the viewer in, nearer. However, once someone touched a piece, despite me asking them politely to not do so and they then proceeded to mock me for saying something. I lost it.