Neiman Marcus, March 2013
Shelf Life: Radius Books
Renate Aller: oceanscapes – one view– ten years, limited edition box, published by Radius Books of Santa Fe
Santa Fe, New Mexico, might seem an unlikely spot for a boutique publishing house—and a nonprofit, no less. But not to Radius Books Publisher and Creative Director David Chickey, who “ended up in Santa Fe the same way a lot of people do, by happenstance. I came for a friend’s wedding and stayed.” That was 21 years ago. Chickey, who also serves as co-owner of Skolkin+Chickey design studio, founded Radius in 2007 with a group of similarly creative Santa Feans. Their mission: To encourage, promote, and publish books “of artistic and cultural value for a wide audience. Our projects are distinguished in both form and substance: beautiful objects by important artists of all ranks.” When Chickey says beautiful objects, he’s not kidding. The Radius catalog is studded with gems such as the limited-edition monograph of Los Angeles painter-sculptor Charles Arnoldi—presented in plywood as a nod to his iconic Chainsaw works in chiseled plywood. Or the archival print mounted to diasec to “reflect and refract” the watery image that accompanies Renate Aller: Oceanscapes—One View— Ten Years, by the German-born artist who has photographed the Atlantic Ocean from the same vantage point for a decade. But creating limited editions and trade books “respectful of artists” is only half the story. “It’s critically important for us as a nonprofit to get books out to an audience that otherwise wouldn’t see them,” says Chickey. To that end, Radius donates 300–500 titles of each book published to rural libraries, schools, and art programs, some 350 institutions in all. The Radius space on East Palace Avenue also serves as an exhibition gallery and home for artist talks, seminars, and workshops. “We try to expand the idea of what’s possible in a book form and what you can do with books,” says Chickey. We say, mission accomplished.
Link to Radius Books: