ARK: WORDS AND IMAGES FROM THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF ART MAGAZINE 1950-1978, ONE OF THE MOST REMARKABLE, YET RADICAL, STUDENT ART PERIODICALS TO COME OUT OF THE UK.
Emily Beber, Hannah Newell, et al.
Royal College of Art (Critical Writing in Art and Design Programme), 2014
Paperback, 184 pages, 16.4 x 21.8 cm
Founded way back in 1950, it was the first time that ARK, which today and since 2004 has taken on the form of ARC magazine, introduced itself to the public as one of the most remarkable, yet radical, student art periodicals of the UK’s post-war decades. Their fifty-four issues spanning from 1950-1978 not only brought attention to what was happening around the Royal College of Art at the time, but also became a source of influential spirit in British cultural life as well. College students, staff and many artists who contributed articles and other visual materials to the mag, including the likes of Ralph Rumney, Lucio Fontana, Alison and Peter Smithson, Toni del Renzio, Cedric Price and Reyner Banham, later went on to gain great recognition for various accomplishments. Divided into two parts including an anthology of original pieces that come with an introduction text for each article as it is reflected upon by students of the Critical Writing in Art and Design MA programme at the RCA, ARK: Words and Images from the Royal College of Art Magazine also features every single cover of ARK magazine ranging from its premiere issue to the last one published in 1978, a collection that illustrates its daring and fast-changing designs in a bright, full color chronology of sorts. So as to speak, this 184-page paperback will function as a very good corpus for those who are burning with curiosity about what was happening in Britain’s art and design scene at the rising time of ARK magazine and might perhaps spur an alternation of approaches and ideas toward these creative disciplines through the eyes of today’s people in the know.
TEXT: Paphop Kerdsup