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 Open Call 

Will Sohl 
Artists’ Books reloaded



The open call has ended.
Thanks to all the artists for submitting so many exciting proposals!


Will Sohl’s artist’s books will be on show as part of an exhibition on the theme of “Artists’ Books” at Port25 – Raum für Gegenwartskunst from 22.06. until 26.08.2018. The exhibition is a co-operation between  Künstlernachlässe Mannheim and Port25 – Raum für Gegenwartskunst, Mannheim, together with the Zentrum für Künstlerpublikationen at the Weserburg-Museum für moderne Kunst, Bremen. On the basis of the books of Will Sohl (1906 – 1969), the exhibition intends to combine a retrospective view of the artist’s book in the 20th century with a look at our present day. Through a range of new productions, we also want to directly interrelate the different periods, strategies and approaches.


To this end, we are issuing an open call to artists, ideally across the world, who are interested in initiating their own artistic research on the artists’ books theme on the basis of Sohl’s artist’s books. The call is open-ended in reference to format, medium and form of presentation. However, the departure point should be the book as artistic concept: as manifesto, pamphlet, diary, sketchbook, research book, painter’s book or as a statement of demarcation from institutions or elites. In the event of participation in the exhibition, production costs amounting to a maximum of 1,000 Euro can be taken on.


The exhibition’s aim, firstly, is to attract renewed attention to the works of Ludwigshafen am Rhein-born Will Sohl, an artist who lived in Mannheim until 1936 and who had his first exhibition organized by the Kunstverein there in 1928. Secondly, we wish to highlight connections with the present-day possibilities of the artist’s book as a medium. Beyond this, the artist’s book has a significance for contemporary art practices, which we intend to make clear within the exhibition on the basis of exemplary individual concepts, in partnership with the Zentrum für Künstlerpublikationen. 


The artist’s books designed by Will Sohl between 1934–1968 are predominantly large-format unique pieces and elaborately designed with drawings, watercolours or prints. Between often splendidly decorated book covers, they synopsize a series of images and can be viewed like a miniature exhibition of paintings. The individual books are dedicated to very different themes: from personally experienced history, through travel impressions to themes from literary narratives, by authors such as Guy de Maupassant, for example.


In preparation for taking part in the open call, five books from the years 1940 – 1968 can be downloaded as examples. The originals are located in Mannheim, and can be viewed there in the event of an invitation as decided by the jury.




Zirkuserinnerungen, 1940

1945, 1945

Eisenbahnbuch, 1952

Chali, 1959

Lofoten, 1968



Documents to be submitted

- Project description and proposal for a presentation form within an exhibition

- CV/portfolio



by e-mail in PDF form to


Closing date




Jury’s decisions will be announced by 17 July 2017 at the latest. Nominated artists will be contacted by the curating team in advance of the exhibition organization, in order to discuss exhibit(s) for the exhibition and events. From 22.06.-26.08.2018 the adjudicated projects will be on show at Port25 – Raum für Gegenwartskunst, Hafenstraße 25 - 27, 68159 Mannheim as part of the exhibition “Will Sohl – Artists’ Books reloaded” (AT). 




If you have questions, please contact:

0621 33934397



More information about Will Sohl (in German):

Künstlernachlässe Mannheim

Download biography




In cooperation with:











Photo: Toni Montana Studios©

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