Marteen Van der Ende is a Dutch photographer based in Switzerland. The MB&F M.A.D. Gallery presents an exhibition of his latest work, “Gutenberg re-engineered”. As lovers of printed matter and having collaborated with MB&F for many years, we must recommend this event.

Maarten has chosen the world of printing as the subject for this fantastic photographic showpiece – and the exhibition title is a neat tip of the hat to Johannes Gutenberg, the 15th century pioneer of the printing press. “Gutenberg re-engineered” is a series of beautifully captured images of machinery and tools from the realm of printing.

The concept originated when Maarten was working on a project about artists and craftsmen working in old industrial buildings near his photographic studio, just outside of Lausanne in Switzerland. In addition to taking photos at the former Villars Perrier chocolate factory, he also photographed the printing presses at the nearby Atelier-Musée Encre & Plomb (Ink & Lead Museum).

“I have always been fascinated by the world of books, paper, ink, presses and printing in general,” he says. “Maybe it’s down to one of my uncles, an artist who owned a typographic printing works in the ‘60s and ‘70s specialising in printing art and making artist books, posters and other creations. It was, and still is, a world that fascinates me.
“Books in all their forms are an important element in my life, and I have always had them around me since I was very young. I found something of this in the Atelier-Musée Encre & Plomb.”

Maarten’s stunning shots showcase these venerable machines, with their majestic ink tables, rollers, levers and platens taking centre stage. He plays with the use of light and shadow to highlight fine details like the grain of the metal and the patina of time, instilling new life and soul into these extraordinary metallic dinosaurs.

For Maarten, exhibiting photographs of these machines is a way of paying tribute to these craftsmen and master printers. “I wanted to do it in a straightforward way, like representing insects in their entomological cases,” he says.

Even though “the means and the ends are vastly different,” the parallels between the world of horology that MB&F inhabits and that of the print industry are not lost on Maarten. He says: “The cogs and gears of the printing presses evoke the world of watchmakers, though on a completely different scale.”

The “Gutenberg re-engineered” exhibition begins at the MB&F M.A.D. Gallery on Thursday, March 21st and runs through the summer. The series comprises 9 images, each in a limited edition of 8 prints, 90 x 120 cm.

For more information you can visit the following websites:

Rue Verdaine 11
1204 Geneva Switzerland