4. Camus & Co.
Geometric abstraction and the first two sets of Fontana Modern Masters in 1970-73.Oliver Bevan's cover art for the first ten Fontana Modern Masters drew directly
on his work with rearrangeable tiles and isometric projections of a cube, but now
he refined his ideas further by making all the pieces equilateral triangles. These were arranged to form regular hexagons and coloured in tesselating patterns of orange, yellow and emerald green, with vertical stripes in a fourth colour
– red, purple, blue or magenta – that varied from cover to cover.
Cover painting by Oliver Bevan. The cover of this book is one of a set of ten, comprising the covers of the first ten titles of the Modern Masters series. The set combines to form the whole painting, and can be arranged in an unlimited number of different patterns.It was a stroke of marketing genius. The covers were a cut-up, ten 'tiles' of a larger painting that enticed the reader to buy all ten books, mug up on Camus & Co, and then create their own Op Art à la Vasarely. Instead of gathering dust on a shelf, the books could be framed and hung on a wall, like Bevan's Connections at the ICA.
The cover concept was a brilliant idea, but the set-of-ten incentive suffered a setback when the eleventh title, Joyce, used the same cut-up cover as Guevara.
the colours were more interesting. 'The effect is quieter but richer,' he says. The incentive to collect all ten was repeated, as described on the books' back covers:
The whole painting, the second in the series, has been divided to form the individual covers so that ten of them make the whole painting. The pieces can be arranged toHowever, the publication of Joyce as the eleventh book in the first set of ten left this second set one book short.
form a variety of patterns.
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