After five years as a magazine, Manuscript expands to high-end art book publishing.

Michael Zavros, Bad Dad, oil on canvas, 110 x 150cm.

After five years in publication as a printed magazine – beginning in 2011 as a broadsheet newspaper and becoming, in 2016, a glossy magazine comprising both men’s and, for the first time, women’s content – Manuscript today announces a change to its publishing calendar. Evolving its existing remit, Manuscript will publish a series of high-end, hardcover books, moving into printed book industry as a way of building on its expertise in the creation of high quality art, fashion and design content.

Under its imprimatur, Manuscript will publish the first major monograph of internationally renowned contemporary Australian artist Michael Zavros in September 2017. Well known for his hyper-realistic paintings, and more recently for sculpture, film and performance works that entice their viewer with notions of luxury, identity and cultural history, Zavros’ work has been collected by major museums and private collections, among them the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of South Australia, Queensland Art Gallery and National Portrait Gallery. This year his work will feature in a solo exhibition, Magic Mike, at the Newcastle Art Gallery, co-curated by the artist. His landmark debut monograph, edited by Louise Martin-Chew, will comprise more than 100 beautifully rendered works, as well as essays from some of the art world’s leading figures, including a foreword by QAGOMA director Chris Saines. A limited artist’s edition of the book will be published in an aluminium box, hand-painted by Zavros, to be launched at Sydney Contemporary with Starkwhite (Auckland) and available at Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane.

Punk Girls, a new book by artist Liz Ham, is an authentic and iconic representation of the punk movement in its many guises, and most importantly the females that inhabit that world, moving between fashion, documentary and portraiture. The content is inspired by and references some of the most iconic women of punk history, and includes many of the Australian women that embody and re-enact the punk movement and way of life. Ham’s career in photography stemmed from a documentary practice in the 1990s where she photographed friends, fringe dwellers and subcultures, and has since moved toward fashion and portraiture. Her work is still very much informed by these earlier obsessions with subcultures, urban tribes, nostalgia and popular culture. Punk Girls will be released in late 2017.

Playing Dress-ups: The Art of Costume, authored by Mitchell Oakley Smith and Alison Kubler, will be published in early 2018 as a hardcover collection of profiles and essays examining contemporary artists’ use of costume and clothing as a tool for self-representation and to deconstruct identity. In the work of more than 30 artists profiled in the lavishly-illustrated publication, clothing can be both armour and artifice, the outward manifestation of the self or the opposite: a costume worn to conceal and confuse. This timely publication draws on the respective experience of its co-authors (previously of Art / Fashion in the 21st Century, originally published in 2013), Kubler as an art historian and Oakley Smith as a fashion journalist, strengthening its broad commercial and creative appeal.

Mitchell Oakley Smith, the founding editor-in-chief and publisher of Manuscript, explains that the new phase of the business’ publishing calendar is a natural reflection of its growth. “Manuscript was established as a platform for today’s most inspiring creative figures, and there is no better way to evolve that platform than to expand the boundaries of what is possible in a piece of printed matter. Manuscript as a business is no longer just a magazine but a way to communicate complex theses, innovative imagery and generally inspiring content. I am energised to be working with our brilliant team in this new era of publishing.”