Elisabeth Tonnard


Elisabeth Tonnard is a Dutch artist and poet working in artists’ books, photography and literature.

She has published over forty books that are exhibited widely and held in numerous private and public collections including the Centre Pompidou, Columbia University, Getty Museum, Kunstbibliothek Berlin, MoMA Library, New York Public Library, Tate Library and the Walker Art Center. Much of her work involves responding to existing books, texts and images, reworking them into new poetry, and creating photographic visual narratives. The works range in scale and method from a book that is completely invisible to a book that is a swimming pool. A catalogue of the books published from 2003 to 2016 is available here.

The work has won several awards, most recently the Kleine Hans (Little Hans) Award 2013. According to the jury report she is a “poet in the space between photographs.” In 2014 the Van Abbemuseum exhibited Elisabeth Tonnard Artists’ Books 2003-2014. In 2015 she was awarded a residency at Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin. In 2018 she will produce a new work during a residency at the Jan Michalski Foundation for Writing and Literature in Montricher, Switzerland. In November 2017 two poetry books in Dutch will be published: De wolk, en Voor het ideaal, lees de schaal.

Tonnard received an MA in literature from the Radboud University in The Netherlands, where she also taught comparative literature, and an MFA in Visual Studies from Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York. See for some more detail All is vanity.


Installation of One Swimming Pool at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam


Written by Elisabeth Tonnard

March 17, 2008 at 4:48 pm