Robert Violette is an artist, editor and publisher based in London. Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, Robert studied in both the US and UK. He brings his deep knowledge of both cultures to Pernice, Sicily, as the Pernice Artist Resident, in Spring of 2020. Establishing a benchmark for modern gallery publishing programmes, from 1988 to 1995 Robert edited and produced publications at the Anthony d’Offay Gallery in London for many leading artists including Gilbert & George, Ellsworth Kelly, Anselm Kiefer, Richard Long and Gerhard Richter.
In 1991, Robert produced and co-edited Jeff Koons’s first publication, The Jeff Koons Handbook, and, in 1995, Bill Viola’s collected writings, Reasons for Knocking at an Empty House, still in print today. In 1995 Robert established Violette Editions, his own imprint, where he has created many notable publications including Damien Hirst’s first book, I Want To Spend the Rest of My Life Everywhere, with Everyone, One to One, Always, Forever, Now, as well as The Words of Gilbert & George, Leigh Bowery, Sophie Calle: Double Game, Louise Bourgeois: Destruction of the Father/Reconstruction of the Father, Paul Smith: You Can Find Inspiration in Anything and Annette Message: Word for Word.
Latter publications include Tom Dixon: Dixonary, Michael Clark and Sarah Jones. Away from Violette Editions, Robert edited and produced Lucian Freud Drawings (Prestel) and Hussein Chalayan (Rizzoli) and has also built a reputation advising clients on milestone publications for leading brands such as Kvadrat, Swarovski, Tate, Lisson Gallery and the legendary Hotel Il Pellicano.
With his monographs Emerald and Ruby (and in 2021, Sapphire), he has radically transformed the concept for books on gemstones and jewellery. Robert’s skills as an editor include an eye for talent, often decades in the lead, as well as an ear for the pulse of diverse fields. He is a polymath who expresses his inner harmonies in many ways, including visual art, which he builds between editorial projects. He has a particular interest in music and performance art.
In 2005 he was himself a finalist for the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award and, since 2014, has served as a founding adviser for London’s Block Universe performance art festival. Pernice Artist Residency will host Robert in the context of its pastoral and agricultural tradition. Robert and his host, artist Paolo Sallier de La Tour, will exchange ideas and insights, in the poetic surrounds of the Sicilian landscape, in the time-honoured Renaissance symbiosis between landed culture and intellectual and artistic advisors.