Ellsworth Kelly’s Un Coup de dés

When publisher Sidney Shiff commissioned Ellsworth Kelly to select a text and create prints for a Limited Editions Club book, Kelly chose to match his black and white lithographs with Un coup de dés by Stéphane Mallarmé, one of the most famous poems of the 19th century. In its 63rd year, the Club was publishing only three or four titles each year in editions of 300, unlike the earlier runs of 2,000 under George Macy. This allowed Shiff to work with outstanding artists and create some of the most beautiful books of the late 20th and early 21st century.

Published in the original French and the original page design, Kelly integrated his eleven lithographs with the text, accentuating the open white space of both text and images. A separate booklet with Daisy Aldan’s English language translation is included: mallarme

“A throw of the dice never even when cast in eternal circumstances at the heart of a shipwreck let it be that the Abyss whitened slack raging under an incline desperately soars by its own wing…”


Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898) and Ellsworth Kelly (1923-2015), Un coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hasard ([New York]: Limited Editions Club, 1992). Text printed at Wild Carrot Letterpress and lithographs printed at Trestle Editions. Copy 71 of 300. Original black goatskin, in black solander box. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2018- in process.