Category Archives: Artists’ books

Artists’ books

Anaïs Nin and Surrealist Films

Anaïs Nin (1903-1977) is famous for her diaries but she also wrote a book of surrealist prose poetry titled The House of Incest that was first self-published in Paris under Siana Editions (her name spelled backwards) and in New York with two second editions under her Gemor Press (limited edition shown above). An early inspiration for this book was the 1928 German film Alraune or the 1930 adaptation by Richard Oswald.



One year after her first edition appeared, her lover Henry Miller wrote his own interpretation of The House of Incest, titled Scenario, self-published under the Obelisk Press imprint in July 1937 in an edition of 200 copies with a frontispiece illustration by Abraham Rattner (an American artist living in Paris).

“I hate Scenario,” wrote Nin, “and I never had the courage to tell Henry. It is the worst and basest product of our association and collaboration. In his hands all my material was changed, the very texture of House of Incest was changed. He wrote Scenario but the ideas were mine, all of them. He only added Henry-like touches; doves coming out of asses, skeletons, noise, and things I don’t like, loud and filmlike, the opposite of House of Incest. He concretized it, it smells of L’Age d’or, Dali paintings, it is absolutely lacking in originality. A monstrous deformed bastard child born of our two styles and a caricature of mine. And worst of all, to me (and I never forgot the day I received it in New York), it revealed how Henry had not penetrated the meaning of House of Incest, could not.”–Nearer the Moon (1996), p. 107.


All of Nin’s projects were funded by her husband Hugh Parker Guiler (pen name Ian Hugo, 1898-1985). A banker by trade, Guiler also studied engraving with Stanley William Hayter and printed the images for many of his wife’s books, later branching out into experimental filmmaking. Bells of Atlantis (1952) featured Nin reading from House of Incest, with a soundtrack of electronic music by their friends Louis and Bebe Barron.

Ian Hugo, Bells of Atlantis (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1952). “Evokes the atmosphere of another life, time and another world which the author identifies with Atlantis. The accompanying images of this “cinematic poem” suggest the mythical drowned kingdom and the aqueous beauty of the lost continent.” Based in part on Anais Nin’s The House of Incest. Director, Ian Hugo, assisted by Len Lye; narrator, Anais Nin; music, Louis and Bebe Barron.

A costume party the following year, “Come as your madness,” inspired Kenneth Anger’s film The Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome, in which Nin appeared as Astarte, the goddess of fertility.

Anaïs Nin (1903-1977), The House of Incest (Paris: Siana éditions, 1936). “The first edition consist of two hundred forty nine copies, printed on excelsior cartridge paper, signed by the author, and numbered 1 to 249: printed in 1936.” Special Collections, Sylvia Beach Collection, 3875.4.347

Henry Miller (1891-1980), Scenario: (a film with sound); with a frontispiece by Abraham Rattner (Paris: Obelisk Press, 1937). “This the original edition, published in 1937, is limited to two hundred copies assigned by the author and numbered 1 to 200.” “This scenario is directly inspired by a phantasy called “The House of incest,” written by Anaïs Nin”–3rd prelim. leaf.

Anaïs Nin (1903-1977), House of Incest (New York: Gemor Press, 1947). Limited to 50 copies. Graphic Arts Collection GAX in process

Borderbus by Juan Felipe Herrera

Borderbus. Poem by Juan Felipe Herrera. Prints by Felicia Rice. Introduction by Carmen Giménez Smith (Santa Cruz, CA: Moving Parts Press, 2019). Letterpress printed using Garamond, Meridien, and Ultra types from photopolymer plates on Rives BFK paper. Binding by Craig Jensen of BookLab II. 8 x 13 inches (extends to 17 feet). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process


Thanks to the assistance of our colleagues in Latin American Studies, the Graphic Arts Collection is proud to acquire a limited edition artists’ book by Juan Felipe Herrera and Felicia Rice.

Borderbus is a rendering of one long poem by Juan Felipe Herrera. The poem takes place on a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) bus. Two women have been detained while trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, and are being transported to a detention center. They speak in English and Spanish, whispering to avoid the attention of the guard. The text is embedded in prints by the artist/publisher and interpreted in audio recordings of the poem.

One interesting element with the volume is a usb drive included with Borderbus contains two audio versions of the poem, Borderbus. The first is a moving reading of the poem in two voices, by Marisol Baca and Gabriela D. Encinas, directed by Juan Felipe Herrera and recorded by Curtis Messer. The second is a recording of Herrera reading the poem.

Felicia Rice is a book and performance artist, typographer and letterpress printer, printmaker, publisher, and educator. A student of the history of the book and printing, she also utilizes digital technology to produce limited edition artists books. Rice has collaborated with visual artists, performance artists, and writers under the Moving Parts Press imprint since 1977. Work from the Press has been included in exhibitions from New York to Mexico DF to Japan. Her books are held in library and museum collections worldwide and she has been the recipient of many awards and grants, from the NEA to the French Ministry of Culture.


Critic Stephen Burt praised Herrera in the New York Times as one of the first poets to successfully create “a new hybrid art, part oral, part written, part English, part something else: an art grounded in ethnic identity, fueled by collective pride, yet irreducibly individual too.”

In 2012, Herrera was named California’s poet laureate, and the U.S. poet laureate in 2015. He has won the Hungry Mind Award of Distinction, the Focal Award, two Latino Hall of Fame Poetry Awards, and a PEN West Poetry Award. His honors include the UC Berkeley Regent’s Fellowship as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Stanford Chicano Fellows. He has also received several grants from the California Arts Council.

“In a 2004 interview at CSU-Fresno, Herrera noted the influences of three distinct Californias—the small agricultural towns of the San Joaquin Valley he knew as a child, San Diego’s Logan Heights, and San Francisco’s Mission District—on his work: “all these landscapes became stories, and all those languages became voices in my writing, all those visuals became colors and shapes, which made me more human and gave me a wide panorama to work from.” Influenced by Allen Ginsberg, Herrera’s poetry brims with simultaneity and exuberance, and often takes shape in mural-like, rather than narrative, frames.”


Borderbus [selection] by Juan Felipe Herrera
A dónde vamos where are we going
Speak in English or the guard is going to come
A dónde vamos where are we going
Speak in English or the guard is gonna get us hermana
Pero qué hicimos but what did we do
Speak in English come on
Nomás sé unas pocas palabras I just know a few words

You better figure it out hermana the guard is right there
See the bus driver

Tantos días y ni sabíamos para donde íbamos
So many days and we didn’t even know where we were headed

I know where we’re going
Where we always go
To some detention center to some fingerprinting hall or cube
Some warehouse warehouse after warehouse

Pero ya nos investigaron ya cruzamos ya nos cacharon
Los federales del bordo qué más quieren
But they already questioned us we already crossed over they
already grabbed us the Border Patrol what more do they want

We are on the bus now
that is all

Need a Project no. 10? Music of the Spheres

Linda Connor and Charles Simic, On the Music of the Spheres. Artists and writers series 16. Limited ed. of 250 copies ([New York]: Library Fellows of the Whitney Museum of American Art, 1996). ReCAP Marquand Oversize TR654 .C65472 1996q

On the Music of the Spheres presents 15 tipped in tritone reproductions of Linda Connor’s gold toned printing out prints along with the poetry of Charles Simic. The results are astoundingly beautiful. One hundred copies were specially bound and signed by the poet and photographer with an additional platinum palladium print, signed by Connor, loosely inserted. The publication was named the 1998 Best Book of the Year from 21st- A Contemporary Photography Journal.



Writing for the New York Times, Phyllis Braff keenly observed

“Linda Connor stakes out ambitious visual and conceptual themes for her photographic projects, and her art has been earning wide respect for several decades. Her base is California, but she travels the world to gather content.” In reviewing On the Music of the Spheres, Braff continues “The territory Ms. Connor chooses to explore is nothing less than the heavens. Turning the idea into a multifaceted essay that stimulates the mind as well as the eye, she interweaves her prints made from the glass plates of 19th-century astrological photographers with her images of indoor and outdoor settings that portray heavenly light. Photographs of illumination entering ancient holy places in India, Turkey, Egypt and Tibet seem to subtly depict the sun’s rays as carriers of spiritual messages and these images are rather magical. Quite stunning, too, is the attention to architecture and to its use in building dramatic pictorial structure.”– Phyllis Braff, “Capturing the Elusive: Music of the Spheres,” New York Times December 15, 1996.

As noted by the Poetry Foundation, “Charles Simic is widely recognized as one of the most visceral and unique poets writing today. His work has won numerous awards, among them the 1990 Pulitzer Prize, a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant,” the Griffin International Poetry Prize, the Wallace Stevens Award, and the appointment as US poet laureate. He taught English and creative writing for over 30 years at the University of New Hampshire. Although he emigrated to the US from Yugoslavia as a teenager, Simic writes in English, drawing upon his own experiences of war-torn Belgrade to compose poems about the physical and spiritual poverty of modern life. Liam Rector, writing for the Hudson Review, has noted that the author’s work “has about it a purity, an originality unmatched by many of his contemporaries.”

The project for the week is: Look up.

See also Simic’s The White Room:
It begins:
The obvious is difficult
To prove. Many prefer
The hidden. I did, too.
I listened to the trees. . .



Ricky Jay’s Magic Magic Book

Ricky Jay (1946-2018), The Magic Magic Book: an inquiry into the venerable history & operation of the oldest trick conjuring volumes, designated ‘blow books’… / adorned with original renderings from the ateliers of these esteemed delineators of artistic impression, Vija Celmins, Jane Hammond, Glenn Ligon, Justen Ladda, Philip Taaffe, William Wegman ; embellished with ancient iconography from the collection of the author of this curious compendium, Ricky Jay (New York: Library Fellows of the Whitney Museum of American Art, 1994). Copy 247 of 300. 2 volumes. Special Collections GAX GV1559 .J39

“The edition is three hundred copies, numbered one to three hundred. Ninety copies are reserved for the collaborators and sixty are reserved for the members of the Library Fellows. The first eighty copies are accompanied by an additional suite of prints.”–colophon

“The text volume was designed by Patrick Reagh and Ricky Jay and edited by Susan Green; the blow book was designed by Patrick Reagh, Ricky Jay, and Leslie Miller, with May Castleberry.”–colophon



Beginning in 1990, Jay spent four years working with May Castleberry, then at the Whitney Museum of American Art, on a two-volume set called The Magic Magic Book. One volume presents Jay’s historical essay on the magician’s conjuring book known as a “blow book,” and the second volume is a blow book using images from contemporary American artists including Vija Celmins, Jane Hammond, Glenn Ligon, Philip Taaffe, and William Wegman.

Blow books have special manipulatable tabs that make the content of the book appear to change. Each time the magician flips through the book the contents appear different. “With a flick of the finger, the performer can make a range of images appear and then disappear.” Here is a twitter video of Brandon Sheffield flipping through the Magic Magic Book:


Some sources list the earliest known mention of the blow book as by Gerolamo Cardano in 1550, who described the trick by mentioning “conjurors show different and always unlike pictures in one and the same book.” Another early mention is by Reginald Scot in his book The Discoverie of Witchcraft, published in 1584.

In 2014, Ricky Jay appear at the New York Public Library’s “Live at the NYPL” series to talk about The Magic Magic Book. Although a video of the 1 ½ hour conversation is not available, there is an audio recording and a complete transcription: Jay comments,

“I had been researching for some years the history of something called the blow book, which was the oldest trick book in the world. It’s more of a prop than an actual book and there had never been a history of it. And if you can see this this is just the title page announcing that this is a history of The Magic Magic Book and it was called the blow book, because whoever blew on the pages was able to make the images on the pages change I think the quote was “many several ways.” And this particular book was a collaboration with a number of well-known modern artists, Vija Celmins, Jane Hammond, Glenn Ligon, Justen Ladda, who made this beautiful case, Philip Taaffe, and William Wegman.

And so I visited the studios of these artists with May Castleberry to talk about images they had that might have to do with magic, but basically this first volume was a history of how these blow books had been made and used going back to the sixteenth century and the two major sixteenth-century books on magic, Scot’s Discoverie of Witchcraft in England and Jean Prévost’s wonderful working book of magic in French, both published in 1584, both have explanations of the making and presentation of this thing called a blow book, and they’re completely different, which is interesting, and then the blow book that we have from the New York Public Library that I’ll show you in a minute is also slightly different, and so we decided to re-create a blow book, and we literally made this. I daresay this was the greatest miscalculation of time in my life because this took an enormous amount of time to do as a pro bono job, but I’m incredibly proud of it.

…And it was performed—in this history of the blow book, I talk about it being performed by magicians for years. At times it was an incredibly cherished, very expensive item in their repertoire. Certainly that was true in the sixteenth and seventeenth century. By the early nineteenth century, magicians often sold them after their shows, as a prop and also as a trick to garner money for the magicians and a little bit of publicity. But when I wrote the book, the earliest blow book extant was a seventeenth-century book probably printed in Belgium, completely manuscript. And, if you recall, the last thing I flipped through were a series of devils. They came from that book….”

See also: Reginald Scot (1538?-1599), The Discouerie of Witchcraft, Wherein the Lewde Dealing of Witches and Witchmongers is Notablie Detected…Heerevnto is Added a Treatise Vpon the Nature and Substance of Spirits and Diuels, etc.: all latelie written by Reginald Scot ([London, William Brome] 1584). Rare Books GR535.S41

See also:

See also:



How to improve the world (you will only make matters worse)

Five hours of John Cage reading from his Diary: How to Improve the World (You will Only Make Matters Worse) are posted at UbuWeb, Sound: “Recorded June 22-24, 1991 at Powerplay Recording Studios, Maur, Switzerland. During the recording in the studio each change of typography in the printed text of the “Diary” corresponded to a change in the stereophonic position and a simultaneous change in the volume of John Cage’s voice.”

In 1990, John Cage (1912-1992) wrote an autobiographical statement that ran several pages in length. Here is a section that concerns his Diary:

“In the sixties the publication of both my music and my writings began. Whatever I do in the society is made available for use. An experience I had in Hawaii turned my attention to the work of Buckminster Fuller and the work of Marshall McLuhan. Above the tunnel that connects the southern part of Oahu with the northern there are crenellations at the top of the mountain range as on a medieval castle. When I asked about them, I was told they had been used for self protection while shooting poisoned arrows on the enemy below. Now both sides share the same utilities. Little more than a hundred years ago the island was a battlefield divided by a mountain range. Fuller’s world map shows that we live on a single island. Global Village (McLuhan), Spaceship Earth (Fuller). Make an equation between human needs and world resources (Fuller). I began my Diary: How to Improve the World: You Will Only Make Matters Worse. Mother said, “How dare you!

I don’t know when it began. But at Edwin Denby’s loft on 21st Street, not at the time but about the place, I wrote my first mesostic. It was a regular paragraph with the letters of his name capitalized. Since then I have written them as poems, the capitals going down the middle, to celebrate whatever, to support whatever, to fulfill requests, to initiate my thinking or my nonthinking (Themes and Variations is the first of a series of mesostic works: to find a way of writing that, though coming from ideas, is not about them but produces them). I have found a variety of ways of writing mesostics: Writings through a source: Rengas (a mix of a plurality of source mesostics), autokus, mesostics limited to the words of the mesostic itself, and “globally,” letting the words come from here and there through chance operations in a source text.”

The first installment of his Diary appeared in Clark Coolidge’s magazine Joglars 1, no. 3 (1966) p. 61-68 (Online and RCPXR-8000253) and reprinted in Aspen magazine the following year. The second installment was published in the Paris Review 11, issue 40 (Winter/Spring 1967): 52-68 (online and recap AP4 .P375). All were printed with black type on white paper using only one font regular, bold, and italic. When the text appear in its own publication in the Great Bear Pamphlet series Cage added additional fonts and colors. These three were republished in A Year from Monday (1967) as installment four and so on, through nine differing installments. Here are pdf files of three versions: cage5, cage2, cage

Paris Review added a preface: “This article presents a piece of writing by John Cage titled “Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse)” which consists of seventeen pages filled with seemingly unrelated sentences strung together in a variety of typefaces. Topics mentioned include chess, aquariums, rock and roll radio, conscientious objectors, bodhisattvas, eugenics, clams, marijuana, Abraham Lincoln, “Love’s Body,” cacti, mushrooms, drugs, garbage cans, LSD, the gold standard, Marcel Duchamp, cows and television.”

The most recent installment from Siglio Press in 2019 is an expanded paperback edition reproducing the 2015 hardcover edition of Parts I-VIII along with previously unpublished material from Cage’s incomplete Part IX. Holland Cotter reviewed the new edition for the New York Times stating, “Over sixteen years, beginning in 1965, John Cage compiled anecdotes, observations and koanlike tales, originally typing everything on an IBM Selectric and using chance methods to determine the formatting of texts that twist down each page. The Siglio [hardcover] edition preserves the graphic effects, but, more important, it gives a sense of the company he kept during these years—Marcel Duchamp, R. Buckminster Fuiller, D.T. Suzuki—and of his passionate feeling about a world locked in a state of perpetual warfare. Cage has a reputation for being a Zen-inspired wit. He was also much more, an intensely engaged moral thinker.”

John Cage (1912-1992), Diary: how to improve the world (you will only make matters worse) Continued, part three, 1967 (W. Glover, Vt.: Something Else Press, 1967). Graphic Arts Collection 2006-1991N and recap-92727500. Gift of James Welling, 2019.

Neues bilderreiches Poetarium

Andreas Weitbrecht, editor. Neues bilderreiches Poetarium. Zeitschrift für Dichtung und Graphik. (Frankfurt am Main: Andreas Weitbrecht, 1963-65). (42 x 59 cm; 63 x 59 cm; 59 x 83 cm). 5 issues in 4 posters. Graphic Arts Collection 2020- in process



The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired a complete set of Poetarium, a rare German “magazine for poetry and graphics” edited by Andreas Weitbrecht. Some of the major writers included over the three years it was published are A.C. Artmann, Johannes Bobrowski, Bazon Brock, Ernst Jandl, Karl Krolow, Friederike Mayröcker, Christoph Meckel, Franz Mon, and Ror Wolf. The graphic artists include Thomas Bayrle, Uwe Bremer, Günter Bruno Fuchs, Bernhard Jäger, Ali Schindehütte, Arno Waldschmidt and many others. The final double number folds out to a wonderful poster by Bayrle and Jäger [above].

Read more about the publication in Bernhard Fischer, Deutsche literarische Zeitschriften, 1945-1970 : ein Repertorium. herausgegeben vom Deutschen Literaturarchiv, Marbach am Neckar (München ; New York : K.G. Saur, 1992). Germanic Languages Graduate Study Room (SD) Oversize Z2225 .F572 1992q. pp. 575-6, no. 818. Every artist and writer presented over the three years is listed here:

Mienenspiel = Facial Recognition

In 1839, Georg Büchner published Lenz, a ground-breaking novella about schizophrenia. In 2020, Ines von Ketelhodt designed and published Mienenspiel, incorporating sections of Büchner’s text onto its reflective pages, placing the reader/viewer in the uncomfortable position of being outside and inside the book at the same time.

The artist writes: “The book investigates the wide range of human facial expressions and the topic of facial recognition. Thanks to the mirror effect of the paper, which is coated in silver foil, viewers see themselves in the book as they turn the pages. They can imitate the illustrations of facial expressions that are printed on the foil, and modify their reflected images accordingly. The text passages from Georg Büchner’s Lenz (1839) describe “all the subtle, barely noticed play of facial features,” “the human nature,” respect and tolerance for individuals, the “unique existence of each being,” as well as Medusa’s head.”

The original German text is printed on each right-hand page, with an English translation on the left. The texts are set around an oval shape that is reminiscent of a mirror or even a face. Viewers can read the text by turning the book counter-clockwise. This also changes the reflected surroundings of the double-page spread.

The face illustrations and texts are letterpress printed with polymer plates on Chromolux paper, which is coated on one side with aluminum. The reverse and uncoated side of the papers are glued together along the front edge.


Ines von Ketelhodt, designer, printer, and bookbinder, Mienenspiel (Flörsheim, Germany: Ines von Ketelhodt, 2020). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020-in process. 40 p., embossed cloth-covered boards housed in a paper-covered slipcase, 35 numbered and signed copies.;

The German dramatist and novelist Georg Büchner (1813-1837) died at the sadly young age of twenty-four, leaving the question of what he might have accomplished had he lived longer. In 1828 he became interested in politics and joined a group which later on probably became the Gießen and Darmstadt section of the “Gesellschaft für Menschenrechte” (Society for Human Rights). In 1835, his first play, Dantons Tod (Danton’s Death) about the French revolution was published, followed by Lenz, a novella based on the life of poet Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz.

His unfinished and most famous play, Woyzeck, was the first literary work in German whose main characters were members of the working class. Published after Büchner’s death, it became the basis for Alban Berg’s opera Wozzeck, which was first performed in 1925.–[Wikipedia]

Lenz, Georg Büchner’s visionary exploration of an 18th-century playwright’s descent into madness, has been called the inception of European modernist prose. Elias Canetti considered this short novella one of the decisive reading experiences of his life, and writers as various as Paul Celan, Christa Wolff, Peter Schneider, and Gert Hofmann have paid homage to it in their works.

Published posthumously in 1839, Lenz provides a taut case study of three weeks in the life of schizophrenic, perhaps the first third-person text ever to be written from the “inside” of insanity. An early experiment in docufiction, Büchner’s textual montage draws on the diary of J.F. Oberlin, the Alsatian pastor who briefly took care of Lenz in 1778, while also refracting Goethe’s memoir of his troubled friendship with the playwright.”–


Artist statement: “Ines von Ketelhodt studied Visual Communication at the University of Art and Design in Offenbach, Germany. Since 1986 she works in the fields of photography, typography, artist’s books, and graphic design. She was a co-founder of the book artists’ collective Unica T (1986–2001). From 1997 to 2006 she worked together with Peter Malutzki on the fifty volumes book art project Zweite Enzyklopädie von Tlön. In 2002 she moved to Flörsheim, Germany and opened a joint workshop with Peter Malutzki. Her main interests include: experimental typography; experimental photography (such as long exposure time, taking photographs by chance); combination of photography and typography; combination of old and new techniques (such as letterpress, original photographic prints, offset and digital printing).”

Princeton students, we now also have access to the 1982 film by Alexandre Rockwell, an adaptation of Lenz, transposed from 18th century Germany to New York in the early 1980s.

Esta noche he pasado

Luis Palés Matos, Esta Noche He Pasado; xilografías Raquel Noemi Quijano Feliciano (San Juan, Puerto Rico: Taller El Polvorín, 2003). Copy: No. 6. Graphic Arts Collection Oversize 2006-0076E



One of the items pulled for a visit by the students in “Arts & Activism in Puerto Rico,” an intersession immersion trip organized through Princeton’s Pace Center for Civic Engagement, was Esta Noche He Pasado (2003), a three-dimensional artists’ book designed, printed, and constructed by Raquel Quijano Feliciano with poetry by Luis Palés Matos (Graphic Arts Collection Oversize 2006-0076E).

We tried translating the text (Tonight I Have Passed) as we turned the pop-up pages but the poetry is rich and lyrical, with multiple layers and serious word play, such as “He Pasado” meaning he both passes through the black town and “passes for” black.

A translation was attempted by Julio Marzan in The Numinous Site: The Poetry of Luis Palés Matos (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1995). Here are a few lines:

No! La pompa jocunda de estas tribus ha muerto.
Les queda una remota tristeza cuadrumana,
Una pasión ardiente por los brazos alcohols,
El odio milenario del blanco, y la insaciable
Lujuria de las toscas urgencias primitivas.

No! The cheerful pomp of those tribes has died.
All that remains is a remote four-hooved sadness,
A sweltering passion for strong liquor,
An ancient hatred of whites, and the unsated
Indulgence of raw, primitive drives.

Ante este pueblo negro y estas casas de podre
Y esta raza ya hundido para siempre, yo tengo
La vision de espantosos combustibles; la brea,
El diamante, el carbon, el odio y la montaña…

Before this black town and these houses of pus
And this race now sunken forever, I visualize
Spontaneous combustibles; tar,
Diamond, carbon, hatred and the mountain.



Printmaker Raquel Quijano began her studies in 1993 at the workshops of Liga de Estudiantes de Arte de San Juan and received a B.A. in Graphic Arts at Escuela de Artes Plásticas de San Juan in 2003. Quijano is now a professor at the Liga de Estudiantes de Arte, while also teaching at the Centro para el Grabado y las Artes del Libro de Puerto Rico

Founded by Consuelo Gotay in June 218, the Center for Engraving and Book Arts of Puerto Rico is located in the renovated Carnegie Library (Biblioteca Carnegie) in San Juan. It will be one of the spaces you will visit if you are lucky enough to attend Puertográfico 2020 the first week of April, under the auspice of the Southern Graphics Conference


“El libro … fue impreso en el Taller El Povorín de la Escuela de Artes Plásticas de Puerto Rico en Mayo del 2003. La encuadernación tipo acordeón de este libro ‘pop up’, fue confeccionada en cartón ‘acid free’. Las ilustraciones son Xilografías originales impresas en papel Rive BFK y Classic Linen. El texto fue realizado con tipografía digital Hoefler text transferida a fotoserigrafía.”–Colophon


Max Ernst and the Gallant Sheep

Max Ernst (1891-1976) and Benjamin Péret (1899-1959), La brebis galante [The Gallant Sheep] (Paris: Editions premières, 1949). Graphic Arts GAX 2019- in process.
***Note this was a collaboration, not illustrations as after thought.***

Cet ouvrage, le premier de la collection GBMZ … a été achevé d’imprimer … le douze novembre mil neuf cent quarante-neuf … Il a été tiré trois cent seize exemplaires … Un exemplaire unique sur vieux Japon … Quinze exemplaires sur Vélin Montval … Trois cents exemplaires sur Grand Vélin d’Arches, numéroté de 1 à 300 et comportant trois eaux-fortes originales. Il a été tiré en outre cinq exemplaires nominatifs sur Vélin Montval …”–Page [2]. =This work, the first in the GBMZ collection … was finished printing … on November 12, 1949 … 316 copies were printed … A single copy on old Japan … 15 copies on Vélin Montval … 300 copies on Grand Vélin d’Arches, numbered from 1 to 300 and containing 3 original etchings. Five nominative copies were also printed on Vélin Montval … “–Page 2.

Beyond the three ‘original’ etchings, 18 of the relief line block illustrations are pochoir colored in striking yellows, greens, reds, oranges, and blues.

M.E. Warlick, Max Ernst and Alchemy: A Magician in Search of Myth (University of Texas Press,  2013)

…in that Empire

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired the collectors edition of “…In That Empire housed in a sepele wood box in an edition of eight. All sixty-one directional positions are stamped into the top of the lid and each interior compartment is velvet lined with its own cover. Archival, inkjet prints of each turn live comfortably in their respective niches. A vellum reproduction of “On Exactitude in Science” by Borges, with Siegel and Smith’s markings, sits atop each stack of photos. Velvet tabs help ease the photos out for viewing and the bottom of the box is lined with felt for safe display on any surface”.

. . In that Empire is a conversation, an experimental cartography bound by each initial decision. Jorge Luis Borges’ story “On Exactitude in Science” frames the encounter. Both artists’ bodies move in space, simultaneously and an image is snapped at each turn, marking their presence. Each “L” and “R” in order of appearance creates a list of sixty-one positions. The images collapse atop one another, each resting its weight on the other’s back. In this empire, the bodies chart the arbitrariness of turns.

The companion 144-page publication includes sixty-one photos by each artist taken in West Newbury, Massachusetts and Harlem, New York. The reader is invited to access the book through multiple entry points, from front to back, in any order. No matter the beginning, a turn of the page becomes an act of continuing the conversation of experimental cartography established in the making of this book.


Cal Siegel & Sable Elyse Smith, … In that Empire (Pacific, 2019). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process

Page through the bound volume here: