Category Archives: Artists’ books

Artists’ books

Cane


Cane [by] Jean Toomer; with a foreword by Waldo Frank. New York, Boni and Liveright [c1923]. Firestone Library » PS3539.O478 C3 1923

Cane [electronic resource] [by] Jean Toomer; with a foreword by Waldo Frank. New York : Boni and Liveright, [c1923]

Plays of Negro life; a source-book of native America drama. Selected and edited by Alain Locke and Montgomery Gregory. Decorations and illus. by Aaron Douglas. New York, Harper, 1927.
ReCAP » PS627.N4 L635 1927

Song of the sun / by Jeam Toomer. Detroit : Broadside Press, 1967, c1950. Special Collections Broadside 261

Singers of daybreak; studies in Black American literature [by] Houston A. Baker, Jr. Washington, Howard University Press, 1974. Firestone Library PS153.N5B27

Jean Toomer’s “Cane” and Sherwood Anderson’s “Winesburg, Ohio” : a Black reaction to the literary conventions of the twenties / by Darrell W. McNeely. 1974.

The Living earth. [s. l.] : Danbury Press, [c1975-1976] ReCAP .b17153055x

The waiting years : essays on American Negro literature / Blyden Jackson. Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, c1976. Firestone Library » PS153.N5J34

The dream of Arcady : place and time in Southern literature / Lucinda Hardwick MacKethan. Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, c1980. ReCAP » PS261 .M25

Singers of daybreak : studies in black American literature / Houston A. Baker, Jr. Washington, D.C. : Howard University Press, 1983. African American Studies Reading Room (AAS). B-7-B » PS153.N5 B27 1983

Cane : an authoritative text, backgrounds, criticism / Jean Toomer ; edited by Darwin T. Turner. New York : Norton, c1988. Firestone Library » PS3539.O478 C3 1988

The collected poems of Jean Toomer [electronic resource] / edited by Robert B. Jones and Margery Toomer Latimer ; with an introduction and textual notes by Robert B. Jones. Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, ©1988. www.jstor.org

Invisible darkness : Jean Toomer & Nella Larsen / Charles R. Larson. Iowa City : University Of Iowa Press, [1993] www.jstor.org

Cane / Jean Toomer. New York : Modern Library, 1994. Firestone Library » PS3539.O478 C3 1994

Classic fiction of the Harlem Renaissance / edited by William L. Andrews. New York : Oxford University Press, 1994. ReCAP » PS647.A35 C57 1994
Cane de Jean Toomer & la Renaissance de Harlem / Françoise Clary. Paris : Ellipses, c1997. ReCAP » PS3539.O478 C33 1997

Jean Toomer and the terrors of American history / Charles Scruggs and Lee VanDemarr. Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998. Firestone Library » PS3539.O478 C337 1998

Cane / Jean Toomer ; illustrations by Martin Puryear; afterword by Leon F. Litwack. San Francisco, Calif. : Arion Press, 2000. Graphic Arts Collection 2019- in process

Madeline Gins, speculative fiction

Madeline Gins (1941-2014) was an American poet, writer and philosopher. She grew up in Island Park, NY, and graduated from Barnard College in 1962 where she studied physics and philosophy. While studying painting at the Brooklyn Museum Art School in 1962, Gins met Arakawa and she would become one of the primary interpreters of Arakawa’s work.

Gins published three books: the experimental novel Word Rain (or a Discursive Introduction to the Intimate Philosophical Investigations of G,R,E,T,A, G,A,R,B,O, It Says) (New York: Grossman Publishers, 1969); What The President Will Say and Do!! (New York: Station Hill, 1984), an excursion into identity, language and free speech using the devices of political rhetoric; and Helen Keller or Arakawa (Santa Fe: Burning Books with East/West Cultural Studies, 1994), an art-historical novel that took on a form of speculative fiction.

With Arakawa, Gins developed the philosophy of ‘procedural architecture’ to further its impact on human lives. These ideas were explored through three books that she co-authored with Arakawa: Pour ne Pas Mourir/To Not to Die (Éditions de la Différence, Paris 1987); Architectural Body (University of Alabama Press, 2002); and Making Dying Illegal – Architecture Against Death: Original to the 21st Century (Roof Books, New York, 2006). …Gins also completed the manuscript for Alive Forever and the illustrated version of her poem Krebs Cycle.–http://www.reversibledestiny.org/arakawa-and-madeline-gins/madeline-gins



 

http://www.reversibledestiny.org/arakawa-and-madeline-gins/madeline-gins/bibliography1

Word rain; or, A discursive introduction to the intimate philosophical investigations of G,r,e,t,a, G,a,r,b,o, it says. New York, Grossman Publishers, 1969. Firestone Library » PS3557.I5 W6 1969; Rare Books Off-Site Storage » RECAP-94763388

For example (a critique of never) = Par esempio (una critica del mai): a melodrama / by Madeline Gins and Arakawa (from The mechanism of meaning). [Place of publication not identified]: A. Castelli, [1974?]. Rare Books Off-Site Storage » RECAP-94765342

The mechanism of meaning: work in progress (1963-1971, 1978) based on the method of Arakawa / Arakawa and Madeline H. Gins; [editor, Ellen Schwartz]. New York: H. N. Abrams, 1979. N7359.A7 G56; Rare Books Off-Site Storage » RECAP-97151300

What the president will say and do!! / Madeline Gins. Barrytown, N.Y.: Station Hill, c1984. Rare Books Off-Site Storage » RECAP-33922780

To not to die / Arakawa, Madeline Gins = Shinanai tame ni / Arakawa Shūsaku, Madorin Ginzu; Miura Masashi yaku. Tōkyō: Riburo Pōto, 1988. PS3557.I5 T66 1988

Helen Keller or Arakawa / Madeline Gins. Santa Fe, N.M.: Burning Books; New York: East-West Cultural Studies: D.A.P., distributor, c1994. PS3557.I5 H44 1994; Rare Books Off-Site Storage » RECAP-94763370

Reversible destiny: Arakawa/Gins / [organized by Michael Govan]. New York: Guggenheim Museum: Distributed by H.N. Abrams, c1997. Marquand Library » Oversize N7359.A7 G562 1997q

Architectural body / Madeline Gins and Arakawa. Tuscaloosa, Ala.; London: University of Alabama Press, c2002. Architecture Library » NA2500 .G455 2002. Marquand Library » NA2500 .G455 2002

Making dying illegal: architecture against death: original to the 21st century / Arakawa and Madeline Gins; introduction by Jean-Jacques Lecercle. New York: Roof Books, 2006. HQ1073 .A73 2006g

El Río. The River: A Collaboration


Zoe Leonard and Dolores Dorantes, El Río. The River: A Collaboration (Mexico City: Gato Negro, 2018). Risography. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2019- in process

“The River is a collaborative project between Zoe Leonard and Dolores Dorantes, with photography by the former and text by the latter. Richly textured images of water highlight the dynamic nature of the element, with experimental writing focused on topics surrounding dislocation, desire and devastation in a rhythm that matches the ebb and flow of the photography. With Spanish writing accompanied by English translations, the reader is spatially situated in Mexico and is invited to reflect on water as a life force.”

“The book collects unpublished photographs that the American artist Zoe Leonard has taken along the Rio Grande (or Río Bravo) in 2017 and texts commissioned for this project from Dolores Dorantes, Mexican poet and activist, who has been exiled to the United States for years. The book is an immersion into the physical context, the actual barrier; the very heart of the border between Mexico and the United States: the waters of the Río Bravo or Rio Grande. A number of figures in the water recall something else: skin, scars, wrinkles, genitals, the writing of an unknown language. A poem made of photographs, and the depiction of that sequence with a poem made of words. Or rather, a broken bilingual, visual-textual attempt of conversation over the tensions in between a simple, ever-changing but always the same flow of water, and all the terrible complexities around, above, beneath it.

The argument could be simple: at the end and at the beginning, it is only water. As simple, complex, beautiful and terrible as that. Or maybe not: to complete the argument it is necessary to summon the ghost of the body that runs through it.

https://www.gatonegro.ninja/

In the words of Dolores Dorantes: I’m going to walk on water. Say. Bring me all those parts of the body and put them here. Say. I’m the body and I’m on the table. Soy tu cuerpo y estoy sobre la mesa, en la estructura divisoria del mundo. Soy tu cuerpo y estoy sobre la mesa del mercado del mundo. Soy tu cuerpo y estoy sobre la mesa, donde se encausa la corriente del mundo. I’m the farce, arranged at strategic points of our territories. Between the face and neck, for example. Between the anchored ankle and satisfaction. http://flatartbookfair.com/en/programma/


Interview: Gato Negro — Leon Muñoz Santini from MISS READ on Vimeo.

 

León Muñoz Santini is the founder of the publishing house Gato Negro Ediciones in his hometown of Mexico City. As a young man, Santini studied political science at the Mexico’s National University but left that field to developed his career in editorial design, with a special focus in the fields of children’s literature, social design, and photography.

He has received multiple awards, among them the New Horizons in Bologna Ragazzi Awards (2009 and 2013); 50 Books / 50 Covers of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (2009); Quorum Award (2009); and repeatedly Caniem Editorial Arte Award, the White Ravens in Germany and the Book Bank of Venezuela. https://www.leonmunozsantini.com/

 

Hiroshima to Fukushima, the Road to Self-Destruction


[left] A kind visitor offered to show how big this book really is.

 

Sam Kerson, Hiroshima to Fukushima: the road to self-destruction, lino-cuts by Sam Kerson; concept and design by Sam and Katah; hand-pulled prints, book binding by Katah (Trois-Rivières, Québec: Produced by Dragon Dance Theatre at our print making workshop, 2018). 33 unnumbered leaves; 61 x 46 cm, on sheets 87 x 67 cm. Edition of 30. Graphic Arts Collection 2019- in process.

 

 

ARTIST STATEMENT –Looking more closely at the experience of the nuclear era is daunting, to say the least. The accidents don’t end, the fall-out from the bombs doesn’t go away. The waste from the plutonium factories, the nuclear reactors, is saved and isolated in concrete and stainless steel cylindrical casks. These specialized storage units might contain the radioactive waste for a few hundred years, while critics talk of the radiological hazard lasting for hundreds of thousands of years. The bomb continues to haunt us!

Technology often threatens, “improvement”, a “better” bomb, they say, a more “intelligent” bomb. These radioactive mountains of waste are our inheritance from a war drunk, old uncle who made a terrible mistake, which he called, “science”, decades ago. They have not been able to admit it to this day. Quite the contrary our scientist, and his scientific method have gone into full denial, a sort of extreme denial, which denies that which is obvious to anyone who dares to look. They deny the effect of the accident at Three Mile Island. They deny the mortal consequences of the disaster at Chernobyl. They deny the extreme fragility of this technology, even after the three reactors melted down at Fukushima. We must see for ourselves; see with our own eyes what is obvious and self-evident.

In this book we have selected a number of incidents which we believe will let the historian see that, we of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, were aware of the consequences of this technology. Our book might also support the protesters by recalling some of those protests that have been occurring since the invention of the bomb. We hope our book will be helpful to students of this end of the world technology and phenomenon. Our intention is to encourage resistance, even though it is late; the environment is compromised with dangerous radiation, our genes have been impacted, our offspring are mutating, therefore we must stop as soon as possible. Stop the bombing, testing and production. Shut off the nuclear reactors. –Sam Kerson, January, 2019

 

Havana and Venice

The Graphic Arts Collection is fortunate to have acquired two volumes from Leslie Gerry Editions. The contemporary artist works with 21st century technology informed by modern fine press traditions.

With a stylus on a Wacom tablet, I paint on the computer in Illustrator. Working only with flat areas of colour and no tone, I “cut out” the shapes with the stylus, arranging them on different layers, creating a collage. In fact, I first started working this way years ago by cutting out sheets of coloured paper with scissors, similar to the way Matisse created his paper collages. Starting by sketching a composition in blocks of colour as I would have done painting in oils and using the reference photos as guidance only, I gradually build up the painting with darker areas first and then lighter shades. The paintings end up as digital files; vector images which can be reduced or enlarged to any size and are then printed with a flat bed UV ink jet printer on a hand or mould-made paper.

Leslie Gerry, Havana, paintings by Leslie Gerry; extracts from Cuba by Irene A. Wright, 1912 (Dowdeswell, Gloucestershire: Leslie Gerry Editions, December 2016). Copy 39 of 70. Graphic Arts Collection GAX E-000092

Leslie Gerry, Venice reflections, paintings by Leslie Gerry; extracts from Venice by Jan Morris (Dowdeswell, Gloucestershire, UK : Published by Leslie Gerry Editions, The Eight Gabled House, 2019). Copy 15 of 120. Graphic Arts Collection E-000093

 

Graphic MoMA

[left] Book shelves as wallpaper.

A first look at the rehung MoMA revealed a surprising number of works on paper, lettrism, fluxus, artists’ books, visual poetry, and other graphic arts. Beginning with the major exhibitions such as Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures, there are more than the usual number of letters, words, sentences, and paragraphs of text, in and among the oil on canvas.

“The Museum of Modern Art will open its expanded campus on October 21, 2019, with a reimagined presentation of modern and contemporary art.

The expansion, developed by MoMA with architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, in collaboration with Gensler, adds more than 40,000 square feet of gallery spaces and enables the Museum to exhibit significantly more art in new and interdisciplinary ways.

The Studio in the heart of the Museum will feature live programming and performances that react to, question, and challenge histories of modern art and the current cultural moment. …Street-level galleries, free and open to all on the expanded ground floor, will better connect the Museum to New York City and bring art closer to people on the streets of midtown Manhattan.” http://press.moma.org/news/museum-renovation-and-expansion-project/

Here are a few examples:

Mirtha Dermisache, Augusto de Campos, et al. Visual poetry.

 

Dieter Roth (1930-1998), Literature Sausage, 1969. Artists’ proof.

Various artists, Fluxkit, 1965-66. Designed and assembled by George Maciunas.

Mira Schendel (1919-1988), untitled from Objetos graficos, 1967.

 

 

 

Finishing touches in the Frank O’Hara room

Wall corner note

 

Waldemar Cordeiro, et al., Manifesto Ruptura, 1952.

 

Lygia Pape (1927-2004), Livro da criação  (Book of Creation), 1958-1960.

 

The Black Factory Archive, 2004-

KWY

KWY: Revista trimestrial d’arte actual (Paris, [publisher not identified], [1958-1963]. No 1-12. French, English, and Portuguese. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019 in process.

The Graphic Arts Collection, along with our colleagues in Art history and French literature, recently acquired a complete run of the rare serial KWY. Each issue was editioned differently: no. 2 is a limited edition of 50 copies; no. 3 a limited edition of 85 copies; no. 4 a limited edition of 100 copies; no. 5 signed in pencil on back cover: 73/134; no. 6 a limited edition of 500 copies; no. 7-12 each a limited edition of 300 copies. Our no.1 is a facsimile while all the rest are original as issued.

A truly international publication, KWY was produced mainly with serigraphs and letterpress by Portuguese artists Lourdes Castro, René Bertholo, Antonio Costa Pinheiro, João Vieira, José Escada and Gonçalo Duarte and by Bulgarian Christo and the German Jan Voss. These artists gathered in Paris under the title “Le groupe KWY” focusing primarily on the production of the magazine from 1958 and 1964.

According to one source, the name KWY was chosen because these are the three letters that rarely appear in Portuguese words.

Various movements have been connected with this group, including Portuguese figuration and New Realism, the Fluxus spirit, the Spanish group El Paso and the lyricists and the experiences of the sound poetry. Issues also include work by António Areal, François Dufrêne, Raymond Hains, Bernard Heidsieck, Yves Klein, and Jorge Martins, among others.

 

Furtwängler’s The Raven


Felix Martin Furtwängler and Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven. Pictopoesien Supplement: Peter Jelavich, Terror of the Soul ([Wiesbaden]: Harrasowitz in Kommission, 2018 (Berlin: Privat Presse)). Artist’s book, one-time edition, 99 numbered and signed copies, with an enclosed essay by Peter Jelavich, Terror of the Soul (primary publication). Graphic Arts collection GAX N-001958

Since 1975, Felix Martin Furtwängler has been publishing hand-printed copies, artist’s books, and book objects. “Inspiration and basis for his pictures, graphics and colored figures-and-letters collages are his own and literary texts, with texts and pictures forming a symbiosis. He works with different graphic techniques such as woodcut and linocut as well as etching, combining them and experimenting with painting over them. With his painting books and graphic works, Felix Martin Furtwängler is present in far more than one hundred collections worldwide.”

Based on Edgar Allan Poe’s narrative poem “The Raven,” Furtwängler designed and created this folding and folding book of a special kind. The prospectus notes,”Graphic illustrations by the author accompany the text, paper cuts and pop-up forms lend a three-dimensional shape and vivacity to the words. …The work was printed on a Roland 700, using the offset printing process. It was typeset manually, using the scripts Schwabach Due Mille, Las Vegas medium, Futura medium, Futura bold, Lucida Blackletter regular, Neue Helvetica medium and Special Elite regular, while each of the 14 Pantone colors on the machine was individually modulated and mixed by the artist. The paper Furtwängler chose is 200 g/qm Tintoretto Gesso wood-free white felt-marked, with a classical hand-made paper structure by Fedrigoni.”

“Thereafter, the artist cut each single leaf by hand, grooved and folded them. The folded single leaves were collected into sewing layers by hand, sewn with open thread-stitching with triple cross-stitch and fitted between two book covers made of 2.2 mm thick book binding board, covered by blue Hansa linen and embossed with white hot-foil embossing on the front cover and a printed ending paper made of 200 g/qm Tintoretto Gesso.”

 

See also the exhibition catalogue:
Felix Martin Furtwängler: printing into thinking: Folgen, Suiten, Zyklen / [Redaktion, Walter Kurz … [et al.] ; Kataloggestaltung, Felix Martin Furtwängler] (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, in Kommission; Wolfenbüttel: Herzog August Bibliothek; Mainz: Gutenbergmuseum, [2009]). Marquand Library Oversize NE654.F84 A4 2009q. Catalog of an exhibition held at the Kunsthalle Erfurt, Aug. 16-Sept. 27, 2009. “Eine Auswahl der Radierungen aus dem Archiv des Künstlers ergänzt durch Werke aus privater Hand und einer öffentlichen Sammlung “

Homer’s “Odyssey” and Owen’s “Sing to Me”

We hosted a visit this week from Professor Reeves’s class “The Classical Roots of Western Literature,” which focuses on the classics of the Western literary tradition from Antiquity through the medieval period, including Apollonius of Rhodes’s Jason and the Argonauts, Apuleius’s The Golden Ass, Dante’s Inferno and others.  This week they read The Odyssey and so, we focused on the calligraphic work of Jan Owen’s “Sing to Me” with text by Homer.

The group had so many questions about the work, donated to the Graphic Arts Collection by Lynne Fagles, that an email was sent directly to the artist. The wonderful Ms. Owen replied immediately with an explanation of how the work came about and the inspiration for her interest in calligraphy. Here are a few of her words.

In 1997, I was invited to participate in Perspectives, the Art of the Book at the Portland Museum of Art in Portland, ME. That fall, I got a call from Lynne Fagles who said her husband had seen and liked my work and would I do a piece with words from his new translation as a Christmas present. I had read excerpts of The Odyssey in high school so began to read. I asked her to help me select text and she sent some of his favorite passages, which I marked and posted in my copy of the book. She had also asked that Greek text be included and this was before everything could be found on the web. Fortunately a local theological school had a copy of The Odyssey in Greek.

Several years before the Portland show, I’d wanted to work large on paper but not have to frame under glass. I experimented with hanging accordion fold books and liked the relief of the form. After doing several, they seemed to look ‘old’ and I began weaving in strips of gold painted paper, now Tyvek, to give texture to the surface and to be like a new communication code. The little basketmaker’s twist gives the strips dimension but can still fold flat. The weaving was also a fitting reference for The Odyssey. The ink changes color to give more variety—and to try to keep doing something a computer can’t do. Robert Fagles gave me permission to use the translation and I’ve included passages in several pieces [in addition to Sing to Me].

http://www.janowenart.com/

NY Art Book Fair 2019

2019 Art Book Fair https://nyabf2019.printedmatterartbookfairs.org/

Ariane Mayer, Poèmes à brûler [Poems to Burn] (Paris: Lairie un regard modern, no date).

The cigarette package is handmade with images from 1950s magazines. The individual cigarettes are rolled poems.  https://www.leslivresdariane.com/

Till the Last Gasp, A Graphzine History 1975-2005. Three hundred zines, books, and posters from a largely undocumented movement of independent artists’ books and fanzine publications called Graphzines, which emerged in France beginning in 1975.

Sable Elyse Smith and Cal Siegel, In that Empire (New York: Pacific City, 2019)

… 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: each “L” and “R” within the text creates a list of sixty-one positions. Using these directionals, the artists took sixty-one photos in West Newbury, Massachusetts and Harlem, New York, respectively. 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.