Category Archives: Artists’ books

Artists’ books

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: https://www.pacificpacific.pub/products/in-that-empire-1

The Petersburg Press

[Publications from the Petersburg Press]. London / New York / Milan, 1968–1976. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process

The master printers of the Petersburg Press worked with many of the best artists of the 1960s and 1970s, including Patrick Caulfield, Gene Davis, Richard Hamilton, Howard Hodgkin, Jasper Johns, R. B. Kitaj, Allen Jones, Henry Moore, Ed Moses, Claes Oldenburg, Eduardo Paolozzi, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Dieter Roth, Mark Tobey, William Tucker and John Walker. All of these artists are including in our recently acquired reference binder, with cataloguing and documentation for their projects published by Press.

Was this an in-house index or a collector’s bibliography? We don’t know for sure. Founded in London in 1968, with a New York branch opening in 1972, the core activity of the Press was collaboration with artists to publish limited edition prints and livres d’artistes. The Press was a continuation of the collaborative publishing initiated by Paul Cornwall-Jones on the founding of Editions Alecto (EA) in 1961 as a post-graduate at the architectural schools at Cambridge University.

Housed in blue binder (31 x 23 cm.), this small volume features catalogue entries on 66 leaves, inserted loose into plastic sleeves. The alphabetically-organized entries provide details on the works, including title, date, medium, edition size, dimensions, and sometimes prices, with each work illustrated with an accompanying photograph. The majority of the entries appearing on the letterhead of the Petersburg Press.


Here’s an inventory, alphabetical by name: /Petersburg Press Inventory

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.