Washington DC: Abstract Orange, 2019. Number 8 of 36 copies signed and numbered by the book artist. The book was published on May 31, 2019 in celebration of Walt Whitman's 200th birthday. The book artist writes: "The book explores ideas central to Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass including transcendentalism, or the inherent goodness of nature, and realism, depicting familiar things as they are. It captures both the complexity and simplicity of nature by juxtaposing dimensional paper grass texture and a quote about nature and wonder. The book is not a reprinting of all of Whitman’s words, but an art object that encapsulates the feeling of Whitman." Her evocative work is done as a box that opens like a traditional book. The inside front cover and back cover are covered with cream paper that includes quotes from Whitman along with his image. Inside of the box/book are several spiky rows of grass leaves crafted from green paper. The box is covered with green paper with the title, author and press name in a lighter shade of green. In fine condition. Measures 5.25 x 7.25 inches. ARTISTB/091123. Fine.
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Richmond, VA: Monalisa Bagby, 2022. Hardcover. Number 2 of 4 copies signed and inscribed by the book artist, Monalisa Bagby. The half-mythical king Gilgamesh features in several Sumerian poems but is best known from The Epic of Gilgamesh. Historical evidence for Gilgamesh's existence is found in inscriptions crediting him with the building of the great walls of Uruk (modern-day Warka, Iraq). The quest for the meaning of life, explored by writers and philosophers from antiquity up to the present day, is first fully explored in the Gilgamesh epic as the hero-king leaves the comfort of his city following the death of his best friend, Enkidu, to find the mystical figure Utnapishtim and eternal life. Gilgamesh's fear of death is actually a fear of meaninglessness, and although he fails to win immortality, the quest itself gives his life meaning. The epic has served as the model for any similar tale that has been written since. Bagby was inspired by The Epic of Gilgamesh, the oldest piece of epic world literature, but in this inventive and creative version she tells the ancient story with modern twists. She writes at the end of her book that after visiting the epic tale she rewrote and adapted the story to fit her voice. Despite the modern references she made every effort to remain true to its spirit. She describes some her modern references: "for instance, the gods drink coffee, the Bull-of-Heaven is referenced as a vehicle and the celebration of Enkidu and Gilgamesh is described as a State Fair. The artwork also provides modern allusions. In the first pages Gilgamesh appears as a hulking predatory bird peering down at his people. Its purple color represents his royal stature. Later in the story, the goddess Ishtar is shown wearing tights with her hair braided. Gilgamesh’s grief and internal turmoil-his unraveling-is represented by a male figure with a floating head of confusion. It is not a full bodied existence anymore. Even one of his sandals is missing. Each signature of the book includes quotes and parts of or complete poems to support the story. The famed Flood Story is handwritten in brown ink. Screen-printed at the bottom of the page are remembrances from individuals of their experience of the news of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. Their stories are run together to create a stream-of-conscious of collective memories. The stories are printed in small typeface and in brown ink to suggest earth/ground/soil. To represent the impermanence of life the artwork is drawn in pencil. At the end of the story, the last paragraph is hand written in a field of blue representing peace and calm for Gilgamesh. The entire book is screen printed. Watercolor, collage, gold leaf, hand written sections and pencil drawings help carry the story. She chose a simple, muted design of the book cover is a reference to the earnestness of Gilgamesh's journey for meaning and contrasts the colorful rendering of the story. Bound in a Coptic binding in dark blue cloth with title in red on the cover. Printed in various fonts on Rives paper. In fine condition. Measures 8 x 8 inches. 23 pages plus colophon and final notes. ARTBK/011123. Fine.
New York: Béatrice Coron, 2001. Hardcover. Number 24 of 25 copies. Beatrice Coron is renowned internationally for her book arts and installations. She is particularly known for her use of papercutting to tell stories and create books. This inventive and complex book by Coron is a departure from her works created by cutting paper. It first appears to be a traditional codex. However, when opened one discovers that the text pages in French of Verne's novel are bifolds that open to reveal facsimiles of his manuscript pages of that text. Even more unexpected are inserts between the pages that may be pulled out by green string to document the changes made in the text in the manuscript. A wonderful production. Soft covers in a Coptic binding. Inkjet printed and stenciled on paper. Housed in a blue cloth and black leather custom box with a title label on front cover. Size: 6 x 9 x 1 inches. Unpaginated. ARTB/081921. Fine.
San Francisco: Deeply Game Publications, 2012. Hardcover. Number 45 of 55 copies. Signed by the author and book artists. Book artist Sara Press collaborated with Andrew Rottner to create this exquisite tribute to printing’s golden age. "The story, by Christina Lauritsen, mis-remembers H.C. Andersen’s classic tale of the same name, transforming it into a story of revelation and madness. The visual progression of the book mirrors the plot, pitting the beauty of the decorative arts against the intense and unpredictable messiness of human experience. This book confronts the inevitability of loss and bows to intellectual freedom and its attendant risks." [artists' statement]. The book is printed in Garamond and Bembo types on Moab Entrada paper. It features two 26 inch wide foldouts with illustrations by Rottner. The striking cover is done from a cut-marbled-paper and brocade. The book measures 7 x 9 inches. It is unpaginated. Deeply Game Productions creates and distributes the art works of Sara Press and her collaborators. Sara L. Press is a photographer, printmaker and book artist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Many of her projects examine peculiar areas of overlap between nature and culture (for example: dog fighting, feral children, and our co-evolution with snakes). Sara has also wrestled with the relationship between creativity and the scientific method. Recently, Sara has turned to constructions of masculinity and femininity in our culture (such as human bloodsports and altered fairy-tales). Her work can be seen in public collections around the country and are also in many library and private collections. A lovely book in fine condition. PRI/021919. Fine.
New York: Intima Press, 2021. Hardcover. One of 26 copies from the standard edition signed and numbered by the book artist. There were 6 deluxe copies. Artist and Master Printer, Mindy Belloff, specializes in fine book editions and custom letterpress. She has been creating art for over 35 years and printing letterpress since 1996. Her books are numerous permanent collections. Her press is committed to traditions of high art and the by-hand craft of letterpress printing, fine artist's books, unique bindings, poetic broadside editions, and elegant designs and typography. Mindy Belloff's custom designs are a union of art historical traditions with modern technology and sensibilities. Edition limited to 32: This fine edition is limited to 26 standard and 6 deluxe bindings. The volume is 300-pages, consisting of 75 folios folded into 19 signatures, with back endsheet printed letterpress. The text is digitally typeset in Adobe Jenson Pro with additional fonts (Lydian Cursive MT, Fine Gothic Medium, Luminari, Berliner, Berliner Fraktur, Garamond Premier Pro, and Goudy Text MT). The typography and page composi- tions were designed in Adobe InDesign over many hundreds of hours for more than 30 months. Image reproductions of artworks were painstakingly color-corrected in Adobe PhotoShop. A selection of drawings and photographs were manipulated in Adobe Illustrator. The text of the novels was digitally printed with archival pigmented inks on over 3,600 sheets, with an Epson Professional SureColor P600 inkjet printer. Most of the commentaries and calligrams were printed letterpress on a Vandercook Universal III Automatic Adjustable Bed Press (Uni III A/B), with a limited color palette of deep red, aqua blue, and grey inks. There are over 180 letterpress print runs. The pages are Crane's Lettra archival cotton rag text weight papers. The palette is limited, and the commentaries and page designs thoughtfully composed with reverence to the history of the book. The concept, designs, typography, research, artworks, and printing are by Mindy Belloff. This splendid production from Mindy's Intima Press is a feminist reading of three literary classics: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter,” Gustave Flaubert’s “Madam Bovary,” and Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment.” The artist writes: "The volume gives voice to the main female characters, Hester Prynne, Emma Bovary, and Sonia Marmeladov, and presents multiple voices in dialogue. The subtitle, Joni. Annie. Tracy, highlights contemporary singer-songwriters Joni Mitchell, Annie Lennox, and Tracy Chapman along with other favored musical artists including Janis Joplin, Etta James, Leon Russell, Paul Simon, Mary J. Blige, Laurie Anderson, and others, whose poetic lyrics provide commentary in the margins. Text of philosophers, writers, and poets such as Simone de Beauvoir, Virginia Woolf, Karen Horney, Jean-Paul Sartre, Julia Kristeva, Rainer Maria Rilke, William Blake, and Arthur Rimbaud, are incorporated into brilliant typographical designs, deconstructing the original narratives. A selection of text is in Latin, French, and Russian." Mindy writes on her website that the book has additional references to contemporary issues including Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter protests. She further states: "The three sections are abridged and combined into one volume, reframed to create a critical dialog in the 21st-century. The resulting layered narrative recontextualizes the stories, bringing additional voices to the fore." This was an over three year project, with the concept, designs, typography, artworks, printing, and publishing all done by Mindy Belloff. The edition includes an Introduction, "No Text Stands Alone," written by Saul Ostrow, art critic and curator. There is an extensive appendix with over 50 bibliography listings to materials referenced in creating this work, over 50 lyric references used in the book, and an index of over 40 artworks reproduced in the book that were created by Mindy the artist at various times over her career. The book required 180 letterpress runs. It is digitally printed with archival pigmented inks on Crane's cotton rag text weight paper using various fonts. It is bound in in white letterpress printed covers, with an aqua blue Sokoto leather spine millimeter binding. Housed in a red cloth custom box with a unique middle opening showing the title, sewn and bound by Celine Lombardi. In fine condition. Measures 10.5 x 7.75 x 1.75 inches. 300 pages. ARTB/051223. Fine.
Iowa City: Emily Martin, 2020. Number 14 of 25 copies signed and numbered by the book artist. In this inventive work, Emily Martin uses the words of Oscar Wilde to make some observations that are still true today. Martin earned an MFA degree in painting from the University of Iowa in 1979 and made her first artist’s books at that time. She joined the faculty of the University of Iowa Center for the Book in 1998 where she teaches artists books, paper engineering, and traditional bookbinding classes. Martin makes limited edition artists books, first as the Naughty Dog Press, now using her name only. She has produced over fifty artist’s books, often using movable and/or sculptural paper engineering techniques. Martin’s books are included in public and private collections throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Meermanno Museum, The Hague, Netherlands; The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; The Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago; the Tate Britain, London, England, the Library of Congress and others. Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was one of the most successful playwrights of late Victorian London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day. A close observer of society, Oscar carefully honed his epigrams in conversation before putting them in the mouths of the various characters in his plays. While making his audience laugh, he brought them face to face with his very astute observations on human behavior. Shortly after The Importance of Being Earnest opened, a scandal and subsequent trial resulted in Oscar being arrested, put on trial, and convicted of "committing acts of gross indecency with other male persons". Sentenced to two years of hard labor in prison, Oscar emerged in broken health, impoverished and cut off from his family. He exiled himself to France and died three years later in Paris. His plays have never gone out of print and are regularly staged in theatrical productions and films. Oscar Wilde’s pointed observations are as apt now as when he first put pen to paper This work comprises a set of five volvelles portraying five faces of characters from Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest. The characters portrayed are Miss Prism, Lady Bracknell, Jack, Gwendolyn, and Algernon. The characters appear as large faces that are in fact volvelles with inner wheels that turn to allow the reading of lines from the play and other of Wilde’s writings. The volvelles were hand assembled and are held in place by cotton thread, paper circles, and PVA glue. It is letterpress printed using polymer plates from Boxcar Press on four different shades of BFK paper. Each volvelle is housed in a white paper folder with the name of the character on its front. The set along with with an introductory loose page with several line citations is enclosed in a red cloth covered clamshell box with a paper title label on the spine. In fine condition. Measures 9.25 x 13 inches. ARTB/111323. Fine.
Iowa City: Emily Martin, 2022. Number 19 of 25 copies signed and numbered by the book artist. Emily Martin says of this personal and inventive book: " Madness was created during the pandemic and went through many forms before it became what you see here. It’s appearance and content are very much shaped by my time in isolation. Initially, I copied out the play Hamlet by hand starting in March 2020 because I was too anxious to sit and read. I also was making paper puppets for companionship. The project kept changing as events swirled around me. I struggled to make sense of the project in a world gone crazy. The text is a crazy quilt arrangement of lines from Hamlet and my writing on repeating themes of fear, disease, Black Lives Matter, Asian hate crimes, the insurrection, so much death and isolation. " She further comments on her colophon: "Madness went through many forms before it became what you see here. It has taken me much longer to figure than any book I have ever made before. The combination of subject matter that was centuries old with happenings in the minute complicated my thinking beyond measure." About the artist: Emily Martin earned an MFA degree in painting, from the University of Iowa in 1979 and made her first artist’s books at that time. Martin joined the faculty of the University of Iowa Center for the Book in 1998 where she teaches artists books, paper engineering, and traditional bookbinding classes. Martin made limited edition artists books first as the Naughty Dog Press, but now uses her name only. She has produced over fifty artist’s books, often using movable and/or sculptural paper engineering techniques. Martin’s books are included in public and private collections throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Meermanno Museum, The Hague, Netherlands; The Victoria and Albert Museum; The Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago; the Tate Britain; the Library of Congress and among many others. Madness was printed letterpress with polymer plates from Boxcar Press on Arches Text wove paper. The background pattern of the pages is made up of my renderings of tears, drops of blood, Covid-19 particles and bullet holes. The paper puppet inclusions were printed on University of Iowa Center for the Book Chancery paper and are costumed in papers of wheat straw, sisal, daylily fibers, and abaca paste papers made by Andrea Peterson. The puppets are attached to their pages but are engineered to be able to be lifted away from them and gently move. The book was constructed as an accordion and the pages can be extended and displayed. The non-adhesive brown covers are flax and abaca papers made by Mary Hark for the outside and flax papers from the University of Iowa Center for the Book for the inside. White title label is affixed to the front cover and to the spine of its box. Housed in a black cloth covered clamshell box. A fascinating book in fine condition. Measures 8 x 11 inches. Unpaginated. ARTB/051623. Fine.
The Printmakers Left, 2002. The Printmakers Left is an artists’ collective, an organization, and as such it can act and be received. But that collective is composed of individual artists, each with a singular voice and the ability to make course-altering decisions. Therein lies the tension that binds The Printmakers Left together and makes The Printmakers Left what it is. Which is to say that one aim of this collective and its participants is to promote a process of engagement with a complex world [Their website]. This was an edition of 25, with 23 bound and distributed to the participating artists. Only two were available for sale. This work is based on Jorge Luis Borges's story of the same title. The short story deals with themes that recur in Borges's work: idealism, the manifestation of thoughts in the "real world", meaningful dreams, and immortality. This volume celebrates a category of books created by William Blake in the 1790s - the printed manuscript, using a technique he invented utilizing relief etching. There were 25 participants involved in the making of this fascinating book. The book displays varied images and designs to convey the themes they inspired the artists from Borges's story. For 18 months they mailed sets of folios to each other. Almost anything was possible if it could be 30 times. All texts in the edition were typed on a manual typewriter and include previously unpublished poems by Lisa Russ Spaar. This is handsewn printed manuscript using multiple print media, clays, and pigments. It is casebound in a binding of pink cotton cloth with two small decorated paper shapes affixed to the front cover. In fine condition. Measures 10.375 x 9 inches. 206 pages.ARTSB/040623.