Riverside, CA: Bo Press Miniature Books, 2020. Hardcover. This book is from a small open edition, which is signed by the artist. A delightful collection of full color collages of human, animal, and imaginary creature preformers making "exits and entrances" onto grand theatrical settings. Bound in tan cloth boards with color paper pastedown to front board. No text aside from a brief colophon stating that the book was designed in Photoshop and printed with a Canon-Pro 100 printer on Red River Premium Matte paper using Krul and Coromont Garamond typefaces. Size: 2.5 x 3 inches. Pat Sweet describes herself as creating illuminated miniature books of curiosity, humor, and delight. She creates both miniature (under 3 inches) and macro-miniature (under 1 inch) books. ARTB/091123. Fine.
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New York: Intima Press, 2023. Softcover. One of 26 standard copies lettered A -Z. This is copy B, signed and lettered by the book artist. There are also 10 copies with deluxe bindings. This powerful and timely new work from Mindy Belloff's Intima Press was four years in the making. It is a double-bound miniature pairing of Shakespeare's classic, The Tragedy of Othello, with The Tragedy of Desdemona, which has commentary and statistics compiled by Belloff. This approach magnifies the plight of abused women and also engages in dialogue with the text of Othello as cultural critique. The Desdemona tragedy highlights issues of patriarchy and gender bias throughout the centuries and gives voice to women who have been silenced. The book artist explores how Othello's intense jealousy and eventual murder of Desdemona parallels a modern Othello - the sports personality O.J. Simpson, who was accused of the double murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman in 1994. Both are tragic stories of jealous rage, domestic violence, male dominance, and femicide. In Desdemona, closing arguments from the legal case and diary entries of the victim are revisited, along with excerpts from Ovid, Dostoevsky and Alice Walker, current news headlines, global statistics on femicide, the 1993 case of Lorena Bobbitt, and more. The use of a dos à dos binding pairs Othello on one side with Desdemona on the other, sharing the same spine - that parallel's Iago's description of marital conjoining as "the beast with two backs," with the two texts and various voices that are conjoined in dialogue, inseparable. This layered narrative continues with a cinematic video card that functions as a time capsule, with an opening montage of images from film and theater productions of Othello, news headlines of sensational stories from the mid-1990s, women's marches from the #MeToo movement, and Supreme Court ruling reversals among other stories. The video is 8:44 minutes. Mindy Belloff is a noted book artist who designed, illustrated, printed and bound this highly inventive work, with a unique box with a magnetic side closure by Celine Lombardi. It is letterpress printed from photopolymer plates in two different shades of browns and reds, with the design of an "O" repeated on each page. The text of Othello is typeset in Adobe Luminari on Mohawk Superfine paper. Desdemona is typeset in Adobe Jenson Pro and printed on Johannot Arches papers. The binding is letterpress printed on paper covers commissioned from Saint-Armand Papeterie in Montreal with Suminagashi marbled edges. The engrossing film on the video card is 2 x 4 inches with volume and play/pause buttons with USB port. An accompanying letterpress printed accordion fold booklet lists the video credits. It is housed in one of two pull-out drawers in the custom box, with the second drawer holding a USB port. The beautiful custom box is covered in fine red cloth with a paper title label on top. A magnificent achievement in fine condition. Book measures 3 5/8 x 2 3/4 x 1 3/4 inches. The box measures 6.5 x 4 x 2.75 inches. Othello has 192 pages; Desdemona has 150 pages. ARTB/100923. Fine.
Iowa City: Emily Martin, 2017. Hardcover. Number 8 of 25 copies signed and numbered by Emily Martin. 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 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. This is an inventive and thoughtful yet playful book from Martin. From the book artist: "This book is the result of my extended study of Shakespeare’s comedies. I find the comedies individually to be enjoyable but there is a sameness to many of the plots that allows me to mix them up in my head. So much mistaken identity, gender confusion and various other contrivances while romping their way to a fifth act wedding or two. Even more problematic are the decidedly unfunny themes that are common in many of these same comedies such as hypocrisy, sexual harassment, intolerance, sexism, misogyny, and anti-Semitism. I struggled for a long time to integrate all these ideas. I finally realized that what I needed to do was to address each aspect separately, thus a dos a do book. Each side has its own focus and treatment. The characters are the same in both books. They are printed using the P22 Blox which are a set of modular shapes that can be interchanged to change the body’s posture and gestures. The P22 Blox allows the presentation of the characters as interchangeable as well. " Funny Peculiar is a drum leaf book and presents selected lines from five plays delivered by characters on a stage set. Funny Ha Ha is a slice book allowing the viewer to mix and match the costumes and gender of the characters in a variety of postures. Funny Peculiar is letterpress printed on an SP15 Vandercook proof press using hand-set type and P22 Blox combined with rubbings, ink washes, and collagraphs to make the images. Printed on Domestic Etch paper with gray Pescia end sheets. Funny Ha Ha is printed letterpress on an SP15 Vandercook proof press using hand-set type combined with relief printing using P22 Blox, collagraphs, and polymer plates from Boxcar Press to make the images. Printed on white Pescia paper with gray Pescia end sheets. Bound in a modified dos a do binding to hold the sewn text block slice book on one side and the drum leaf text block on the other side. The hard covers are covered with Arrestox book cloth and three vivid colored cotton papers color-matched and custom made by Katie MacGregor. Funded in part by a grant from the College Book Art Association. Housed in a clamshell box covered in Japanese linen cloth. The box has light bumping to corners and tiny loss of fabric along top edge. In near fine condition. Measures 12 x 10 x 1 inches. Box is 13 x 11 inches. ARTISTB/110823. Near Fine.