Selections from the Exhibition
SIAH ARMAJANI. (Iranian, 1939- ). Woodcuts.
Born in Teheran, Siah Armajani immigrated to the United States in 1960 and studied at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He creates public sculptures and structures making use of the vocabulary of architectural forms, particularly of historically American structures. He intends for his structural works to be "read," and his work often incorporates literary elements in the form of quotes from such American writers as Emerson and Dewey.
Seven of Armajani's bridges are highlighted in the Bridge Book through photographs, drawings and woodblock prints. The woodblocks by Armajani were constructed in the artist's studio and printed by Gaylord Schanilec at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts on Frankfurt White paper. The book was printed in an edition of 300, signed and numbered by the artist.
LEONARD BASKIN. (American, 1922- ). Etchings.
For over fifty years, sculptor, painter, printmaker, book designer, scholar, and teacher Leonard Baskin has been making limited, fine-press editions under his Gehenna Press imprint, first in Worcester, Massachusetts, then in Northampton, Massachusetts, then at Lurley in Devon, England, and finally in Leeds, Massachusetts. Many artists, printers, and fine-press publishers have apprenticed with him during his long career, and his creative output shows no signs of abatement. Jewish Artists of the Early & Late Renaissance is one of his most recent accomplishments: an iconography of imaginary early Jewish artists which "happily answer a number of exceedingly difficult art-historical problems." The book was printed in an edition of twenty-six numbered copies, signed by the author/artist. The color etchings were printed from Baskin's copperplates by Michael Kuch, and the edition was hand-bound by Claudia Cohen of Easthampton, Massachusetts. Baskin's son Hosea Baskin composed the Spectrum types and printed the letterpress on Gehenna's middle-sized Albion hand press.
LEONARD BASKIN. (American, 1922- ). Woodcuts.
MARK BEARD. (American, 1956- ). Linocuts and Collage.
Mark Beard uses linocuts and collage work to turn classical iconography into symbols of popular culture. Utah Reader is an autobiographical work based on the artist's Mormon childhood in Bountiful, Utah, near Salt Lake City. The text is in the artist's hand, screenprinted by John Hutcheson. The seventeen images are composed of forty-one color linocuts printed by Mark Beard and Bob Blackburn's Printmaking Workshop, with collage elements and additional handwork. Forty copies of Utah Reader were printed on Arches paper, in an edition signed by the artist and bound by Gérard Charrière.
MARTHA CAROTHERS. (American, 1955- ). Letterpress.
Martha Carothers is Chair of the Department of Art and Professor of Visual Communications at the University of Delaware. A graphic designer and bookmaker, Carothers received her MFA from Pennsylvania State University, University Park, where she wrote her thesis on the design and production of children's novelty books. Novelty in design, the letterpress, the structure and meaning of typographic form, and a sense of irony are elements that pervade all of her bookworks.
Martha Carothers lives and works in the old Post House, the former
business establishment of the Newark, Delaware, town newspaper, The Newark
Post. With the acquisition of the building, she inherited a mixed bag
of the newspaper's presses, types, and photographic plates. Good
War, Bad Peace makes use of some of these plates and equipment to
establish oxymoronic relationships in word and image relating to war
and peace. Carothers designed and produced the book in an edition of
twelve signed and numbered copies. The Bodoni type was generated with
Quark Xpress on a Macintosh LaserWriter II, and the images printed on
a Vandercook No. 3 proofpress. Each page is annotated by hand and the
symbols are hand-stamped.
John Christie began his career as a television cameraman before turning to printing and printmaking. Not essentially a draughtsman, Christie uses typographic and photographically derived images to produce his silkscreen prints. His first book, Listen, was published in 1975 by the Circle Press, beginning nearly twenty years of collaboration between Christie and Ronald King, the owner and driving force behind the press.
This accordion-fold book with a continuous silkscreen print is limited
to 120 numbered copies signed by the poet and artist. This edition of
Gael Turnbull's As From a Fleece forms part of a series of eight
books and pamphlets specially published to mark the move of the Circle
Press from Guildford to London.
Felim Egan is a painter, draftsman, printmaker, and mixed-media artist.
In 1986 he suggested to the Irish poet Seamus Heaney that they collaborate
on a project together. The initial result was a collaborative exhibition,
"Towards a Collaboration," at the Ardhowen Centre in Enniskillen,
County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. For this exhibition, Heaney wrote
of Egan, "His geometrical reticence and implication, the potency
of what is both immanent and imminent, his double alertness to the line
as limit and boundary and the line as quest and continuous creation--all
this stirred in me and (I hope) stirred something in him too. The rest
is silence in front of the work in progress." Two years later,
while working on the poems for Squarings, Heaney felt it was
time for further collaboration: "What I was doing seemed to have
a real connection with Felim's approach, since the writing was usually
an attempt to catch at something fleet and promising, and the lines
I liked best had a quality which recalled my earlier characterization
of certain Egan paintings."
DENNIS EVANS. (American, 1946- ). Computer Graphics.
Besides working in computer graphics, Dennis Evans is also a painter and mixed media artist whose work in all media is informed by his deep interests in comparative religion, the sciences, philosophy, and his love of the written word and the printed book. His work uses iconography from diverse sources, such as alchemy, ancient forms of divination, early printed books, seventeenth-century allegorical paintings, and high-speed photography from the 1930s. A graduate of the University of Washington, Dennis Evans began a collaborative effort in 1990 with poet Carmine Chickadel, a 1974 graduate of the University of Delaware, to produce art and poetry in book form. The result of their partnership was the founding of the Neo Vatikan Press to create books that couple the traditional hand work of letterpress with the newest forms of graphic technology.
The Seven Deadly Sins is the first result of their collaborative venture, combining contemporary and ancient ideas to create a fresh view of the old evils. The book was printed in an edition of seventy five, signed and numbered by the artist and the poet. The text was letterpress printed by Charles E. Matson and Sheila Coppola. The prints were created on a 386 IBM PC compatible computer using Z-Soft's PC Paintbrush software and a Logitech Scanman scanner. Prints were mastered on either an HP Paint Jet XL color printer or a Canon Laser Copier directly transferred from disk at 400 dots per inch.
DAVID HARVEY. (American, 1950- ). Aquatints.
David Harvey received his MFA from the University of Iowa in 1950, and printed Selected Poems of William Butler Yeats with a suite of aquatints in 1979. Beyond that, nothing more is known about this artist and his work. Harvey set and printed the text by hand in an edition of seventy, with the first twenty on Rives BFK and the remainder of Domestic Etching. This copy is number eight signed by the artist, with a suite of five aquatints. The woodcut on the title page is based on Yeats's A Vision.
DELLAS HENKE. (American, 1954- ). Etchings.
Michigan artist Dellas Henke was commissioned by the Iowa Center for the Book to illustrate its first production, Samuel Beckett's Company, under the auspices of Kim Merker. Henke had previously illustrated Beckett's Waiting for Godot for Merker's Windhover Press. Company was set and printed by hand on Arches Cover paper by Cheryl Miller, L. J. Yanney, Kim Merker, and Cynthia Rymer in an edition of fifty two signed by the author and the artist. The thirteen etchings were pulled from plates by the artist. The binding is by William Anthony.
SHELLEY HOYT. (American, 1949- ). Typographic Prints.
Shelley Hoyt is a painter, printer, book designer, and bookbinder. She came to printmaking from painting and drawing, but did not make typographic prints until some years after learning letterpress printing and beginning a partnership with Peter Koch in the Black Stone Press. She became the Press's principle designer and binder, and began experimenting with type as art. She writes, "I found myself pouring over type specimen books and catalogs. I was fascinated by the shapes of letters, their similarities and differences, but not with the traditions of fine printing which I found quite stuffy and conservative. . . . one day I opened a drawer of wooden type and suddenly saw all of the letters as architectural shapes." From this sensibility comes the essence of Shelley Hoyt's typographic prints.
From 1980 to 1984 Hoyt made nearly fifty prints, culminating in 1985 with her concertina book, The Circus of Most Inventions, which contains her last prints. She worked on this book after the dissolution of the Black Stone Press in 1983. She writes that while working on it she felt less of a need for work that was "dependent on the mechanical for execution. I no longer felt a need to invent. I was feeling the need to draw and paint again. I put my equipment into storage and . . . sold it." Hoyt currently lives in Berkeley, California, where she focusses her efforts on painting and drawing. She states, however, that with no particular objective in mind, she recently acquired a printing press. Who knows?
RONALD KING. (English, 1932- ). Silkscreen Prints.
Painter, printmaker (etching, silkscreen, lithography), and letterpress printer, Ronald King is the founder and owner of the Circle Press. Born and raised in Brazil and educated in England, King started his career as a magazine designer before turning to teaching and printmaking. In 1966 he undertook his first book, Chaucer's Prologue to the Canterbury Tales. When the original publisher, Editions Alecto, was unable to proceed with the publication, King brought the book out himself, inaugurating the Circle Press which has been bringing writers and artists together for limited letterpress editions ever since. This is the second edition of The Prologue which is divided into twenty separate versions, each of 250 copies signed by the artist. Included in all versions is a newly produced original silkscreen print or lithograph by King, inserted into a folder containing a specially written poem or literary comment related to Chaucer's text. This copy is the second version which includes a four-color silkscreen print printed at the Circle press by King and John Christie, in a folder with a poem by Andrew Crozier. All other prints in the book are original silkscreened images from the first edition.
ALYSON MacNEILL. (Scottish, 1961- ). Engravings.
Alyson MacNeill studied illustration and printmaking at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee, winning prizes for sculpture and printmaking before pursuing graduate work at the Glasgow School of Art where she earned her MA in design. Eleanor's Advent is MacNeill's third book with Old Stile Press, produced in an edition of 225 numbered copies signed by the artist and the poet. Printed on Zerkall mould made paper, the pages are folded to create a "toybook." MacNeill's wood engraved images form a frieze throughout the book with Kevin Crossley-Holland's text "hidden" behind. Old Stile Press proprietors Frances and Nicolas McDowell state that "we concentrate on developing projects with illustrators--established and beginning--leading to limited editions of finely printed books, where the artists' images and the chosen text have equal importance and their marriage into a successful overall design is our greatest challenge."
DAVID MOYER. (American, 1952- ). Wood Engravings.
David Moyer is a University of Delaware graduate. He received his MFA from the Maryland Institute, College of Art, and studied book arts with Martha Carothers. Moyer's wood engravings demonstrate a sense of dynamism and frenetic intensity that transform his static subjects into barely -contained, adrenaline-charged chimeras.
Artificial Horizons is a collection of seven wood engravings of inventors and inventions. The text, re-written with image in mind, is derived from technical manuals concerning machine technology. The engravings were printed from end-grain maple blocks on Okawara Japanese paper. The text was handset and printed by David Moyer on Rives lightweight buff paper. The edition is limited to fifty signed copies bound Japanese style with Rives BFK tan paper.
CLAIRE OWEN. (American, 1948- ). Woodcuts and Linocuts.
Claire Owen is co-founder of Turtle Island Press, a private press specializing since 1975 in the production of artists books. She studied printmaking and illustration at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where she earned her MFA. It was during her graduate study that she began working in book forms and established Turtle Island Press with Daniel Tucker. Her bookwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally. She has been guest artist at colleges in the Philadelphia area, and was awarded travel grants to Wales and China. She currently teaches at the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science.
Of Fur and Flesh was inspired by Owen's stay in Wales, and consists of six woodcuts and thirteen linocuts printed in two colors on Kitikata paper. The book was printed in an edition of fifty, signed and numbered by the artist, in a Japanese binding of silk-rayon covered chemise.
HENRY PEARSON (American, 1914- ). Engravings.
North Carolina native Henry Pearson graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and earned his MFA at Yale before going on to design stage sets and establish his reputation as a painter and teacher. An enthusiastic reader and collector of the works of Irish poet Seamus Heaney, Pearson selected the material for this Limited Editions Club publication of Heaney's Poems and a Memoir, which includes eight original relief engravings by Pearson, an introduction by Thomas Flanagan, and a preface by Heaney. The designs for the engravings were adapted from prehistoric carvings found a few miles north of Dublin where mounds at Newgrange, Dowth, and Knowth contain monoliths decorated 4,500 years ago with geometric designs. The book was printed in a numbered edition of 2,000 signed by Heaney, Pearson, and Flanagan. The typographic design is by John Anderson of The Pickering Press. Daniel Keleher printed the engravings and the text at the Wild Carrot Press, Hadley, Massachusetts, on one-hundred pound letterpress paper with a laid finish made by Mohawk Mills and used in this book for the first time. The binding is by Robert Burlen & Son.
ALAN JAMES ROBINSON. (American, 1950- ). Etchings and Wood Engravings.
Alan James Robinson founded the Cheloniidae Press with Joel Ginsburg in 1979 after receiving his MFA in printmaking from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In 1989 he also founded ABCedary Productions with author Mark Philip Carol. Both of these presses merged in 1992 to form The Press of the Sea Turtle. Robinson designs and illustrates all of the books in collaboration with numerous artisans and craftsman, mostly from Western Massachusetts, a center of book-arts activity. All of Robinson's works are printed by celebrated master printer Harold P. McGrath.
Roadkills is Robinson's third publication, and includes one title-page etching and eleven wood engravings by Robinson, and a collection of poetry and prose on the subject of roadkills by Gillian Conoley, Madeline DeFrees, Richard Eberhart, John McPhee, Gary Snyder, and William Stafford. Roadkills was produced in an edition of 250 fifty portfolios and fifty deluxe copies containing an additional suite of prints. The present copy is one of the fifty deluxe editions signed by the artist and all six authors. The wood engravings were printed on Cha-u-ke paper, and the etching and text on Sakomoto and Mulberry paper. All printing was done at Harold McGrath's Hampshire Typothetae, except for the single etching printed by the artist at the Cheloniidae Press. The binding and case are by Gray Parrot. This copy also includes a signed and dated presentation inscription by Alan James Robinson to Pat England.
NORMAN SASOWSKY. (American, 1931- ). Lithograph.
The most recent production from The Moment Press is a collaborative effort between artist and Moment Press's founder Norman Sasowsky and poet Fleda Brown Jackson. Both are faculty members at the University of Delaware. They write, "We first intended this project to be a loosely connected series of poems and images based on the few available facts about the Mysteries at Eleusis. As our work evolved, the poems became a narrative, as did the images. . . . During the time the Mysteries were practiced, artists made vase paintings and sculptures to represent some elements of the ceremony without ever explicitly revealing either the actual experiences of the initiates or the ritual. The story here, and the images, are our vase paintings and sculpture. Working independently, we chose to allow words and images, story and myth to tattle on each other, as they always do."
The Eleusinian Mysteries MS was computer produced in an edition of thirty one copies signed by the poet and artist. The images, originally monotypes, were printed on a Canon Color Laser Copier on Mohawk Superfine White paper. The edition also includes one signed original lithograph.
NORMAN SASOWSKY. (American, 1931- ). Monoprints.
Painter, printmaker, and teacher Norman Sasowsky is a Professor of Art at the University of Delaware. A scholar of the works of Reginald Marsh, Sasowsky's own works focus on the human form, human strength, and human frailty. Like many of the other artists in this exhibition, he became intrigued with the possibilities of the book format as an alternate forum of expression. An avid reader and an active journal writer, Sasowsky has always been interested in the relationship between word and image. The result of this interest was the 1991 publication of Images and Reflections, the first of three limited-edition books produced under his imprint, The Moment Press. Because he selected the monotype as his medium for this book, each of the nine copies of this edition are unique. The monotypes were printed by the author/artist on Rives BFK paper. The typography was designed and computer set by Ray Nichols, Professor of Art, University of Delaware, and the text was set in Stone Serif and screen printed by Randy Bolton, Associate Professor of Art, University of Delaware. Besides painting, NormanSasowsky is currently working on a book project that utilizes computer technology for creating word, image, and book design.
GAYLORD SCHANILEC. (American, 1955- ). Wood Engravings.
Gaylord Schanilec is a printmaker, book designer, illustrator, and fine-press printer. As artist-in-residence at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, he has designed and printed a number of the Center's productions. Under his own imprint, Midnight Paper Sales Press, he has produced two books. The financial success of the first, High Bridge, completed in the spring of 1987, enabled him to purchase a small farm in western Wisconsin, which inspired his next book, Farmers. This book includes interviews with farmers from North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, and nine color woodengravings by Schanilec. The compositions for the engravings are composites developed from hundreds of photographs. Making multiple-color, wood-engraved prints is Schanilec's favored medium. He writes, "I tend to print from background to foreground, from light to dark. . . . I do this for a number of reasons I suppose, but primarily to create a sense of depth. . . . I set up specific technical challenges at the beginning of a project. In Farmers I worked larger and paid more attention to one layer of colour affecting another."
Farmers was designed and handprinted by Schanilec in an edition of 174 numbered and 26 lettered copies. The wood engravings were cut in end-grain maple blocks made by Milwaukee cabinet-maker Jim Reynolds. The present copy is one of the lettered versions, bound in leather at the Campbell-Logan Bindery, and includes an extra suite of prints.
SANDY SPIELER. (American, 1953- ). Wood Engravings.
Sandy Spieler is a Minneapolis-based artist and performer, who since 1976 has been the artistic director (as well as creator and performer) for In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater, Minneapolis. She is currently working on a film entitled "Tarantella." Winter Prairie Woman is her first effort in the book format.
This book is the third in an annual commissioned series by the Minnesota Center for Book Arts celebrating winter in the Upper Midwest. Gaylord Schanilec designed and printed the book on Arches Text Wove paper. This copy is one of 290 numbered and signed by the author, Meridel Le Sueur, and bound by Dennis Ruud into Fabriano Artistico covers.
LUCIANO DE VITA. (Italian, 1929- ). Etchings.
Luciano De Vita is a painter, sculptor, stage and costume designer, and opera director based in Bologna, Italy. De Vita was introduced to Manuel Mujica Lainez's libretto for Alberto Ginastera's Cantata de Bomarzo by Richard-Gabriel Rummonds of the Plain Wrapper Press. Rummonds wanted to publish an edition of Lainez's libretto and asked De Vita to provide the artwork. De Vita was immediately taken by Lainez's version of this true story of a hunchbacked Italian Renaissance duke who poisoned himself in his garden surrounded by sculpted grotesques. These statues still stand in the Bomarzo garden just outside Rome. Instead of creating literal depictions of the monsters, De Vita devised his own menacing dark images to accompany Lainez's text in seven etchings pulled by De Vita's printmaking student Cataldo Serafini. Rummonds and Alessandro Zanella printed the book on handmade Wookey Hole paper in an edition of eighty-three numbered copies signed by the author and the artist. The design for the cover and slipcase was taken from a piece of screenprinted burlap that De Vita used as a backdrop in one of his stage productions.
D. R. WAKEFIELD. (English, 1950- ). Etchings.
Sculptor, printmaker, and fine-press printer, Bob Wakefield began etching and producing limited edition books and prints on fish and fishing under his Chevington Press imprint in 1981. After graduating from Exeter College of Art, Wakefield began making statuary and museum replicas, and in 1974 he began a long association with sculptor and printmaker Leonard Baskin, working on several major commissions both in England and the United States. When Baskin re-established his Gehenna Press in England, Wakefield became his pressman and typesetter, and because, as Baskin remarks, "his tendency toward virtuosity in understanding, performance & flair was breathtaking," Wakefield eventually became Baskin's master printer. In 1984, Wakefield was made an Associate of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers. While etching and printing, he also continues to produce figurative sculpture and provide museum exhibition services.
Wakefield's meticulous color etchings of trout in Some Trout recall chromolithographic plates from natural history publications of the nineteenth century. To accompany his images, Wakefield includes poetry about fish and fishing by Ted Hughes, John Donne, George Mackay Brown, Rupert Brooke, Andrew Young, and Seamus Heaney. The book was printed in an edition of seventy five numbered copies on handmade Barcham Green paper signed by the artist. The binder was Robert Hadrill, with marbled paper by Katherine Davis.
KARIN WIKSTRÖM. (Swedish, 1952- ). Woodcuts.
Swedish printmaker Karin Wikström earned her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, and currently makes her home in that city. Her print work is generally abstract, but her illustrative work tends to be more representational. She does not consider herself an illustrator or book artist, so it is somewhat ironic that Yolla Bolly Press would be introduced to her work through a small book she had produced while living in Sweden. The Inland Whale became the first of a series of works Wikström has illustrated for Yolla Bolly. She is currently working on printing a series of large-scale woodcuts at the Kala Institute, Berkeley, California.
The Inland Whale is the eighth Yolla Bolly Press production, designed and printed by James and Carolyn Robertson in an edition 135 copies on mould-formed Rives BFK Cream. The plates are colored with gouache paints applied by hand from stencils cut by the artist. The black portion of each plate was printed directly from the artist's block. The edition was bound by the Schuberth Bookbindery in Belgian linen, laced at the spine with a linen cord.
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