Friday, November 20, 2015

Mary Ting, Insomnia, 2009, New York, ed. 12.

An interesting work from this Chinese American visual artist who is based in New York. This piece was created for the 2009 Women Artists International Biennial in Incheon, Korea. The book includes images from her installation, Run-On Sentences as well as works from the drawing series Insomnia in the Other Garden a piece that included watercolor, soot, silkscreen and cut paper drawings. The book reads as per the Chinese language, from the end of the book to the front, which is curiously how the pre-Columbian codices were structured. Eight pages at 7" x 5.5" and fully opened 3' 8". For further information about Ting's work see:

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Helen Douglas, In Mexico: in the garden of Edward Jones, Weproductions: Yarrow, Scotland, 2014

Another little beauty from this long-time Scottish book artist. Invited to do a residency by the Mexican artist and publisher Martha Hellion, Douglas found her way to a wonderful surrealist paradise called Las Pozas (The Pools) that was created by the English poet, artist and surrealist Edward James. Located north of Mexico City the land was originally a coffee plantation that Edwards acquired in 1947. At the beginning he planted orchids and settled exotic animals on the plantation but after a bad frost in 1962 destroyed many of the plants, he started creating his "Surrealist Xanadu" by building surrealist sculptures and buildings. By the time of his death in 1984 he had built 36 concrete sculptures spread out over 20 acres of jungle. 

Douglas' book is a celebration of this wonderful, and little known, artistic site.  Looking carefully at the pages one sees extra digital elements inserted into the original photographs in the form of birds, plants and patterns that reflect Douglas' desire to incorporate into the book elements of both contemporary Mexico and the weaving, embroidery and beadwork traditions of the indigenous peoples.

92 pages at 5" x 5" each, and open the width is 44ft 2". 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Marie Angel, The Ark, New York/San Francisco, Evanston/London: Harper & Row, 1973

A rather sweet accordion by the English illustrator Marie Angel (1923-2010).  Trained as a calligrapher, she attended Croydon School of Arts and Crafts and then the Royal College of Art in London. Soon after art school she started receiving commissions for her work and it can now be found in the permanent collections of important European and American libraries and musuems. In a short biographical note in this book it notes that she "...enjoys gardening, sports cars, and her cats..."  8 pages, single-sided, each 7.25" x 6.75" with total length of 4ft 6".

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Leo Quievreux, De la Paille sur la Ligne Bleue (The Straw on the Blue Line), Collection Sandwich #5, Le Dernier Cri, France, 1997. [edition 150]

Another great accordion from the Le Dernier Cri's 'Collection Sandwich' series that I was lucky enough to find this summer. I'm unsure how many there are in the collection (10?) but it seems to have started in 1995 and continued throughout the decade. This cool series is marked by editions designed by either an individual artist or a collaboration between two artists. The square format, the black boards of the covers and the silk screened insides reflect a real concern with quality and presentation. This one by Leo Quievreux is no exception and, although my French is not really up to translating the texts contained in here, you can clearly see that there's some kind of surreal landscape in which a crew of barely human creatures are fighting it out.  Size 5" x 5" with 7 double-sided pages, total length 45".

Monday, September 21, 2015

Collection Sandwich #3, Le Dernier Cri, France, 1997

I was recently lucky enough to find this copy of an accordion from Le Dernier Cri's 'Sandwich Series' of astounding accordions. This particular one is no exception although I'm unable to make out the name of the artist(s). No sweat as the book has the usual twisted energy of a Le Dernier Cri publication, but this time in the accordion format its given full play. Individual pages 4.75, x 4.75" seven pages double-sided silkscreen with an overall length of 33.25". 

The reverse side opened up.

Leo Quivereu and Judex, Cocaine14, Le Dernier Cri, France, 2014. [edition 200]

Another totally wonderful & crazy publication from Le Dernier Cri. The book comes accompanied by a simple publication featuring the drawings of Virginie Loze, which is not particularly interesting and anyway pales in comparison with the energy of Cocaine14, which was created in collaboration with the two artists Leo Quiveruex and Judex. The way the book is structured as a series of interwoven accordions creates havoc with book form and really engages the reader in exploring its many interlocking & unfolding sections — it's a really fun 'read.' Individual pages 6" x 8.25", with 39 double-sided pages.

A spread from the booklet by Virginie Loze.