Sunday, June 26, 2011

Julia Rothman, Jenny Volvovski & Matt Lamothe, The Exquisite Book, San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2010

I was in San Francisco last week and quite by chance I come across this remarkable accordion book at Green Apple Books on Clement Street. Utilizing the Surrealist game of 'Exquisite Corpse' the editors invited 100 illustrators to contribute one page to this project. The artists were placed in 10 groups with the first artist in each group being given an open-ended phrase with which to start each section. The final book contains 10 double-sided accordions (!) that are made up of 10 artworks and 2 pages that contain the phrase for each accordion.

This is a really wonderful publication that I'm sure created all kinds of headaches & challenges for the printers & binders — but it's a gem. The images are first class and they come together to create some smart and unexpected juxtapositions. The book also includes short interviews with a number of the artists, as well as biographical information for them all. Aside from the 2 publications from La Dernier Cri (France) documented earlier in this blog, this book stands out as one of the most technically innovative accordion publications that I've come across! If you only buy one accordion this year, make it this one - you won't be disappointed. Each individual accordion is 9" (H) 3.75' (L)

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