Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Warja Lavater (1931-2007), Tell, NordSüd Verlgag AG, Zurich, Switzerland, 1962/2019


As far as I know this was the first accordion work that Lavatar published, and it was presented as a single lithographic sheet, folded accordion style. Trained as an illustrator and designer Lavatar produced accordions throughout her life from 1962 onwards, as well as working in other media. However, the date of her first artists' book is significant as it comes the same year that Etal Adnan, who only worked in the accordion book format published her first artists' accordion book. Throw in the fact that 1962 was significant because Edward Ruscha published his first artists' book that year (and his first accordion in 1966), and you have two early women book artists' occupying very significant positions at the beginning of the history of artists' books. A lot more could be said about this, but I'm going to hold back for the moment!

This book is based around the fairy tale and myth of the Swiss hero William Tell, and uses her now famous pictograms to tell the story, a device that she continued to use throughout her artists' book output. This book is accompanied with a card in English (and French, German and Italian) that explains to the reader to the meaning of the assorted symbols.  

Single-sided, individual pages 6.25" (h) x 4.5" (w), 20 pages, and when fully opened 7' 6".








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