My Visit to Arion Press, Part Two – Art

A few days ago, I posted pictures of equipment used at Arion Press to create their wonderful books.  The pictures were taken at my visit to Arion Press in early September this year.  This next installment looks at some of the artwork hanging on the walls at Arion.  These pictures are mostly originals, done by artists they commission, for the illustrations of their books.

Probably my favorite part of the visit was meeting the artist William Wiley. Mr. Wiley has illustrated a number of Arion Press books, two of which, Don Quixote and The Voices of Marrakesh, I am lucky enough to own.   Mr. Wiley was extremely gracious, very friendly and fun to talk with.

William T. Wiley and myself, at Arion Press, September 2011

As you will see below, due to the lighting and time of day, along with the glass in front of the art, the pictures I took are less than stellar, many with unfortunate reflections.  I am posting them anyway, hopefully they are good enough for you to get a feel for their wonderful quality and style.

Canetti in Marrakesh, 2001, William Wiley, Charcoal and acrylic over photocopy decal transfer on map of Marrakesh (1953) on canvas.
The Voices of Marrakesh, 2001, Illustrations by William Wiley, Drawing, ink and graphite on paper.
The Voices of Marrakesh, Illustrations by William Wiley
The Voices of Marrakesh, Illustrations by William Wiley
Don Quixote in a Printing House in Barcelona, Illustrations by William Wiley, 2009
The Song of Waiting for Godot, William Wiley, 2006
A Delicate Balance, Illustrations by Tom Holland, 2011
The Ballad of Lemon and Crow, six photogravures and ink-blot drawings by Bruce Conner and Anonymous Artists, 2002
South of Heaven, illustrations by Raymond Pettibon
South of Heaven, illustrations by Raymond Pettibon
South of Heaven, illustrations by Raymond Pettibon
South of Heaven, illustrations by Raymond Pettibon
The Alienist, Illustrations by Carroll Dunham, 1998
Lie, Sit, Stand, Be Still, Illustrations by Robert Graham, 1995
The Age of Innocence, Photographs by Stephen Shore, 2004
On Certainty, Illustrations by Mel Bochner, 1991
A Day in the Bleachers, Illustrations by Mark Ulriksen, 2006
Biotherm, Illustrations by Jim Dine, 1990
Birds of the Pacific Slope, Andrew Jackson Grayson, 1986
The Structure of Rime, Illustrations by Frank Lobdell, 2008
Paradise Lost, Illustrated by William Blake, 2004

5 thoughts on “My Visit to Arion Press, Part Two – Art

  1. Your visit to the Arion Press truly appears to have been a splendid evening.

    Of the 30 or so Arion Press titles that I own, William Wiley’s illustrations for ‘The Voices of Marrakesh’ are among my favorites and they greatly enhance that edition, perfect in mood and execution. Ironically, I have found that the Arion Press selections of illustrators have been a consistent weak point and they vary from being quirky (Michael Graves’ architectural illustrations for ‘The Great Gatsby’) to downright irritating (John Baldessari’s spectacularly inappropriate collages for ‘Tristram Shandy’ and Mel Kendrick’s sperm drawings for ‘Kora On Hell’ — what on Earth were they thinking!!).

    Ironically, the best of the Arion Press illustrated books (for me, anyway) are those with photography rather than artwork. Lou Stoumen’s photographs for ‘The Big Sleep” go straight to the top of the list and the vintage and modern (Edmund Shea) photographs of San Francisco for ‘The Maltese Falcon’ work exceptionally well. Special mention for the stunning photography Michael Kenna provided for both ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ and ‘The Silverado Squatters’. His photos are dark, moody and atmospheric and they are a focal point of both editions.

    1. I agree, the books with photography that I have, or have seen, are great…amongst the best. The Big Sleep and The Maltese Falcon especially. I have not see The Silverado Squatters, will need to look for that one. One other I agree on, is I simply just did not get John Baldessari’s collages for Tristram Shandy. I did not care for them.

Leave a Reply