This page will occasionally be updated with announcements on upcoming books to be published by fine and private press producers, along with others news that may be of interest to those collecting finely done books. Fine/Private press publishers are welcome to send me information on upcoming releases, or other announcements that may be of interest to Books and Vines readers. Occasionally their may be some announcements on releases of certain collectible wines which, of course, should be imbibed while reading fine press books.
October 23, 2015
The CODEX Foundation’s Alchimie Du Verbe is a real showcase of some of the finest work of today’s private press and the artists often associated with such. Purchases support the CODEX Foundation 100% so it is a real win-win. Just look at the list of participating artists:
Walter Bachinski and Janis Butler, Victoria Bean, Karen Bleitz, Carolee Campbell, Aaron Cohick, Crispin & Jan Elsted, Nacho Gallardo, Martha Hellion, Sarah Horowitz, Mikhail Karassik, Peter Rutledge Koch, Patricia Lagarde, Clemens-Tobias Lange, Alan Loney, Peter Malutzki and Ines von Ketelhodt, Russell Maret, Rick Myers, Didier Mutel, Robin Price, Harry Reese and Sandra Liddell Reese, Dmitry Sayenko, Veronika Schäpers, Gaylord Schanilec, Johannes Strugalla and Françoise Despalles, Richard Wagener, Sam Winston.
The prospectus tells us:
In celebration of the 5th CODEX Symposium, the 10th anniversary of the CODEX Foundation, and the 500th anniversary of the death of Aldus Manutius—we are pleased to announce Alchimie du Verbe, the first ever CODEX Assembly-Exchange, a carefully curated collection of printed works from some of the finest book artists and printers in the world.
From the earliest written record there have been instances of allegorical figures, shaped language, secret codes, and philosophi- cal alphabets. We have seen the brilliant De laudibus sanctae crucis of Hrabanus Maurus in the 9th century and the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili in the 15th century. In the last 150 years, Arthur Rimbaud’s Alchimie du Verbe, Guillaume Apollinaire’s Calligrammes, Brazilian concrete poetry, and the mesostics of John Cage are noted examples. In the present context, the artwork of Karen Bleitz, Martha Hellion, Russell Maret, and Harry & Sandra Reese, as illustrated in this brochure, are examplary.
The book as a spiritual instrument has long been associated with the ancient alchemical tradition of the transformation of self and matter. From the Utriusque Cosmi… of Robert Fludd in 17th century to the Neo Emblemata Nova of Daniel Kelm in the 21st, the alchemist has remained a vital metaphor in understanding the workings of the creative imagination.
The pieces within this modern Alchimie du Verbe range from traditional private press and playful typographic experimentation to contemporary avant-garde. In other words—a collection truly representative of the CODEX bibliosphere—presenting an international and inclusive view of the book arts as practiced by some of the finest artists and printers working in the field. The symbolic imagination is a constant force in the art and thought of all ages and cultures. In the spirit of the international bibliosphere and the studium codex, we raise a glass to the typographic imagination and the poetical alphabet.
The printed works on paper were made using a variety of methods, including: letterpress, screenprint, hand-set type, photopolymer, wood type, silver-gelatin, intaglio, inkjet, & wood engraving. The papers are equally diverse, including: Barcham Green, Zerkall, & Magnani. From handmade to industrial; gossamer-thin to heavy-weight; kozo, cotton, and more. The designs range from broadsides to chapbooks to folded folios. Each work is wrapped in Kawashi paper donated by Hiromi Paper. The complete set is housed in a handmade box from John DeMerritt Bookbinder. The printed pieces are roughly A4 (8.25″ x 11.75″) and the box is 8.75″ x 12.5″ x 2.25″. There were twenty six lettered copies for distribution to the participants and forty numbered copies for sale. For more information or to purchase the collection, see here.
October 15, 2015
Barbarian Press today announced an Indiegogo funding campaign to print and publish a book to be called Bordering on the Sublime: Ornamental Typography at the Curwen Press. As said on the campaign page:
The book will describe, celebrate, and display a significant area of printing history in the 20th century: the ornamented borders of one of England’s most distinguished trade publishers, The Curwen Press, which existed from 1863 until 1984. The press was well known for its artistic designs, and in particular, for its original and exquisite use of type flowers and ornamented borders.
Crispin and Jan Elsted go on to say:
A few years ago, we were lucky enough to acquire the type for over 100 of these borders in their original state, ready for printing. Our plan is to reprint these borders using the original standing type, and to create new patterns with the individual type flowers as well, some of them recreating Curwen borders for which the type has been distributed. The book will include essays describing the history and special virtues of this unique press, and other information about the history of typographical ornaments. This book will bring the beautiful work of the Curwen Press to light again, and will remind us how much can be achieved when fine design and craftsmanship work together.
There is a wealth or information on the funding site that you will find very interesting and illuminating, including a video, a large number of pictures, much more information on the project, the use and need for the funding, the fantastic perks being offered for donating, etc. Please take a look! As a subscriber to Barbarian Press, I can attest to the superb quality of all that the Elsteds publish, both from a craft perspective as well as from a scholarly perspective. This book will be beautiful, interesting and important.
Here is the video, but please go to the project page and read all about this upcoming work and please think about a donation for this important project. Please pass on to others you think may be interested.
September 17, 2015
The latest from The Prototype Press, The Glamour Requirement, is now ready to ship. It includes an editorial by Stefanie Kalem and illustrations by San Francisco artist Whitney Coffin Shaw. The book was published in an edition of 30. It is printed in three colors on Rives BFK from Monotype 20th Century and hand-set Futura types. The images are printed from photopolymer plates. The book is 15″ by 10″ in size, 40 pages in length. It is bound Coptic style with a cover made from imitation football leather. It is housed in a slipcase. Note that, through September 30, 2015, 20% of sales of the book will be donated to the Bay Area Chapter of Girls on the Run.
Up next, The Prototype Press will immediately start working on collaborative book project with San Francisco artist Martin Machado. The project will be cast, printed and bound by the press to be ready for Martin’s solo show at K. Imperial Fine Art in early November. Visually inspired by the Captain James Cook Adventure Logs, the book will blend Martin’s artwork and poetry/prose. More information to come.
September 15, 2015
September 2, 2015
Courtesy of Arion Press, here are a few samples of the illustrations from South African artist William Kentridge for their soon to be released The Lulu Plays of Frank Wedekind. They look fantastic, and a great match for the plays. The Lulu Plays presents the original telling of the mythic Lulu tale in Earth Spirit and Pandora’s Box, about (from Wikipedia) “a sexually-enticing young dancer who rises in German society through her relationships with wealthy men, but who later falls into poverty and prostitution.”
Arion Press tells us that:
Kentridge drew with brush and ink on dictionary pages. The definitions are in the background but the opening and closing words, in larger type, can be read. Often, after drawing, Kentridge moves the sheets, rearranging elements of the drawings so that they become collages and can resemble moving pictures.
The edition will be limited to 400 copies, numbered and signed by the artist, 176 pages, quarto format, 13-1/2″ x 10″, printed by letterpress in black and in red, with 67 prints bound into the book, hand bound, with a slipcase. Price: $2,000 (less discount of 35% for Arion Subscribers)
Portfolio Edition: 40 copies, 24-3/4″ x 19-1/4″, four linoleum block prints, cut and printed in Johannesburg, South Africa, signed and numbered, in a cloth-covered portfolio, sold only with a copy of the book. Price: $16,000
See the below news entry for some special events surrounding the release of this book.
August 23, 2015
The next release from Arion Press is Frank Wedekind‘s The Lulu Plays, with 67 full page prints derived from brush and ink drawings by South African artist William Kentridge. The Lulu Plays presents the original telling of the mythic Lulu tale in Earth Spirit and Pandora’s Box, about (from Wikipedia) “a sexually-enticing young dancer who rises in German society through her relationships with wealthy men, but who later falls into poverty and prostitution.” Wedekind’s work inspired the silent cinema classic Pandora’s Box and the Alban Berg opera Lulu. Kentridge drew his Lulu images on dictionary pages and reworked them as collages that can resemble moving pictures. Here are some events associated with the release of this book:
- October 13: William Kentridge and Andrew Hoyem in conversation at the Metropolitan Museum. Tickets available on line from Met Museum Events/Ticketed Talks.
- November 2: Launch for The Lulu Plays at the Marian Goodman Gallery. RSVP to Arion Press.
- November 4-8: Arion exhibits at the International Fine Print Dealers Association Print Fair at the Park Avenue Armory at East 66th Street.
- November 5 through December 3: Alban Berg’s Lulu at the Metropolitan Opera, directed and with sets by William Kentridge.
The Prototype Press
The next publication from David Johnston and Mark Sarigianis of The Prototype Press is The Glamour Requirement with an editorial by Stefanie Kalem and illustrations by San Francisco artist Whitney Coffin Shaw. The book was published in an edition of 30. It is printed in three colors on Rives BFK from Monotype 20th Century and hand-set Futura types. The images are printed from photopolymer plates. The book is 15″ by 10″ in size, 40 pages in length. It is bound Coptic style with a cover made from imitation football leather. It is housed in a slipcase. Note that, through September 30, 2015, 20% of sales of the book will be donated to the Bay Area Chapter of Girls on the Run.
The Whittington Press
This year’s open day will be larger than ever, with some 27 stands showing the work of printers from Germany, Poland, Hungary and France, as well as the UK, including of course the Whittington Press and Nomad Letterpress. The Press will have three of its presses working, as well as an informal exhibition of its work, including images from Venice, its latest title, and copies of the newly published Matrix 33 will be available. There will also be displays of marbling, pochoir, goatskin from Nigeria, hand-made and mould-made papers, hand-printed wallpaper and stone-cut lettering. The Presstival has during the past forty years deservedly become the Glastonbury of printing festivals.
I should also point out that the University of Minnesota has acquired the remaining archive from Whittington Press. The University states:
The Whittington archive provides a unique insight into private press activity through the eyes of perhaps the most influential printer over the past half century. The records include:
- Everything related to production of a dominant journal in typography and the history of printing, Matrix.
- All correspondence files for each book produced by the press from its founding in 1971.
- General files on artists, printing machinery, type founders, and correspondence with the principle printers, artists, librarians, illustrators, and subscribers associated with fine press printing in the Western world.
Taken together, these materials document a unique microcosm of fine printing over the past century.
July 15, 2015
Phil Abel has announced that Hand & Eye Editions will be releasing their next work this fall. A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, here illustrated by Angela Barrett. Ms. Barrett’s truly fantastic illustrations graced the charming Hand & Eye Edition of Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, previously reviewed by Books and Vines here. Prices are not announced yet but they should be in line with Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. There will be some specials, which will be hand-coloured. Here are a couple examples of the illustrations.
With A Christmas Carol being a perennial favorite, Ms. Barrett’s illustrations, and a pretty small limitation, these will be bound to go quickly! Contact Mr. Abel to reserve a copy.
July 12, 2015
The next publication from Barbarian Press is at the binders and should be available quite soon. The Ingoldsby Legends is nearly fully subscribed at this point, so hurry up or you will be disappointed! Within a week of receiving my copy I will post an article reviewing it, so keep your eyes open! I am very much looking forward to this. Besides a nice selection of the poems (a ‘gallimaufry’), the edition includes a number of contemporary wood engravings from the 1860’s by the Dalziel Brothers. The images, with one exception, are apparently previously unpublished, so this edition will therefore represent their introduction to the world. In a letter to subscribers, Jan and Crispin Elstead also mention:
The notes for the poems are quite extensive. The tag-ends and oddities of Victorian social, political, and religious history which the notes cover have always been fascinating to me, and they certainly help to an understanding of the poems.
Mr. Elsted also has written an Afterword about Richard Barham, the author of Ingoldsby Legends. All told, the book comes in at 170 pages. Hand-set in Poliphilus and Blado with unidentified Victorian initials and Goudy Thirty for display, and printed on Heine mouldmade paper, with the engravings tipped in on Zerkall Smooth Cream. The edition will be published in an edition of 90 copies. Of these, 50 will constitute the Standard Edition (quarter cloth with patterned paper), and 40 copies the Deluxe (Quarter calf with patterned paper from ornaments over boards, slipcased with an accompanying portfolio containing strikes of all the engravings, including one not used in the book and a titling block too large to be used). The illustrations in both states will be printed from the original blocks.
After Ingoldsby, comes Fancy: 8 Odes of John Keats and also The Splendor of a Morning: Poems by C.P. Cavafy. The Keats book is targeted for fall of this year. It will include five of his best-known odes — ‘To a Nightingale’, ‘On a Grecian Urn’, ‘To Autumn’, ‘To Psyche’, and ‘On Melancholy’ — and have three added others: the ‘Ode on Indolence’, ‘Fancy’, Ode (Bards of Passion and of Mirth)’. For those who have the Barbarian Press edition of The Eve of St. Agnes, this edition will be in the same format, on the same paper, and using the same typeface. There will be more than a dozen engravings by Andy English, who also illustrated St. Agnes. The Standard state will be quarter bound in red silk with a patterned paper from printer’s ornaments. They are likely to also produce a Deluxe state, quarter bound in leather and slip-cased with a portfolio of the engravings.
The Splendor of a Morning is targeted for release around the end of the year. It will include a new translation by David Smulders. The Greek text will be printed en face in Jan van Krimpen‘s Antigone, which is being cast by Michael and Winifred Bixler, from a set of matrices newly punched for Barbarian Press by Duncan Avery at the Monotype Corporation in London. The English text will probably be set in Lutetia, and the display in Open Kapitalen, both also designed by Jan van Krimpen. The paper will be Zerkall Book White Wove. There will be five engravings by Peter Lazarov. There will be a Standard and Deluxe edition, the Deluxe including a portfolio of the engravings. Jan and Crispin Elstead mention, in their subscriber letter, that they are considering a split-board binding with a leather spine, and are discussing ideas for paste paper for the Deluxe copies with Hélène Francoeur.
This is a might good time to be a collector of Barbarian Press books, I cannot recommend subscribing enough!
May 11, 2015
Robert Walp of Chester Creek Press has a new edition out that will be of interest to Books and Vines readers. The Raven & the Philosophy of Composition by Edgar Allen Poe. Mr. Walp provides some background:
This edition of Poe’s best known work is based on a version published in the Saturday Courier of Philadelphia in 1846, two years after the original vesion was rejected by Graham’s American Monthly Magazineof Literature and Art in 1844. The Philosophy of Composition,an esay in which Poe expounds on his methodology in writing The Raven, was first published in the April 1846 issue of Graham’s.
Printed letterpress from handset Centaur and Arrighi type on handmade cotton rag paper. Printing, binding, and paper making by Robert Walp at Chester Creek Press. Illustrated by the printer, except for a portrait of Poe adapted from a drawing by Anne Gregson. Illustrations printed from photopolymer plates.
The edition is 6-1/2 x 10 inches, 38 pages. As the edition is only 22 copies, I would suggest moving fast to claim yours as they will not last long!
March 25, 2015
The second annual Manhattan Fine Press Book Fair will take place April 11, 2015, from 8am to 4pm at The Church of St. Vincent Ferrer, which is located at 869 Lexington Avenue at 66th Street, New York, NY, 10065. I went last year and had a great time. See here for a write-up of last years event. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend this year, but hope many of you can!
March 6, 2015
Last month at CODEX, I was able to catch up with María Verónica San Martín, the proprietor of Craft Press Chile. You may recall that last June I wrote an article on Ms. San Martin’s outstanding work which I saw for this first time at the 2014 Manhattan Fine Press Book Fair. At CODEX, Ms. San Martin was able to show me her latest work, Indignity and Resistance – In the Foothills of the Andes, A Case Study of Villa Grimaldi. Chile. 1973-1978. It is a continuation of her work on “the construction of memory through visual layers to articulate how Chile made its history during a time of dictatorship and upheaval of Pinochet from 1973-1990.” Like all of her work, this work is remarkably visual and poignant. It comes in a limited varied edition of 50, and though just released, is already in the collection of the Library of Congress and Stanford University Libraries. I will have a future article with details on this work, but for now here are a few teaser pictures of this important new work.
March 5, 2015
The Prototype Press, formally known as Sharp Teeth Press, has released their newest publication, Me, Myself and the Monkeyface Eel by Kirk Lombard. The book has carved-linoleum illustrations by Leighton Kelly. The prospectus calls this book “deeply funny and strange…Part memoir, part how-to, and part poetry.” It goes on to say that the book “tells of learning how to catch — and use to its full potential — the storied Monkeyface Eel from in and around the shores of San Francisco Bay.”
The standard edition of 75 books is printed in three colors on Somerset Book Paper from Monotype Hess Old Style and hand-set Libra types. The images are printed by relief from linoleum carvings at the press. At 9″ x 6.5″ in size, it is 52 pages in length. The cover is cow leather and handmade paper from Twinrocker. The Appendices were printed on paper handmade by the publishers with the help of Shotwell Paper Mill in San Francisco. The paper bears the watermark of Shotwell, as well a fishing hook, added specially for the project. The price is $350.
A reserved edition of 25 is printed entirely on paper handmade from the University of Iowa, and is half-bound in Monkeyface Eel leather, caught and skinned by the publishers with the assistance of the author. The cover papers were handmade with seaweed and cotton rag by Shotwell Paper Mill and hand-dyed by the publishers. A 12″x18″ original relief print from linoleum, by Leighton Kelly, accompanies each copy of the special edition. The end sheets were printed by the press in three colors from carved linoleum. The price is $1,000.
January 8, 2015
Arion Press is releasing their latest publication, the great Italian classic The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa. This edition contains a foreword and appendix by Gioacchino Lanza Tomasi, and comes with 32 photographs in color by Giovan Battista Poletto, taken on the set of the 1963 motion picture directed by Lucchino Visconti. The book is large octavo in format, 9-5/16 by 6-11/16 inches, 288 pages. The paper is Mohawk Superfine. The text type is Neo Didot, composed and cast on the Monotype by Mackenzie & Harris, printed in black. The display type is Narciss, handset, printed in color. The type was printed by letterpress on a Miller two-color cylinder press. The color photographs were printed by offset lithography. The binding shows a coat of arms from Lampedusa’s ancestors with a leaping leopard. The edition is limited to 300 copies for sale. The price is $750 ($525 for subscribers).
Contact Arion Press here.
Nawakum Press will be releasing their much anticipated Encheiresin Naturae within the coming weeks. The book contains newly written, never before published sonnets by Pulitzer Prize winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon, with 15 new abstract engravings from American artist/illustrator Barry Moser, invented and engraved for this edition. David Pascoe, proprietor of Nawakum Press, explains the title:
The title for this new edition is drawn from Moser’s early reading of Goethe’s Faust in which the term encheiresin naturae, a specific alchemic term, a half-Greek, half-Latin phrase that popped up in the eighteenth century, is used. It suggests a manipulation or handling of Nature. Mephistopheles uses the alchemist’s term as he banters with a student about the connection of the soul to the body.
The relief engravings are large (either 7 x 12 or 9 x 12 inches). Mr Pascoe tells us that this work from Mr. Moser is:
a true return to beginnings. He was trained as an abstract painter in the halcyon days of the Abstract Expressionists when he was a university student, and learned well how to build a picture without subject matter. Moser says he has never forgotten nor abandoned that early, formalist training. It shows here in his inventive and sometimes jarring mix of elements, capturing the fierce and explosive temperament of fire, wind, and sea with the calm regularity of pure mechanical, geometric shapes. His images are infused with the conflict between complexity and simplicity, fluidity and rigidity, sheer spontaneity and the absolutely non-spontaneous act of engraving.
- Seventy-six pages, 14 inches by 18 1⁄4 inches
- The text is set in Matthew Carter’s 1995 Galliard-Moser, with Andreas Seidel’s 2003 Simeon for titling.
- Judythe Sieck of Santa Fe, New Mexico, designed the calligraphy that comprises the frontispiece; It was engraved by Barry Moser.
- Printed at Art Larson’s Horton Tank Graphics. The fifteen relief engravings were printed directly from the blocks on a Vandercook Universal I V.
- The paper is mouldmade Zerkall and Twin-rocker handmade.
- Jemma Lewis of Wiltshire, United Kingdom, designed and produced the marbled papers.
- The binding is half leather with marbled paper over boards. The spine is deep red goatskin and the fore-edges are black goatskin with a red leather onlay accent and with the title gold-stamped on the front board. The drop spine box is covered with scarlet Japanese cloth and features a small, embedded, hand-hammered and annealed copper plate. Gold stamping on the front cover is matched with an inlaid gold-stamped black goatskin label on the spine. Every aspect of the binding production is the work of Craig Jensen and daughter Leigh Ann Jensen at BookLab II.
Encheiresin Naturae is being published in one state as a boxed edition, with a Saint-Armand handmade paper chemise housing three prints from the book. Published in an edition of fifty copies, forty of which are numbered and for sale, and ten copies, lettered A to J, are hors de commerce. The publication price is $5,700.
Contact Nawakum Press here.
The Old Stile Press is releasing Trans-Siberian Prosody and Little Jeanne from France, the poem by Blaise Cendrars, translated into English by Dick Jones with imagery by Natalie d’Arbeloff. From Old Stile Press:
This extraordinary epic poem – known for short as the Trans-Sib, given its deliberately awkward and cumbersome title – was written by Blaise Cendrars in 1913. It is a compound of the literal and the surreal, a breathless travelogue, historical commentary and dreamscape narrative.
His daughter, Miriam Gilou Cendrars, writes for this edition a note about the importance of Cendrars’ work to modern poetry of the twentieth century. She has enthusiastically praised this translation and has encouraged us throughout in our labours toward the realization of our dreams and hopes for this edition.
- 48pp. 335 x 355mm
- The paper is Canaletto Liscio 160gsm
- Typeface is Storm Sans
- In the printing of the text, twenty-four different colours of ink were chosen, employed at random
- The suite of vinyl cut images are printed directly from Natalie d’Arbeloff’s original blocksThe book was case-bound at The
- Fine Book Bindery with papers designed by the artist and the lined slipcase
- Main Edition150 copies numbered and signed by artist and translator. £295 (plus p&p)
- Special Edition: 10 copies for sale The book is placed in a drop-back box together with a portfolio containing four images printed and hand coloured by the artist.Two are taken from the book and two were made especially for this Special Edition. Each is individually signed and numbered by the artist. £1350 (plus p&p)
Contact Old Stile Press here.
For Fine Press News from 2014, please go here.
For Fine Press News from 2013, please go here.