On Saturday, November 10, The San Diego Museum of Art will open its new exhibition Charles Reiffel: An American Post-Impressionist. Charles Reiffel led the California plein-air school of landscape painting in the late 1920s. SDMA’s exhibition explores Reiffel’s relationship with nature and form and examines the influence of American Post-Impressionism and Expressionism on his work.
Reiffel moved from Silvermine, Connecticut, to San Diego in 1925. The Pacific shores and desert hills of Southern California renewed his imagination and art, but he did not experience the same kind of financial success there as he had back East. Though critics embraced Reiffel, collectors dismissed his paintings as “too modern.” Reiffel’s bold colors and rhythmic lines, interrupted by angular brush strokes, challenged the conservative style of local plein-air paintings. These quintessentially modern works, however, reveal the artist’s unique vision and “absolute command of the monumental landscape.”*
The exhibition catalogue, produced by Marquand Books and designed by Annabelle Gould, features an essay by San Diego–area curator Bram Dijkstra that considers the writers and artists who inspired Reiffel’s approach to art—from American transcendentalists such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, to painters such as Carl Marr. The 190-page book includes more than 70 full-color images and an exhibition timeline for Reiffel’s work.
To learn more about the exhibition and purchase tickets, visit SDMA.
*Ariel Plotek, Charles Reiffel: An American Post-Impressionist. (San Diego: The San Diego Art Museum), 15.
The New York Times recently featured an article on the new exhibition at the Denver Art Museum, Becoming van Gogh. The exhibition explores the unorthodox journey that Vincent van Gogh took to becoming an artist. Focusing on key periods in his life—his work in London and Paris for an art dealer, his attempted career in the church, and the spiritual crisis that influenced his decision to become an artist—Becoming van Gogh investigates the influences and beliefs that made up van Gogh’s approach to art.
Becoming van Gogh represents nearly a decade of DAM’s collaborative work with more than sixty institutions to bring together works that reveal van Gogh’s artistic progression. The exhibition features more than seventy paintings and drawings by van Gogh and includes works by the artists who influenced him, such as Camille Pissarro and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec.
Accompanying the exhibition is the publication Becoming van Gogh. The catalogue, produced by Marquand Books and designed by John Hubbard, illuminates van Gogh’s evolution through essays and a timeline of his artistic career. With more than 150 full-color illustrations, this 288-page book is an insightful consideration of one of the most significant and beloved artists of the modern era.
“Oftentimes when I’m in the studio I feel my mother’s hands tracing unabashedly across my back and through my hands, and it reinforces everything I learned from her about myself and about working.”—Gail Grinnell
Gail Grinnell cuts and draws on fabric to shape her sweeping, intricate installations. Her work is influenced by the memory of her mother, a talented and self-taught seamstress. Grinnell’s use of polyester interfacing fabric references the tissue-paper patterns her mother used for sewing, and the material allows the artist to create durable sculptures from seemingly fragile materials.
Grinnell’s new installation, RUFFLE, opens with a reception tomorrow evening at Suyama Space in Seattle. The installation responds to the unique structure of Suyama Space—the delicate forms creating alcoves throughout the gallery, spanning across the ceiling and draping to the floor. At noon on Saturday, September 8, Grinnell will be in the gallery to discuss her work and the installation.
RUFFLE follows Grinnell’s 2011 installation Tinker, Tailor, Mender, Maker at the Anchor Art Space gallery in Anacortes, Washington. Marquand Books designed and produced the catalogue for this exhibition. The sixteen-page catalogue was designed by Ryan Polich and features color illustrations of her work—from the exhibit as well as her studio—and essays by Patricia Grieves Watkinson and Jean Behnke. The catalogue was printed digitally in our Seattle office.
For more informationabout RUFFLE, visit Suyama Space. To learn more about Grinnell’s work, visit her website.
Photographs from the catalogue Tinker, Tailor, Mender, Maker by Chris Terrell and Jean Behnke (installation images) and Richard Nicol (drawings).
Last Monday, August 6, marked the eighty-fourth birthday of the late Andy Warhol. Warhol—whose reproductions of Campbell’s soup cans, Brillo pads, and Marilyn Monroe garnered fame—understood America’s obsession with celebrity and violence.
In February of this year, the McNay Art Museum explored works by Warhol that combined these fascinations. The exhibition, Andy Warhol: Fame and Misfortune, assembled more than 150 objects from the collection of the Andy Warhol Museum. Fame and Misfortune included prints, photographs, drawings, and paintings by the artist. Iconic prints of Liza Minnelli and Dennis Hopper were shown next to images of automobile accidents and electric chairs. Displayed side-by-side, the works illuminate the unsettling connection Warhol drew between fatality and fame.
Marquand Books produced the exhibition catalogue, which was designed by Jeff Wincapaw. The eighty-page book reflects the colorful appeal of Warhol’s work and includes more than eighty-five color illustrations. An introduction by the exhibition’s curator, René Paul Barilleaux, and an essay by Justin Spring examine Warhol’s art and its reflection of America’s relationship with stardom and its shadows.
To learn more about the Andy Warhol: Fame and Misfortune, visit the McNay. To purchase a copy of the catalogue, visit your local bookseller or find the book on the ARTBOOK | DAP website.
Exhibition catalogues and other art books line the shelves at Marquand Books. We asked our design director, Jeff Wincapaw, to select a title and discuss its design process with us. He chose the exhibition catalogue Willie Doherty: Requisite Distance, produced by Marquand Books for the Dallas Museum of Art in 2009.
The exhibition was significant; for the first time, Doherty’s media installation Ghost Story was shown together with photographs he’d taken in Ireland during the 1990s. The exhibition separated the works into adjoined rooms. The catalogue takes its design cues from both the nature of Doherty’s work and the layout of the exhibition itself.
What makes this book different from others you’ve worked on?
The exhibition had two parts we needed to include in the catalogue: a series of photographs and a video installation. The challenge was to bring both segments of the exhibition together in a book and to somehow recreate the movement of the film on the page.
How did this influence the design?
Well, we wanted to bring the experience of the exhibit to the catalogue. To simulate the rhythm of the film and create emotional responses for the reader, we varied the sizes of the video stills, how many were on a page, and so on.
To separate the two parts of the book, we used a formal white backgound for the photographs and a dark gray for the film’s still photos. The gray makes it feels like you’re in a theater—everything but the image fades into the background.
In what way did the subject matter shape the design?
The format of the book conforms to Doherty’s photographs and film. Overall, the design is restrained. The typography is neutral, understated. An essay separates the photographs from Ghost Story, and once into the film portion of the book, it is primarily pictorial. There aren’t page numbers. We kept it as minimal as possible in an effort to present the work cinematically.
The subject matter is beautiful, but it’s also discomforting. The pictures from the film are moody and, subconciously, a bit unsettling. We wanted them to pop off the page, so we used a gloss finish on the photographs, which helps to illuminate them.
The Bellevue Art Museum’s current exhibition Knitted, Knotted, Twisted & Twined highlights more than ninety pieces of jewelry by local artist Mary Lee Hu. The show chronicles Hu’s work from the 1960s to the present and focuses on the original techniques she brought to the worlds of jewelry and metalwork.
Employing fiber techniques like twining and weaving, Hu manipulates metal as if it were textile. Her methods cause light to reflect off her jewelry in deliberate, mesmerizing ways. By wrapping wire and folding metals, she constructs textured neckpieces, earrings, bracelets, and brooches, as well as several small animals—a lizard, turtle, and squid are a few of the creatures displayed.
The 128-page exhibition catalogue, designed by Jeff Wincapaw, was produced by Marquand Books and features more than eighty color illustrations. Essays by Janet Koplos and Jeannine Falino illuminate Hu’s journey in metalwork and jewelry design.
To learn more about the Knitted, Knotted, Twisted & Twined exhibition and catalogue,visit the Bellevue Arts Museum online.
A lot of thought and creativity goes into the design of each book we create: What colors and typefaces best suit the art each book holds? What materials and textures complement the artwork on the pages? At its best, this design process creates books that have compelling object quality—the thing about a book that makes you take it off the shelf and look through every page. Books with object quality are as intriguing on the outside as they are on the inside.
The catalogue New Image Sculpture, which we produced for the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas, is one example of object quality. The 2011 exhibition featured works by artists who re-created and reinterpreted items of everyday life using unusual materials: a wheelbarrow was sculpted from clay, a boom box was made out of cardboard.
To create the exhibition’s catalogue, we also used uncommon materials. The cover of the catalogue, made with gray board, was inspired by New York artist Tom Burkhardt’s installation Full Stop (2004-2005)and printed to look like Peg-Board, giving the book a “do-it-yourself” feel that reflected the style of the exhibition. Wood-free uncoated paper was used for the essay, while smooth art paper was used for the plate section. The variety of textures in the book echoed the diverse materials of the exhibition works.
Pulp Fashion is another example of a book whose object quality was inspired by its content. The book, published by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and DelMonico Books/Prestel, features the intricate and textural paper gowns created by Belgian artist and sculptor Isabelle de Borchgrave.
De Borchgrave’s attention to pattern and print influenced our design of Pulp Fashion. We embossed the cover and end sheets with a motif from her piece Worth evening gown and shoe (1994), and the raised surfaces give the reader a taste of what her gowns might feel like. Incorporating the tactile with the visual enhances the reader’s experience: both of the art within the book and of the book as an object itself.
To get your hands on a copy of Pulp Fashion, visit the online bookstore at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
“Visit more museums.” That resolution is bound to be included on the 2012 lists of a lot of people. The experience of viewing art—especially in a culture of economic crisis and cultural change—can be engrossing, challenging, and even comforting. However, actually getting to some of the world’s best collections in Spain, Germany, or the Netherlands can be tricky.
Last year, Google developer Amid Soot introduced the Google Art Project, an 18-month undertaking that links a number of prestigious museums around the world in a central, web-based “museum of museums.” Work from institutions, including the Frick Collection in Manhattan, the National Gallery in London, the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, and the Palace of Versailles in France are featured at www.googleartproject.com.
Recently, Soot presented at a TED: Ideas Worth Spreading conference, to talk about the technology and logic behind the Google Art Project.
Seattle-based Pantone colorist Leatrice Eiseman recently led a team in choosing the optimistic “Tangerine Tango” as the 2012 color of the year. The hue is sure to reach racks of sweaters at H&M in the next few months, but will graphic designers follow the trend?
The staff of artisans at Paper Hammer in Tieton, WA, create personalized photo box albums perfect for storing and preserving family heirlooms and mementos. This Saturday, December 10, Ed Marquand will be taking custom orders at the Paper Hammer shop in downtown Seattle from 12:30 until 5 p.m. Customers can choose details, including paper and cloth color. Some examples of our personalized work are below. To secure an appointment this Saturday or next week, contact us at 206-682-3820.
Easel Books were originally designed for the Seattle Art Museum Store for SAM’s spectacular Luminous exhibition. These elegant, handmade objects allow you to curate, rotate, and admire single display items. We make them in a series of colorways without images, or they can be customized. Store and display up to three dozen postcards, snapshots, quotations, or mementos. Acid-free paper; constructed in our Tieton, WA bindery.
In addition, Paper Hammer offers handmade journals perfect for artists, writers, students, and professionals. Our online store and brick-and-mortar location near Pike Place Market are stocked with design objects including handmade jewelry, found antiques, and letterpress ephemera. Garland letters can make unique tree trimmings, gift tags, and holiday decorations. All domestic orders over $50 ship free.
After several years of planning, the 201,000-square-foot, 102-acre Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art opened to the public last week. The museum is the brainchild of collector and Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton, who addressed thousands of attendees at an opening ceremony on 11/11/11. Crystal Bridges was designed by noted architect Moshe Safdie, who incorporated glass and wood into an organic construction of pavilions set against ponds and trails.
Paper Hammer is now offering custom Memory Book Boxes for the holidays, hand-crafted using fine materials in Tieton, Washington. Each box features a personalized image and take two weeks from order to delivery. For more information and pricing, stop in Paper Hammer at 1400 Second Ave. in downtown Seattle or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About nine months ago, Paper Hammer opened on the corner of Second and Union in downtown Seattle. Since its inception, the little shop connected to the Marquand Books Studio and design office has generated a lot of buzz, including profiles in local publications like Seattle Metropolitan, Seattle Magazine, and City Arts. This month, our simple wood type doorknob hangers are spotlighted in Seattle Magazine’s “Best Local Fashion Finds” issue.
Many products for sale at Paper Hammer are Tieton-made: designed, then produced by hand at Mighty Tieton in Central Washington. Each item’s concept, from the simplest to most ambitious, bring together well-considered design, creative uses of technology, and a hearty nod to printing traditions.
A few months back, the Paper Hammer team launched an online Web store to compliment our brick-and-mortar locations in Seattle and Tieton. The sale of each Tieton-made product benefits the economy of the small orchard town-turned-arts-incubator. In addition to handmade letterpress coasters, paper goods, and ephemera featured on the Paper Hammer Web site, a new line of products is currently being produced for autumn and will be launched in the coming weeks.
A few favorite picks, available at paper-hammer.com:
On the lookout for fresh, creative content online? Below, find five useful, engaging, and well-crafted Web sites worth bookmarking.
1. The Selby is in your Place
The Selby is a Web site, a book, and a regular feature in T: The New York Times Style Magazine. NYC-based illustrator and photographer Todd Selby uninhibitedly and naturally documents artists, writers, designers, and Average Joes in their homes or businesses. Browse The Selby’s instinctive images of Grey Gardens filmmaker Albert Maysles and his wife Gillian Walker or of Eric Werner and Mya Henry, owners of Tulum, Mexico’s outdoor Hartwood restaurant.
2. Nancy Pearl
Quite possibly the world’s most recognized living librarian, local Seattle resident and NPR contributor Nancy Pearl adds a couple of witty new book reviews to her Web site on a monthly basis. The Booklust author’s picks, ranging from young adult literature to thrillers and cookbooks, are most always worth checking out.
Marquand Books’ retail space Paper Hammer was pleased to be a part of the 2011 Remodelista Local Market at Seattle’s Henrybuilt in Georgetown. Based in San Francisco, the Remodelista team seems to know what’s new in Seattle culture and design before most locals do. Sarah Lonsdale and crew have cultivated a successful blog and marketplace featuring useful and well-made objects for daily living.
4. Typography Daily
Quick design inspiration to add to morning news updates, toast, and coffee. Fontify your day with fresh ideas in letterpress, type, and all things design. Founded in 2009, Typography Daily is updated with a fresh dose of type every 24 hours.
5. Triple Canopy
Founded in 2007, the Brooklyn-based online art and culture magazine Triple Canopy is riding high on the Ferris wheel since their recent New York Timesfeature, a successful Kickstarter campaign, and a hearty Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts grant. The journal mixes video, images, and writing focused around compelling, if sometimes abstract, themes.
Continuing to build a spirit of collaboration between creative disciplines, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) recently hosted the acclaimed Jamal Dance Art Theatre in an original performance called “Mourners Are Dancing Too.” Choreography for the dance was inspired by the traveling exhibition, The Mourners: Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy, closing at LACMA this weekend.
Marquand Books produced the 128-page catalogue for the French Regional American Museum Exchange (FRAME). Consisting of multiple views of the mourner statuettes set against simple, stark backgrounds, the book was designed by Zach Hooker and is distributed by Yale University Press.
Marquand Books recently produced the monograph Radcliffe Bailey: Memory as Medicine for the High Museum of Art, distributed by Prestel Publishing. It’s the first mid-career publication for the artist, featuring five essays and about 70 works, some never before seen. The exhibition in Atlanta has received positive press from several national media outlets, including a recent feature in the New York Times:
Now 42, [Bailey] has built a successful career as an artist largely out of his fascination with the city’s history as the crossroads of the South, and with the past more generally — as is evident in “Radcliffe Bailey: Memory as Medicine,” his largest museum show to date, which opened last week at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. His mixed-media paintings and installations incorporate objects steeped in history — including tintypes of distant family members, African figurines, disassembled piano keys and Georgia red clay — and suggest stories of the black Atlantic diaspora and migrations more universal and spiritual.
Bailey grapples with big ideas in his art, including the past, race, and community, and he does so using intricate and distinct techniques framed by family. Born in 1968 in New Jersey, Bailey moved to Atlanta as a young child. The culture of that city has influenced his work as much as his African American heritage.
Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave’s exquisite costumes, made entirely out of paper, are on display at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor.
Marquand Books is proud to have produced the accompanying exhibition catalogue for the show, distributed by DelMonico Books/Prestel:
The exhibition catalogue explores the exquisite paper costumes of the Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave. Author Jill D’Alessandro contextualizes de Borchgrave’s work against the rich tapestry of art and couture history, examining how the artist brings long-lost fashions to life through an intricate process of tailoring, crumpling, braiding, pleating and painting paper. Luxurious reproductions of de Borchgrave’s astonishing trompe-l’oeil effects offer an intimate encounter with the work, from the austere white dresses and Papiers à la Mode to the lavish Fortuny and Medici collections.
Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave is on view through June 5, 2011. Click here for complete exhibition info.
Randy Hayes’s exhibit will be open this Friday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Marquand Books Studio space, adjoining Paper Hammer. Selections from Kyoto Views will then be open at the Mississippi Museum of Art from February 19 through July 17:
Mississippi-native Randy Hayes’ recent interest in Japan actually began on the Mississippi Gulf Coast after finding a Japanese style house heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina. At the time he was working on a series that compared the area with ruins in other parts of the world. The diptych Pass Christian/Kyoto from the Ruins series was the impetus for Kyoto Views. This body of work is based on the artist’s photographs of Kyoto. Hayes incorporates an array of imagery from East and West, often borrowing from traditional Japanese printmaking aesthetics, and elegantly combining layers of images in oil on photographs.
Marquand Books Studio is located at 1400 Second Ave. at Union in downtown Seattle.
Seattle NPR affiliate KPLU recently ran this story on Ed Marquand’s work cultivating art, culture and commerce in a small town in the middle of Washington State. Maria Solorio, who does beautiful binding work in our letterpress studio, is also featrued.
Book Patrol recently clued us in on what just might be the next big trend for the bookworm set: literate fashion!
We’re used to musicians and actors launching clothing lines, so why not authors? Douglas Coupland is keeping things interesting with his Roots x Douglas Coupland line featuring Canadian-inspired clothes and home goods.
The new MFAH retrospective, “Alice Neel: Painted Truths,” was namechecked in the most recent T, the New York Times style magazine:
The artist’s sensitivity to nuances of style and gesture informs the portraits in “Alice Neel: Painted Truths.”
Since her portrait work was largely uncommissioned and did not require that she flatter the sitter, “you get a sense of how people really looked,” says Barry Walker, who, with Jeremy Lewison, curated the show.
Designer and Yale fellow Jessica Helfand wrote about her “struggle to reconcile form with emotion” in this notable Design Observer piece published last year. She finds examples of how design and story come together in interesting places—in war propaganda and public health posters, for instance:
We here at Marquand Books like not only to write our own blog; we also enjoy seeing what others are blogging about and have to say.
In the Seattle PI’s Reader Blogs, Jeremy Tolbert keeps us posted on the latest happenings around the city. This month author Katharine Harmon is visiting the Ballard Public Library on January 21st at 6:30pm to talk about her new book, The Map As Art, a gathering of images by artists “whose maps to are used to express their visions.”
In case you haven’t heard yet, as of January 11th, the New York Times Books blog, the Book Design Review, will be on indefinite hiatus. You will still be able to follow Joseph Sullivan on Twitter, and he suggests that you follow the Casual Optimist, Faceout Books, and the Book Cover Archive for any book-design-commentary needs he will no longer be filling.
“New Year/Fresh Eyes,” opens at Artxchange Gallery. Nine artists from around the world are featured, and the selected works encompass a range of media.
Gallery 4 Culture opens the new year with “White Lines (don’t do it),” a solo show of photographic works by Jesse DeLira. This series of black-and-white photographs “documents sweeping, graceful lines of chalk glyphs laid onto soulful urban surfaces.”
Suspended abstract works on paper and in ceramic by Nicholas Nyland are feature at SOIL.
Sara Tabbert woodcuts are on display at Collum Gallery. This new work incorporates the beauty of natural forms of wood, water, ice, and stone into a series based on a trip along the Great Northern Railway.
It’s been a busy year, but we still managed to squeeze some reading time in, and we are all looking forward to reading a few more in the coming year. Here are a few hand-picked gift recommendations from the Marquand Books and iocolor staff:
Ed recently transformed a space by the windows inside our Tieton Book Arts studio, home of Marquand Editions, into an arty general store of sorts. Here are a few recent photos from the space, offering Marquand Ephemera, handmade blank books and Spines and Memorieschapbooks amongst other keepsakes and curiosities:
Seattle-based artists Sara Osebold and Vaughn Bell launch Gallery4Culture’s new season September 3rd with their environmentally conscious exhibition Melt.
Osebold has constructed a large wool glacier as a kind of tribute to nature. Displayed in the gallery as a floor installation, her construction is reminiscent of a long cloak or security blanket.
During a recent February spent in Vermont, Vaughn Bell monitored the ice on a local stream as it melted in an unseasonable thaw. Bell has created a video installation in which the image of frozen ice hangs in the space, a video projection on a circular disc, resembling the moon. It gradually melts, revealing more and more open water, recalling how the full moon wanes.
Performance/demonstration during First Thursday, September 3rd at 7pm. Gallery4Culture, 101 Prefontaine Pl S, Seattle. Open Monday through Friday 9:00 am–5:00 pm. Call (206) 296-8674 for more information.
Seattle-based bookstore Wessel and Lieberman recently featured Marquand’s letterpress chapbook series on their blog. On Spines and Memories, the first in the collection, was written by Ed Marquand and printed and hand-bound in Tieton, WA. The occasional series will feature essays contributed by writers, curators, and book publishing professionals.
20 of 500 limited edition copies are available via the W+L website here.
On-line magazine and art network e-flux is opening a reading room in Manhattan’s Lower East Side next week. It will house more than 2,000 art and design publications from around the globe:
The reading room is a rapidly growing collection of several thousand books on contemporary art exhibitions open to the public at 41 Essex Street. The books have been donated by numerous art institutions and individuals from all parts of the world and reflect some of the more interesting developments in art of the past decade.”
The New York Times’ chief art critic Michael Kimmelman’s recent column, “At the Louvre, Many Stop to Snap but Few Stay to Focus,” has generated a lot of buzz lately. For the article, Kimmelman observed visitors at the Louvre over the span of several hours and discovered that almost no one he saw contemplated a single piece of art for more than a minute. Tourists, he argues, use museums as quick therapy.
The Design Observer recently published an interview with artist James Turrell that’s well worth a read. The piece centers around his ambitious current project, transforming Roden Crater near Sedona, Arizona. The artist talks about how his classic themes of light and space play out in the crater, which contain sun and moon viewing rooms:
Basically what I am doing with the crater is that I’m working with the interior and exterior space, that is, the working of one space against another. Generally an aspect of that space is charged and related to how that space is filled. This quality of how the light inhabits the space changes throughout the day.
LA-based artist Robert Fontenot learned last January that LACMA was deaccessioning about 100 costume and textile collection items. To save these objects from obscurity, Fontenot purchased more than 50 pieces from the collection at three separate auctions. His mission? To re-identify and find new (and, it turns out, wildly creative) ways to use and appreciate the objects.
They include everything from a Turkish embroidered textile reconstructed into a wastebasket, trousers turned into the mainsail of a model ship, and (our favorite) a paisley skirt transformed into a handmade banner with appliquéd letters promoting LACMA’s current exhibit Your Bright Future.
So far, Fontenot has documented the transition of 21 pieces from his collection and is photographing and describing each one on his blog. We can’t wait to see what he does next.
If you’ve never visited Coudal’s Museum of Museums, you don’t know what you’re missing. With so much recent press about different initiatives that museums are taking to secure a place with the younger set in these tough financial times, it’s refreshing to find Coudal’s well-curated, browsable, and at times quirky list (the Science Tattoo Emporium, anyone?).
It rotates quarterly to highlight galleries, shows, and traveling exhibitions, and features a strong permanent collection with heavy hitters like MoMA and the Smithsonian. With all that information at the mere click of a mouse, it’s bound to bring more web-savvy art lovers to the actual institutions.
Typography as a discipline is generally concerned with very small things. That’s not always true of course — sometimes letters can be big or even monumental. But most of the type we encounter daily is pretty small. In Marquand Books’ particular niche of the typographic world — book typography, and even more specifically art book typography — we’re especially concerned with another kind of small thing: numbers that are smaller than 1 but bigger than 0, expressed as portions of a whole. I.e. fractions.
It’s good to see more and more museums embracing blogs and social media, both as a way to promote upcoming exhibitions and to engage in commentary on the art world in general. A great example is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
It’s easy to lose track of time while clicking around LACMA’s website–in addition to the main museum site there are also regularly updated Twitter and Facebook pages. The museum’s Unframed blog recently started an ongoing “Ask a Curator” series, similar to one that’s in the works over at Untitled, the North Carolina Museum of Art’s blog. It’s an interesting development in exploring the question of how museums can tap into their curators’ knowledge to engage and attract readers on the web and, ultimately, visitors.
Over on Unframed, LACMA’s photography curator Charlotte Cotton talks about whether or not there is pressure to stay one step ahead of other curators in her field. Read what she has to say here.
Our book arts and letterpress studio in Tieton, Washington, just delivered four new coaster designs, now available through our Etsy store Marquand Ephemera. Each set has a different personality, so you’re sure to find one that fits the vibe of your next cocktail party, backyard BBQ, or ritzy dinner.
Video artist Willie Doherty discusses his early influences (Roxy Music, Warhol) and creative process in this 2005 interview, produced for the Channel 4 Ideas Factory website by the Irish production house Nerve Centre.
Doherty’s new exhibit “Requisite Distance” opens on Sunday, May 24 at the Dallas Museum of Art, preceded by an artist talk with Doherty this evening. From the New York Times:
This show offers a concentrated view of the work of Willie Doherty, one of the more influential conceptual artists to emerge from Northern Ireland in the past decade. Photographs and video make up the show, including a powerful 15-minute film, “Ghost Story,” a hit of the 2007 Venice Biennale.
The Marquand-produced book Willie Doherty: Requisite Distancewill soon be available from Yale University Press, London.
Wrapping pieces of wood and cardboard and lengths of wire with gauze, coating it in plaster or papier mâché and painting the whole thing white, West made sculptures that the audience was meant to pick up, manipulate, examine at close range, hang on an arm or around the neck, or even stick one’s face into. The shapes are abstract. But often, part of the sculpture suggests a handle — a direct visual invitation to audience participation. Silently it says, Touch me, hold me.
An interview with West from the catalog is available through LACMA’s website. The artist talks about growing up in public housing in Vienna, his long thread of accomplishments as an artist, and everything in between.
This week, Seattle-based alt-weekly The Stranger ran a profile of artist, lecturer, and consumer critic Chris Jordan, whose digital art explores American consumerism. The article includes a kind reference to the “handsome” catalog Running the Numbers, produced by Marquand. Fresh off the press, the book will soon be available through Prestel’s website.
Click here to read Jen Graves’ interview, and don’t miss the accompanying slide show.
Ed stumbled upon a very cool website by Mirage Bookmark, featuring some of the grandest, creakiest, most modern, particularly drafty, and altogether essential bookstores–alive and well–on the planet. Click here for some stunning shots of venerable shops like Shakespeare and Co. Antiquarian Books in Paris and The Lello in Portugal.
Here are a few different images of make-ready sheets shot on press by Marquand Senior Designer John Hubbard. Make-ready sheets are the result of running paper through a printing press in order to align its plates. This helps achieve the right balance of plate pressure and ink density to match the client’s color proofs.
(Captions clockwise, from top left)
A typical sight at a book printing plant, this ready-made includes a standard test press sheet with color bars and gradients used to test the press and calibrate plate curves.
“This book will set a new scholarly standard for monographs on western art,” said Bill Truettner, Senior Curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and one of the leading scholars in America on western American art. “[It] will bring to the study of western-art patronage a refinement few others in the field have even approached.”
The exhibit remains at the Joslyn–its final destination–until May 10.
On Monday, the New York Times posted a piece on its By Design blog that caught our eye. The author, Allison Arieff, Editor at Large for Sunset, writes an engaging, affectionate post about William Stout, owner of William Stout Architectural Books in San Francisco. Bill Stout is much respected in the bookselling and publishing worlds, and for very good reason. Give it a read.
Seattle’s Lead Pencil Studio has a new installation, Retail/Commercial, tucked into a corner retail space in Rainier Square. It feels familiar; it’s also disturbingly unfamiliar. But that’s the idea. Zach and I visited the installation—our second attempt—last Friday. Zach described the experience as: “Disorienting. That’s really the best word for it.” And he meant it in the best possible way.
Retail/Commercial transforms an aging, eighties-era retail environment into a wonderfully creepy spatial inquiry. The artists have created a kind of retail space that’s stripped of any recognizable goods, letting us look at the guts of the thing—or, at least, the guts of an imagined version of a retail space.
Aside from an attendant toward the back, we were the only two visitors there. We picked our way quietly through. I for one felt both squirmy and amused. What’s there: empty shelves, plenty of clear plastic racks, stacks of cardboard boxes tucked away in plain sight, a fake security camera, mannequins, a Ross shopping cart, soft music coming from different areas of the installation. What’s not there: shoppers and the things they buy.
After leaving the installation, we walked through the underground walkway that connects Rainier Square and Union Square. We passed several empty former stores with bare shelving units, the odd piece of display furniture, chairs loosely stacked. Retail/commercial indeed.
Retail/Commercial is open from 1 to 6 PM Fridays and Saturdays through March 14. Find it on the ground floor of Rainier Square at Fourth and Union in downtown Seattle.