Sunday, June 24, 2018

Legion of Honor Symposium and an update on Ongoing Sales

Legion of Honor Symposium

The 2018 Reva and David Logan Symposium on the Artist’s Book will be held on Saturday, July 14, 2018 from 1:00 to 4:00 at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. It is free after museum admission and open to the public with no reservations needed. It accompanies the exhibit at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco called Paris 1913: Reinventing the Artist’s Book.

Organizer Steve Woodall writes: By 1913, Cubism was firmly established as a dominant mode for French artists of the avant-garde. Writers and artists traveled in the same circles, especially in the bohemian communities of Montmartre and Montparnasse, and frequent artist/poet collaborations produced radical new experiments with text and image. In that year, artist Sonia Delaunay and poet Blaise Cendrars collaborated on a groundbreaking artist’s book built around the Cendrars poem “La Prose du Transsibérien et de la petite Jehanne de France.” The 2018 Reva and David Logan Symposium takes this milieu, and La Prose du Transsibérien, as the background for an afternoon of discussions that examine poet/artist collaboration and the book as an art medium.

The keynote speaker is Marjorie Perloff, author of The Futurist Moment: Avant-Garde, Avant-Guerre, and the Language of Rupture, and many other books. Her talk is titled Simultaneity and Difference in La Prose du Transsibérien.

There are four other speakers:
  • Craig Dworkin, Cubist Language: The Abstraction of the Word
  • Harry Reese, Pattern Recognition
  • Inge Bruggeman, Archives and Histories: Collecting and Recollecting
  • Kitty Maryatt, Construction and Deconstruction of a Masterpiece
 For more information, please see the symposium website.

Ongoing Sales 

The project to re-create the Blaise Cendrars/Sonia Delaunay 1913 publication, La Prose du Transsibérien, was published by Two Hands Press on January 1, 2018 and completed books are now shipping. It will take another nine months to a year to complete the entire edition. The title of the book is La Prose du Transsibérien Re-creation. The edition is limited to 150 copies, with 30 hors commerce. The price is $3500 plus shipping and may include sales tax if you live in California. To reserve your copy, please email me at I will send you more information about the book, a reservation form, and a pdf with several images.

The type for the book was printed last June by printer Richard Siebert in San Francisco. Two Hands Press licensed a high-resolution scan of La Prose from The Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. Richard removed the surrounding pochoir colors from the Blaise Cendrars poem and then went through the whole text for weeks, cleaning up nearly every letter. Sixteen photo-polymer plates were needed to print the four 16 x 23 inch pages, with each one printed in four colors: orange, ruby red, green and blue. Each of the one thousand sheets was printed four times on his Heidelberg letterpress. The printing is very crisp and uses exactly the format of the original.

The gouache color for the Sonia Delaunay imagery is being hand-applied at Two Hands Press using thin metal stencils (pochoir = stencil in French). There are about twenty-five aluminum stencils for each of the four sheets, or one hundred in all. The sixty-six colors have been selected with great care to match the originals. I worked primarily with originals at the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Palace of the Legion of Honor, and viewed nine other originals in the US, France and England. The 2008 Yale University facsimile was invaluable in the process; about one hundred tracings of the Yale facsimile were needed as patterns for cutting the aluminum pochoir plates.

The over six-foot book is folded once down the center and folded again into twenty-one panels to result in a book that is 3.625 by 7.125 inches. On one side you see the Delaunay image and on the facing side you see the Cendrars poem with the enhancing pochoir surrounding the type. A booklet with a description of the processes accompanies La Prose. The book is held unattached in its painted vellum cover. Both the book and the booklet are contained in an acrylic slipcase.
Finished, unfolded copy of La Prose du Transsibérien Re-creation
Painted vellum cover holds folded La Prose (left), Booklet with description of processes (right), vellum cover and booklet cover (center); all these parts fit into the acrylic slipcase
Front and back of vellum covers, with acrylic slipcase