We've been waiting a while to make this announcement, but now that the project is underway, we're happy to reveal: Mohawk Press is designing and printing a book for American artist Richard Tuttle! Richard paid us a visit a few months ago (at the behest of State University of New York at Buffalo Art Galleries) and intimated that he'd be interested in having us produce a book for a short series of poems he'd been working on. A few weeks later, we received a hand-written letter and a small maquette to use as a model. Since then, Richard Kegler and Chris Fritton have been hard at work designing, corresponding, and finalizing the details of this unique project.
Tuttle was visiting Buffalo as part of a larger project curated by UB Art Galleries Center for the Arts; Artpark: 1974-1984 was a retrospective look at a local artspace and cultural phenomenon. Tuttle chose a three-pronged approach to celebrate the 40th anniversary of a sculptural work he'd created for Artpark (that was almost immediately vandalized): he made a series of smaller sculptures that were placed around Western New York, produced a newspaper documenting this distribution called the Artpark Sun, and finally, commissioned this handmade book of poems from WNYBAC.
We'll reveal more about the book as it progresses, but here are some of the specs: the final book will measure a mere 3.5" x 5.5"; it will feature an inside cover and inside back cover made of handmade pigmented paper cast from wood blocks cut by Tuttle; it will have 8 pages, entirely letterpressed, each featuring a single poem and a portion of a "continuous line" that undulates throughout the book; it will be hand-sewn and bound in an edition of 200. The book has been made possible by Sandra Firmin and Robert Scalise's tireless liaising, as well as private funding secured through UB Art Galleries. This the first collaboration between WNYBAC and UB Art Galleries.
See photos of mock ups, pieces in progress, presswork, and read a further description below!
More on the continuous line: the book itself is an exploration of the line as object, the line as concept, the line as boundary, and the line as path. The line, as object, is fundamental for the delineation of all things spatial - it is the crux of dimensionality. The line as concept is infinitely variable, and infinitely employable. The line as concept is strong enough to subsume almost all definitions/descriptions, even those so abstract that they always appear to be analogies (i.e. time, love, justice, truth) The line as boundary denotes a transitional space, but if the line has body or weight, it acts as an apron, or entrance into this other space, or contrarily, an obstacle. It can be an invitation, an inclination, or an obstruction. The line as path is akin to the final cause, that string which pulls but has no capacity to push, that which leads but only does so because it possesses an inherent quality of continuity.