mardi, juin 12, 2007


Co-Tangent Press. Vollmann, William T. Book of Candles. Sacramento, CA: Co-Tangent Press, 2006. $10,000

Artist’s book, one of 10 copies, each signed by the author / artist, William T. Vollmann on a page of the text as well as in the box housing the book. Page size: 19 inches x 16 inches; 75pp; (2pp. per folio sheet, 32 sheets in all + 2 unnumbered double-page spreads). The text is a suite of eight religious and blasphemous love-poems to prostitutes and was composed in the Philippines in 1995 and relief-printed on Rives de Lin paper by the author over a period of years (1997-2003). The text blocks were photo-etched magnesium plates as were some of the illustrations. Other illustrations were woodcuts done in Thailand and Cambodia on Chinese ulo wood. These were colored a la poupee and further hand colored with watercolors and acrylics. Housed in a sailcloth-covered basswood clamshell box which the artist / author has painted, collaged with hand-painted woodblock prints, and suitably adorned with gewgaws. The outside dimensions of the box are 31 inches high x 24 inches wide x 2.5 inches deep. The woodcut image on the underside of each box is different. Four Japanese “doughnut hold” coins have been screwed in to the underside of the box to comprise protective feet. Inside each box, a narrow channel, collaged with painted paper, runs around three edges, leaving the spine side open. Within this are set two wooden corner blocks mounted with selenium-splotched flower-engraved brass plates, a strip of painted walnut engraved with a print of a female nude, two engraved beeswax candles on engraved brass supports wrapped round with brass wire. Even the brass screws of these assemblies are engraved and rubbed with oil-based ink. On the inside of the spine are one engraved and inked aluminum plate and one engraved and inked brass plate which is signed and numbered. This is certainly the most labor-intensive project undertaken so far by William T. Vollmann’s Co-Tangent Press. (9851)


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