JAB29 Spring 2011
JAB29 was offset printed on the Heidelberg GTO (eine farben) at the Center for Book & Paper Arts, Columbia College Chicago in March/April, 2011.
Printed by Kathi Beste, Kaitlin Kostus, Jordan Knecht, and Brad Freeman. Beste & Kostus are Print Production Fellows and graduate students in the Department of Interdisciplinary Arts Book & Paper MFA Program at CBPA. Knecht is an intern from Hampshire College. Beste designed the JAB29 Art Envelope, and Knecht letterpress printed them on a Vandercook
The cover (outside and inside) was photographed and designed by Felipe Ehrenberg.
Digital files were imageset at CBPA on the Agfa Avantra 25. The fonts are Remontoire and Graficz from PsyOps. The paper is Mohawk Superfine softwhite.
Designed by BF and Kathi Beste.
Order your copy of JAB29 using the JAB Order Form
by Brad Freeman
Brazil's rich history of creative engagement with the book started with the Noigrandes group of poets in the 1950s which included Augusto and Haroldo de Campos, Décio Pignatari and Ronaldo Azeredo along with
the poets Ferreira Gullar and Wlademir Dias Pino.
Initially their experimentations with language
were confined to the page, in what
they called concrete poetry.
In concrete poetry typographical
and visual considerations integrate
with language to create a hybrid
form on the two-dimensional space
of the page. (This treatment
of language stands in opposition
to the idea of the "crystal goblet"
found in fine printing in which the
letterforms are meant to become
invisible in favor of the meaning
of the text.) Soon these poets
began to explore the possibilities
of combining their poetry within the
dynamic form of the book.
One of the more famous examples
of this active exploration is the
by Augusto de Campos and Julio Plaza,
first published in 1968, with a second
edition in 1984, and more recently published again in 2010.
JAB29 is the Brazil JAB, because four of the five essays were written by Brazilian artist/scholars. The essays are based on talks given during the conference "Perspectives of the Artists’ Book," held at the School of Fine Arts of the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in late 2009, and are published here for the first time. In the first essay Maria do Carmo de Freitas Veneroso, one of the conference organizers along with Amir Brito Cadôr, gives an insightful overview of the conference and artist book activity in Brazil. Neide Dias Sá in her talk, not published here, presented a more complicated history of the Brazilian concrete and neo-concrete poets and artists than the brief outline above. Paulo Silveira, in his paper "Criticism and the Artist’s Book," makes a case for using language specific to the idea of the book when writing about artists’ books rather than borrowing from the language of other art forms such as painting or sculpture. Daisy Turrer's essay, "A Study on the Paratextual Space of Artists’ Books," examines the ways various authors and artists have developed creative strategies based on the elements of the book. Amir Brito Cadôr in his essay "The Children’s Sign in Artists’ Books," writes about the shared features and cross-pollination occurring between children's books and artists books. Each of the essays appears in the original Portuguese on the verso with an English translation on the recto.
Some questions to keep in mind while reading the essays: How do artists’ books from Brazil differ from artists’ books in, for instance, Europe or the U.S.? Do circumstances particular to a certain region play a part in artistic conception and production? How do influences travel from one part of the globe to another? Is it possible to make a Brazilian artist’s book?
It was noted during the conference that this was the first Pan-American artist’s book conference with artists from Brazil, Mexico, and the U.S. attending. If ease of travel continues there will surely be more. With all this sharing of ideas and artists’ books will there be a flattening out or homogenization of artists’ books? Will they all eventually look alike? I don’t think so. Artists will continue to respond to their own local circumstances and they will be influenced by work seen, bought, or traded in their travels. It almost goes without saying that artistic cross-pollination is accelerating at the same time that artists are responding to their own native milieus with renewed energy. Hybrid forms will be sparked into life from multiple sources.
Catarina Figueiredo Cardoso, a Portuguese diplomat in Paris and an avid book collector, offers a lively picture of the book scene at recent fairs in Paris, Brussels, and London in the final essay "Book Fairs - Paris and Beyond." Ms. Cardoso also translated "The Children’s Sign in Artists’ Books" and provided invaluable assistance in the editing of Daisy Turrer’s essay.
JAB received almost 50 books from artists in the past few months. These books (plus a few that I purchased) are briefly described in Books Received (page 48). It is hoped that these short descriptions will entice readers to seek out (and buy) the actual books. My only regret is that there wasn't space, time, or writers to give these often exemplary books the closer attention they deserve. Look for an expanded review section in JAB30.
Among the books received by JAB were five print-on-demand books, reflecting the growing trend to use POD (an available means of production) among artists working with the book.
Artists joining together to sell and distribute their work on the internet as well as at book fairs is another growing phenomenon. The photographer and book artist Joachim Schmid is the force behind ABC~Artists’ Books Cooperative which includes more than 30 artist/authors using POD services for production and the internet for distribution.
Felipe Ehrenberg, a Mexican artist living in Brazil, photographed the putti specifically for his cover design of this JAB. Ehrenberg has a long and active history with the book including his work with Beau Geste Press in the early 1970s.
Special thanks to Kathi Beste and Kaitlin Kostus for their work making film, stripping, platemaking, and printing JAB29. Beste and Kostus are Print Production Fellows and graduate students in the MFA Interdisciplinary Book and Paper program here at the Center for Book and Paper Arts, Columbia College Chicago. Thanks also go to Jordan Knecht for his energized assistance with production on this issue of JAB. Knecht is enrolled at Hampshire College in Massachusets, and interned at the Center for year while spending his academic year here at Columbia College Chicago.
Continuing in JAB’s creative engagement with the book and printing, two artworks are inserted in the JAB29 Art Envelope on the inside back cover~Martha Hellion's artist’s book Belo Horizonte and a reproduction of some of my notes from the conference "Perspectives of the Artist’s Book."
- Cover Design: Felipe Ehrenberg
- Brazil JAB: Letter from the Editor Brad Freeman
- Perspectives do Livro de Artista: um relato
Perspectives of the Artists’ Book: a report
Maria do Carmo de Freitas Veneroso
- A Crítica e o Livro De Artista
Criticism and the Artist's Book
Paulo Siveiro/Translated by Alice Monsell
- Estudio sobre espaço paratextual no livro de artista
A Study on the Paratextual Space in Artists’ Books
- O Signo Infantil em Livros de Artista
The Children’s Sign in Artists’ Books
Amir Brito Cadór/Translated by Catarina Figueiredo Cardoso
- Book Fairs: Paris & Beyond
Catarina Figueiredo Cardoso
- Books Received: JAB 29
- SPECIAL FEATURE INSERT: JAB29 Art Envelope
Belo Horizonte, an artists’ book by Martha Hellion, and "Perspectas do Livro Artista," annotated conference schedule by Brad Freeman