I spent two afternoons at the Codex show in their beautiful new exhibition space on the bay in Richmond, CA, and regretted that I hadn't had time to attend all four days. It's a biannual international show, with180 exhibitors this year, and included a wide range of books from leatherbound limited edition letterset volumes with woodcut engravings to one-of-a-kind artist books, all shown by the artists and/or publishers. I spoke with exhibitors from Russia, Mexico, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, England, and of course the United States. And, rather late in the first day I found that three of my new series, Wish You Were Here, were included in the Seager Gray Gallery exhibit, and I can't tell you how delighted I was to be included in such distinguished company!
Once again, I loved the work of Leonard Seastone, of Tideline Press, shown below.
His new book, The Delicate Work of Song, was designed and printed by Seastone, with calligraphic characters designed by Guyang Chen. At first glance they reminded me of a sort of hybrid of Arabic, Hebrew and Old English, but in fact the artist based them on our familiar Roman alphabet, the letters melded together into a sort of ideogram. The book has featherweight cedar covers and a leather spine, and the pages are printed on special paper made by a Japanese National Treasure. For the finishing touch, Seastone has dyed the sewing thread a rich yellow. I wish I could tell you more about the text and its author, and about the meaning of the individual characters. And I wish I could afford to own a copy!
At the other extreme of the spectrum were the beautiful one-of-a-kind artist books and objects by Mexican artist Adrian White, below.
The upper photo shows a miniature book of loose and sewn pages, inside an old suede-lined cigarette case. The artist has included his own drawings and old family photos that he's sanded and drawn over, and some pages have been buried to add patina. In the lower photo is a little tin containing small objects and a poem by the artist, and the necklace he's made to go with it.