New York: Vincent FitzGerald & Company, 2009. Artist's book, signed, limited edition, one of 35 copies, all on hand-made linen paper by Dieu Donne Papermill and Mylar, each numbered and signed and dated by the artist, Fran Siegel, and signed in Persian by the translator, Zahra Partovi. Page size: 6-1/2 x 9-1/2 inches; 26 leaves. Bound: as desk calendar on stainless steel base, made by Milgo Bufkin, four screws fastening the two "rings" that hold the pages of the book, housed in custom-made grey cloth over boards clamshell box, box by BookLab II. The titlepage and colophon are printed by Jerry Kelly in black and silver with Kelly's own calligraphy. Ms. Siegal's lithographs were printed in silver on the white transparent linen by Kelly Driscoll. Each page of linen is followed by a silver Mylar page. Each etching was not re-inked when repeated on the silver Mylar page resulting in a shadow image. The text is laser cut. It appears first in Ms. Partovi's elegant Persian calligraphy at the top and bottom of each page with the circular litho surrounding circular disc cut into each page, "reading" as silver against the succeeding silver Mylar page. It is followed by her flowing English translation on the silver Mylar page. This English text appears at the top and bottom of each page, and "reads" as white from the following linen page. It can be read through the linen page, just below and above where the Persian calligraphic lines appear. The circular cut-outs on each page are successively smaller; the final cut on the colophon page reveals the stainless steel base. Combinations of four different inks were used to print each of the lithographs resulting in each page appearing slightly darker as the concentric "circles" become smaller.
The poet / translator's words on the significance of Rumi's poetry explain her work. "...the most remarkable biographical information about Jalaluddin Rumi's life is not the appearance and disappearance of the mystic Shams, but Rumi's imperative and conscious decision to make a change in his career from a Sufi teacher to a poet. Here the medium is truly the message: the most successful Sufi teacher of all times with countless devoted followers chooses to communicate through the path of poetry. This masterful poet combines philosophy, mysticism, and psychology in a language so piercing as to enter the realm of music. It is this element more than any other which has made Rumi's poetry so irresistible to readers for over seven hundred years, even through the fire of translation."
Fran Siegel, currently a Professor of Drawing and Painting at California State University Long Beach, graduated from Yale with an MFA and Temple's Tyler School of Art. She has had numerous solo exhibitions, as well as group shows, and was the US Representative at the IX International Bienal of Cuenca Ecuador. Her collaboration with Vincent FitzGerald & Company results in an astonishing book. The other collaborators include Kelly Driscoll, who created the art for FRAGMENTS OF LIGHT II and Milgo Bufkin (stainless steel base) who has worked with well-known visual artists such as Ellsworth Kelly and Robert Indiana. Well-known printer and book designer, Jerry Kelly, has worked with FitzGerald for over 25 years, helping produce very beautiful books. The Dieu Donne paper used for this book is incredibly strong and yet translucent. Mr. FitzGerald, once again, has assumed the role of "Maestro" for these individual performers, leading and coordinating their elegant performance for our benefit. Item #10235