New York: Vincent FitzGerald & Company, 2010. Artist's book, one of 35 copies, all on clear acrylic tiles, each signed and numbered by the artist on the colophon page. Page size: 9-1/2 x 10-3/4 inches folding to 6-1/2 x 9-1/2 inches, 32 slats (tiles) for the text in English and Persian + 10 tiles for titlepage and colophon. Bound by Zahra Partovi: the tiles sewn with blue and saffron ties (fishing line) fastened at end with small plastic disc so that ladder of tiles can be unfolded from an acrylic rectangular base; the English text on one side, the Persian text on tiles with violet and saffron fishing line threads, the binding style based on the style of the Chinese slatbook, a 3,000 year-old form made modern with the use of contemporary materials. The colophon and titlepage unfold from each end of the center "platform" as well. All four unfolding sides are affixed to a garnet-colored rectangular of acrylic drilled with holes through which the threads are laced. Housed in black suede fold-over box by Hands On Bookbinding, the box lined with silver industrial Mylar, each of the two long sides unfolding twice and the shorter two sides unfolding once. The text in English is laser etched in Alcuin (modified) type. Zahra Partovi's beautiful Persian calligraphy is also laser etched, the two texts meeting in the center on top of the garnet Lucite block.
This is the 12th volume in the publication of Vincent FitzGerald & Company's Masnavi series of the poetry of Jalaluddin Mohammad Rumi in Zahra Partovi's translation. Each of these 12 volumes features a different artist paired with Partovi's translations. The artist whose work is featured here is Linda Schrank, a New York artist who teaches painting at Pratt in the Graduate School of Fine Arts. Her principal solo exhibitions include Rosenberg & Kaufman Fine Art, NYC, Kidder Smith Gallery, Boston, A.I.R. Gallery, NYC; Columbia University; Brown University; Fairleigh Dickinson University; the Museum of Ceramics, Monte San Savino, Italy; and the Etruscan Museum, Cortona, Italy. Her work is included in numerous private and public collections, including The Morgan Library, The Corcoran Museum of Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, The New York Public Library, the Rose Art Museum, the Boston Public Library, the International Museum of Woman in Art, Abruzzo, Italy, and the Museo Regionale della Ceramica, Deruta, Italy. This is a most intriguing book, an examination of an ancient book form made thoroughly modern, using a 12th century text translated into a modern vernacular. Both format and text combine to illuminate the enduring relevance of the mystic Persian poet, Jalaluddin Mohammad Rumi. Item #10427