Octon, France: Verdigris Press, 2011. Artist's book, one of 4 deluxe copies, from a total issue of 40, all on Hahnemulhe paper, each copy signed by the artist, Judith Rothchild and initialed by the author in pencil, as is the numbering. Page size: 6-1/4 x 8-1/4 inches; 20pp; printed on 5 folios. Bound: loose as issued, housed in grey wrappers printed in black, the whole in custom-made burgundy paper over boards clamshell box with black paper edges, title, author, artist, and press printed in black on spine with exposed grey cloth hinges. The deluxe edition contains one of the 4 four original copper plates used for the stunning mezzotints of interior scenes by Ms. Rothchild. Also included in the deluxe copy is an original pencil and ink wash drawing. This interior scene is mounted into the inside front cover of the clamshell box with the original copper plate mounted into the rear inside cover. Both are "framed" with hand marbled paper in deep grey with white inset.
Seemingly a simple series of interiors, accompanied by words about the spaces, it is a very powerful "aide-memoire" - visualizing and verbalizing the power of rooms and the objects therein, bathed in their own peculiar light - to elicit memories / sensations all but forgotten. The artist tells us that the images were made from drawings at a friend's apartment. The parents of her friend established a bilingual journal in Paris, creating a literary circle with included Henry Miller and Lawrence Durrell. Temple friendship with the publishers dates from this time and endures through an almost familial relationship with their daughter, the artist's friend, whose apartment is depicted.
The original pencil and wash composition is of another location entirely. This is one of the public rooms in the Grand Hotel in Sete, a port on the Mediterranean, about one hour from Octon, the home of Verdigris Press.
The text is hand set in Vendome romain and printed letterpress by Mark Lintott, who also made the clamshell boxes. Each of the folios has been marbled in a most subtle shade of blue - delicate and yet full of life with swirls compelling one to open the folio to the mezzotint on the verso. This is a very beautiful book - elegant and restrained - just what one has come to expect from Judith Rothchild and Mark Lintott. Item #10486