Underneath the Big Sea. From Seaweed by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Richard Reitz. Longfellow Smith, Henry Wadsworth.

Underneath the Big Sea. From Seaweed by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Camden, ME: 2018. Unique artist's book, on layered black, white Hiromi Kozo and Mead Bond papers by Richard Reitz Smith, signed by him on the colophon in pencil and dated. Page size: 10-1/4 x 14-1/2 inches folded; 39-1/2 x 29-1/2 inches; 2pp; opening to fold-out of 8 panels of monoprints of underwater scenes on Mead Bond collaged to black Hiromi Kozo paper. Bound by the artist, Richard Reitz Smith, in blue Canapetta and linen cloth over boards, housed in black cloth over boards portfolio case with title printed in grey on front panel, grey ribbon tie, lined with black Kozo paper with monoprints of swimming fish in lighter black. The monoprints were made using stencils that included natural seaweed on a glycerin and gelatin plate with Speedball Water-Based Printing Ink. The images and text are letterpress printed on a Vandercook Universal III with custom ink at Maine Media Workshops. Collaged to the monoprint seascapes are various images of sea creatures - sea horses, oyster, lobster, various fish - printed from photopolymer plates, then chine colle and collaged, with hand-color applied, adding depth and motion to the overall seascape. Longfellow's verse, taken from his collection, SEAWEED, is handset in Optima with Americana supporting text (the colophon printed in blue ink on black Hiromi), printed with photopolymer plates, the black text of the poem on the photopolymer sheet boldly appears from the blue monoprint of the swirling sea, onto which it has been collaged. The publication of SEAWEED (1850) marked one of the most sustained images of the sea in American lyric poetry. Longfellow's themes of poetry and creativity lend themselves to an artist's book, as does the backdrop of the sea. This fold-out format book reveals itself to the reader / viewer in subtle steps. When one finally has the entire book unfolded, one is "swimming with the fishes" - entering into the poet's and artist's world. A book full of wonder and beauty. Item #11332

Price: $1,350.00