New York: Vincent FitzGerald & Co., 2002. One of 20 copies, all on special paper handmade by Paul Wong at Dieu Donne Papermill, each signed and numbered on the colophon by Susan Weil. The artist has titled, signed, numbered, and dated each print as well at the bottom in pencil. Page size: 16 x 16 inches; 6 images plus colophon. Housed in orange silk custom-made clamshell box with inset of blueprint image by the artist of broken glasses printed in white on blue fabric, box made by Priscilla Spitler at Hands on Bookbinding, new. The colophon was printed by Daniel Keleher at Wild Carrot Letterpress. Vincent FitzGerald & Company did the collage work. The prints are described by the publisher as follows: 1) blueprint image on cover; 2) "Umbrella" photograph which puts the umbrella structure directly on the paper; 3) "Secrets" A collaged blueprint. These private words are layered, then cut in strips and woven. The back of the strips are water colored red, reflecting slightly. 4) "Grace's Lace" The lace squares are treated with chemicals for a brown print and developed with ultraviolet light. This is mounted on handmade paper which has been water colored pale gray. 5) "Catenary" This is a blueprint collage. The two blueprint hands hold a copper string. The handmade paper is water colored pale green. 6) "Woven Wineglasses" This is a photograph collage. Several direct wineglass images are simply woven into a box form, making this study of water and shadows into an abstraction. 7) "Haphazard" This is a formal blue print configuration of glass rectangles. The haphazard quality comes from the unpredictability of the beautiful breaks in the glass.
Susan Weil returns to a medium she used in the late 1940's and early 1950's with her then husband, Robert Rauschenberg, at Black Mountain College, where they had studied with Josef Albers. Carla Schulz-Hoffman notes in her article on Susan Weil in the exhibition catalogue, MIND'S EYE (1989) the origins of this art form. In subsequent visits to Black Mountain, they began experimenting with blueprint paper. Rauschenberg writes, "Sue and I experimented with light-sensitive papers, partly because of their low cost...". Schulz-Hoffman writes, "In 1951 their son Christopher was born, and in that same year 'Life' magazine published a three page article including reproductions of their spectacular 'Blueprints'. Similar to Man Ray's rayographs, the blueprints used blueprint-paper and a sunray lamp to capture life-sized silhouettes." She notes, "For this reason it is not always possible to credit one particular individual with the discovery of innovations which would prove decisive in precipitating the fall of Abstract Expressionism and in shaping the course which the entire New York School would eventually take. Although many of the results of Weil's productive collaborations with Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns cannot be attributed exclusively to one or another of these artists, nevertheless a typically one-sided art historical scholarship tends to ignore Weil or consign her a marginal role...". As well as blueprint images, Weil began to use collage in an especially creative way. Her complete mastery of these techniques can be seen in these images. Item #9651