Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Day Two: Codex Book Fair

Codex 2013 took place over 4 days in two locations. The Book Fair made itself quite at home in a new location at the beautiful Craneway Pavilion, just north of Berkeley on the Richmond waterfront. The symposiums took place on just two mornings at the Berkeley Art Museum and featured many excellent speakers. On Monday, Sandro Berra of the Tipoteca, the working museum for the history of printing and type near Venice, Italy, spoke about the importance of working with metal type. Tuesday morning began with Russell Maret speaking on his own letter forms, books and printing. German book artist Veronika Schaepers spoke about living in Tokyo and making artist books. I won't spoil it for you, but her books are very intelligent and curiously amusing. The morning finished with an excellent presentation by Mark Dimunation, Chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections for the Library of Congress, speaking on the artist's intention when making modern artists books. As good fortune will have it, I discovered that all of Day Two's sold out symposium is available to watch online here. If you have any interest in books and printing, you should not miss it. 
An early stop at the table of Barb Tetenbaum of the Triangular Press revealed several treasures of new works. Glimpse, the name of the most recent collaborative edition she made with Julie Chen of Flying Fish Press can be seen here. Barb also had a fun double deck of Ideation Cards designed for use as a catalyst for conceptualizing artist's work. This work was also designed in collaboration with Julie Chen.  
Kim (Antic-ham) and Francis (Franticham) of RedFoxPress in Ireland, produce a variety of editioned books featuring digital, screenprint, assembly and transfer images with Dada, Fluxus influences. I hope to do a feature on one of their large screenprint books later.   
Shelley Hoyt's The Circus of Most Inventions, a typographic accordion work which makes me smile. 

Stopping occasionally to look up and take in the view of San Francisco in the distance and the large container ships sailing by, certainly had its rewards. It was such a lovely setting.

One of my favorite discoveries of the week was not your typical modern artist book, but rare Kimono pattern trade catalogs from Kyoto Japan, the center of the kimono industry at one time. The books presented by Mitsui Fine Arts, Inc. contain page after page of stunning woodblock printed textile designs printed as early as the mid-19th century. I also hope to feature these books in a later post.    
Day two brings a visit to David Lance Goines' renown Saint Heironymous Press in Berkeley, where we were invited to lunch with Jenny Wilkson's old friend, Richard Seibert. Jenny and Richard once worked together at Peter Koch's press. Richard befriended Goines many years ago when he worked for Alice Waters at Chez Panisse restaurant. He showed an interest in printing and Goines, who was a frequent Chez Panisse patron and promoter, invited Seibert to work for him. He now shares the print shop with him and is a master letterpress job printer (and still a great chef too!)
Printing pals, Richard & Jenny.
The C & P press which was the alleged model for the Full Circle Poster below. As a young start-up in the graphic design world in the early 70s, Goines had a terrific influence on me. I purchased this poster in 1976 from the Full Circle Gallery in Seattle, and remember it was $10. This was the first piece of collectible artwork I ever purchased, and it was costly for me at the time. I framed it and gave it to my father as a gift, and I'm now hoping he will regift it back to me someday.   

Goines' linoleum cutting tools with an old package of Speedball cutters, which I believe goes back to the sixties. In a conversation with him, he explained that he always creates a linocut for the line art of each poster. He then scans this and completes the rest of the artwork digitally. Below is a linocut image he did for a centennial anniversary card for their C & P.  

We were treated to a generous backroom lunch prepared by former Chez Panisse chef Richard Seibert. He made a beautiful green salad with sauteed mushrooms and a salad dressing with a subtle hint of truffles. He also served a wonderful chicken pâté. His skills in the kitchen are only equalled by his skills as a letterpress printer. These prepared lunches are a daily occurrence I'm told.
     Tomorrow in this same space: Day 3 of the Codex Book Fair.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, my! I've loved your blog for a long time and I'm so sad I missed a chance to meet you in person while you were in my stomping grounds. I got my start as a printer with Richard and David (I now work nextdoor at Olive-Route + a little freelance of my own).

    Maybe next time!


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