Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Above and Below

Alexander Massouras
Above and Below; or Apocryphal Journeys in Thirty Etchings
Julian Page, London: 2013
In Flight, A Trip Down and The Invisible World, the three short fictional texts in this volume, all transport the reader to imaginary places and through equivocal states of being. The narrative is moved forward by sparse, often single, lines of texts - on occasion it resists any momentum, offering only a blank page. In Flight begins 'One bright morning, Joseph woke to find the world as he'd dreamt it' and the dreamlike vision continues across all three stories, in a manner reminiscent of the haunting and surreal work of Edward Gorey. In Massouras's etchings surfaces wiped free of ink deliver an elegant counterpoint to areas of precise and figurative cross-hatching. Everyday objects are often on the verge of being obliterated by infinity. An image from In Flight alludes to the last expedition of Solomon Andrée, the ill-fated Arctic balloonist, while the final text touches on boat-building, mountaineering and environmental catastrophe. 
Paperback, 72 pages, 19 x 27.7 cm. Illustrated with 30 hard-ground etchings. Edition limited to 60 copies plus 5 artist's proofs.
ISBN 980957012417.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Sculpture of the Eskimo

George Swinton
Sculpture of the Eskimo
McClelland & Stewart, Toronto: 1972
[NB A revised edition was later published entitled Sculpture of the Inuit]
The classic reference work on Inuit sculpture by one of the first major advocates and scholars of the form within western art historical tradition. The most thorough, and lavish, visual record of Inuit sculpture published at the time, this volume presents clear images of many important works, spanning all phases of the form from the pre-Dorset and Dorset cultures to contemporary practitioners such as Fabian Oogark and Toona Erkoolik. Chapters considering e.g. Inuit aesthetics and the relationship of art to landscape are supplemented by a detailed bibliography.
Hardback, 256 pages, 32 x 25 cm. Illustrated with 37 colour plates, 770 black and white photographs.
ISBN 0771083718