Conceived and directed by conceptual artist Harriet Bart, 13 ÷ 14 is a visual interpretation of the poem "Thirteen Ways of Looking At A Blackbird" by Wallace Stevens, and fits squarely into the formalist tradition of Conceptual Art as envisioned by Sol LeWitt, Joseph Kosuth, Hanne Darboven, and others. To create this book, Bart used the mathematical puzzle known as the Loculus of Archimedes, or the Stomachion, as a starting point for her illustrations. A dissection puzzle game, the Loculus consists of a square divided into 14 polygons in accordance with certain specific geometric constraints. Bart rearranged these 14 polygons in different layouts to create an illustration for each of the 13 stanzas in the riddle-like poem. Her original layouts were then scanned and made into polymer plates for letterpress printing onto 150gsm Magnani Pescia paper. The resulting semi-abstract illustrations depict the observations of the poem in a rich, deep black color. An additional illustration showing the complete Loculus puzzle solution is also included.

The text of the poem was handset from foundry type and printed by Philip Gallo at the Hermetic Press. The type is from the Delphin and Trump series, and Viva (Adobe Systems) is used for display.

13 ÷ 14 features a sewn quarter binding designed and fabricated by Jill Jevne. The binding has a black leather spine and iridescent blue-black cloth sides with a blackbird motif stamped on the front cover. This volume is housed in a slipcase covered in grey cloth and lined with black velour with a matching blackbird motif on the top board.

Published in an edition of 50 copies signed by the artist on the colophon.

 

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