Bart, Harriet. Drawn in Smoke. Minneapolis: Mnemonic Press. 2011.
Drawn in Smoke is part of a project created by conceptual artist Harriet Bart to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911. Historically important for the changes in labor practices it galvanized, this tragedy claimed the lives of at least 146 victims, most of them young immigrant women and girls. An important work in Bart’s oeuvre, Drawn in Smoke continues the artist’s practice of advocating for women and memorializing the sacrifices of those who often go unrecognized. Working with a list of the victims held at the Cornell University Archive, Bart used smoke to create an abstract “portrait” for each of the 160 names on the list. These drawings were shown together in an installation at Babcock Galleries in New York City in 2011.
This publication extends the installation into a different format. For this work, Bart’s haunting and fragile smoke drawings were scanned and printed digitally with archival pigment inks on 250gsm rag paper. Each print features a name of one of the victims written by hand by the artist below the image. The prints are collected in two volumes: Volume I contains names A-L and Volume II contains names M-Z.
Drawn in Smoke is housed in two clamshell boxes of dark grey board with brown cloth hinges. The spine of each box is stamped in bronze with a square motif and the volume number. Designed to suggest the look of an archive, these boxes are protected by a slipcase covered in grey paper and marked with a black square motif.
The printing of this book was accomplished by Eric Recktenwald at The Lab Digital Production, with boxmaking by Jill Jevne and title page design by Philip Gallo at the Hermetic Press.
Drawn in Smoke was published in a limited edition of 7 copies and is signed by the artist on the colophon.
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