Ficciones pairs the work of Jorge Luis Borges, a founder of postmodernist literature, and that of Sol LeWitt, a founder of Conceptual Art. Writer Alastair Reid, a close friend of Borges, first suggested the pairing, and ultimately LeWitt not only created the illustrations, but also designed the entire book. The block-like format of the book, the rectangular borders around the text, and the Cloister Bold typeface chosen by LeWitt give the volume a monumental appearance. An essay by Alexander Coleman, entitled “The Designs of Jorge Luis Borges,” introduces the collection of short stories.
Appearing at regular intervals throughout the seventeen stories are twenty-two illustrations featuring straight lines overlapping and running in different directions to create LeWitt’s characteristic geometric figures. The original drawings were printed as silkscreens by LeWitt’s friend, printmaker Jo Watanabe, and each silkscreen was created by printing four layers – one layer for each direction of line.
The type for Ficciones was set in Linotype by Mackenzie-Harris typefoundry in San Francisco. The Anthoensen Press of Portland, Maine, undertook the letterpress printing under the supervision of Harry Milliken. The text was printed on Mohawk Mills letterpress paper while the illustrations were printed on Somerset Satin paper and tipped into the book. Housed in a black paper-covered slipcase, Ficciones is bound in black cowhide with blind-tooled rectangles on the covers. The title and the author’s name are blind tooled on the spine. A. Horowitz & Sons produced the binding in Fairfield, New Jersey.
Ficciones was published by the Limited Editions Club in an edition of 1500 copies. This copy is numbered 1175 and signed by LeWitt at the colophon. Also included with the book is the Limited Editions Club Monthly Letter discussing the origin of the volume.
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