[ Maret, Russell ] Euclid and Sir Thomas Little Heath, trans. Interstices & Intersections, or an Autodidact Comprehends a Cube. [ New York ] : Russell Maret. 2014.
Featuring commentary and illustrations by the artist, this large-scale accordion book explores the principles of geometry on a mathematical and personal basis. One side of the accordion opens to reveal the title “Intersections & Interstices” while the other side opens to reveal the subtitle “Or, An Autodidacts Comprehends a Cube.” Maret used as a starting point Sir Thomas Little Heath’s 1908 translation of Euclid’s The Elements of Geometry, c. 300 B.C. He then chose one proposition from each of the thirteen books in Euclid’s work for his commentary and illustration.
Maret’s commentary on these thirteen propositions is informed by his experiences as a young student and as an artist and printer. Euclid’s propositions and Maret’s commentary are densely and colorfully illustrated with diagrams as well as with more fanciful geometric images to help prove the propositions. Maret’s layered printing process results in illustrations that have a distinctive, luminous quality and are masterpieces of registration as the macro-lens magnifications in the photographs above show. Mark Dimunation, Chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division at the Library of Congress, has called this book “a tour de force of color printing.” The book was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Printing Museum in Houston in 2014.
But the book is not just an exemplar of craftsmanship. Like Sol LeWitt, whose analytically controlled grids and patterns originate from a mathematical idea, Maret’s structured schema produce unexpected patterns and juxtapositions. In this book he has managed to combine the conceptualism of a Sol LeWitt with the color printing expertise of an Owen Jones.
Euclid’s propositions are printed in Cancellaresca Milanese while Maret’s commentaries are printed in Gremolata. Other typefaces used in the book are Saturn, Saturn Shadow, and Texto Portuguez. All typefaces used in the book were designed by the artist and printed from photo-polymer plates.
The covers of the book feature a rotationally symmetric design in teal-colored goatskin and grey handmade paper from the University of Iowa Center for the Book. The book is protected by a clamshell box covered in grey cloth with a teal-colored goatskin spine label. Daniel Kelm created the binding and the box at the Wide Awake Garage.
This copy is number 64 of 75 copies on mouldmade Zerkall Litho paper from a total edition of 92. It is signed and numbered by the artist at the colophon.
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