Heebner, Mary. Intimacy: Drawing with Light, Drawn from Stone. Santa Barbara: Simplemente Maria Press. 2017.
Intimacy is a book with roots in artist Mary Heebner’s series of graphite and ink drawings made of Roman sculpture. It contains a small accordion fold volume, Marmo, which features prints of blue-toned ink drawings and a poem by the artist, in English and Italian, about the living quality of marble. This volume is bound in dark blue cloth with blue paper sides and a gold-stamped title. A chemise titled Schizzi, bound in the same style as Marmo, holds a portfolio of fourteen loose prints on Shojoshi paper of drawings from the artist’s series Rome Sketches.
Also featured in this work is a portfolio of handmade paper with graceful figurative watermarks based on these drawings. On five ivory-toned papers made by the artist at a residency at Museo della Carta e della Filigrana in Fabriano, Italy, with Luigi Mecella and Bruno Angelo Stroppa, the watermarks are embellished with watercolor on the verso. Four similar ultramarine-toned papers made by the artist at the Dieu Donné Paper Mill in New York with Lisa Switalski and Paul Wong feature watermarks embellished with graphite on the verso. These sheets are letterpress-printed with excerpts from the artist’s poem Marmo and the names of the source sculptures for the drawings. A title page, an epigraph, a sheet describing the watermark process, and a colophon – all watermarked – complete the portfolio.
Intimacy is housed in a two-piece box of dark grey anodized aluminum with two pieces of carved marble set into the lid. Inside the box is a tri-part plexiglass enclosure that holds the portfolio and the two small volumes. The plexiglass enclosure also folds up into a viewing stand that allows light to shine through the watermarked papers in the portfolio, and is the origin of the book’s subtitle.
The complex design of the book and the original artwork are by the artist. The text for this work is in Centaur and Latin Uncial. John Balkwill of The Lumino Press completed the letterpress printing. The anodized aluminum box was fabricated at Neal Feay Co. and designed with Sawyer Tautz. Anders Johnson created the marble carving. Lise Apatoff contributed the Italian translations, and Nancy Winter supplied the Latin type names and editing.
From an edition of 20 numbered copies, this copy is signed by the artist and numbered 11/20 on the colophon. Marmo is signed and dated, and all the prints in Schizzi are initialed and dated as well. Also included is a prospectus with handling instructions.
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