The twenty-seventh publication of the Arion Press, this book represents a successful collaboration between a prominent Abstract Expressionist artist and a prominent American fine press. This is a very large book, thanks to its author James Joyce, and it contains on its 838 numbered pages one of the landmark literary works of the twentieth century. It is, in short, a superlative publication by every measure.
Contained in the book are forty etchings, twenty of which are in color, by Robert Motherwell. They were printed by R.E. Townsend, Inc., in Massachusetts on heavier-weight Johannot paper. The text was printed by Arion in handset Perpetua on French mouldmade Johannot. It is bound with white alum-tawed pigskin on the spine and on the fore edges of the boards which are otherwise covered in blue cloth with white flecks. A slipcase covered in the same fabric completes the presentation.
This copy of the book includes the scarce extra suite of twenty-two Motherwell etchings published simultaneously with the book. Each etching, 13 x 10 inches, is numbered and signed by the artist and placed in a folder which, in turn, is placed in a separate portfolio. Only forty of the original 150 copies of the book have this extra suite of prints, and a complete set rarely becomes available for sale.
At publication, the book and the extra suite were the subject of a show at Motherwell’s New York gallery, Knoedler & Company, in 1989.
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