The inherent graphic beauty of type is the basis for Rose of Jays 2011, an image by American painter Matt Magee, one of the artists featured in Punctuations, Separations and Artists' Books. The print was inspired by the way a friend signed off his emails with the initials jjjjjjjj and was made as a polymer plate relief, printed in 'rose' by the renowned Grenfell Press, New York.
Terry Smith's My Shortcomings 2012 also employs type as image in a letterpress text that is a wry comment on the particular characteristics associated with being an artist. Richard Price shows a series of small poems Taku (originally published by Unit4Art) that celebrate sites of the body that could potentially be tattooed.
A pared down, minimalist approach is apparent in the works of Jane Grisewood and John McDowall (two artists who occasionally publish as part of the collective AMBruno). Grisewood’s Separations 2011 - 2013 is a book and related sequence of prints that were inspired by the vast tracts of water that separate the artist’s native New Zealand from Britain. Using the most basic of landscape indicators - the horizontal line, Grisewood has brought together a collection of haunting photographic images made from film, digital camera and mobile phone.
McDowall’s open edition Atramentum 2012 evidences a materiality of language made apparent by notionally pooling the ink of the printed text of Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy, reproduced in an artist’s book in the form of a single black circle, digitally printed and shown in fragments across the pages.
As some works explore the content and language of books, others reference their form - sculptor Livia Marin presents a series of latex casts taken from the covers of books, while Carolyn Thompson’s The Eaten Heart 2013 is cut from the pages of a volume of Boccaccio. All the text is removed except words that relate to the body - the book becoming a form of skeleton.