Mindy Belloff, “Voices”

Full view of “Voices” (from Rilke’s “Voices, Voices, Listen my heart…”) – Steel book welded with brass; Letterpress printed from handset metal and wood type + hand painting, on indigo Cave papers, Poets: Rainer Maria Rilke & Steven Gentile; Wood shelf with steel frame, Letterpress printed on St. Armand papers, Text from David Hickey’s essay “The Invisible Dragon”


Detail of book pages


Detail from Rilke’s First Elegy, translation by Jungian David Oswald – “O and the night, the night, when wind full of outer space gnaws at our faces”


Detail from poet Steve Gentile – “Night after Night to lie next to love, To have this garden in all its seasons, I see that now”


Detail of “Beauty” – text underneath from David Hickey:
the language of visual affect – the rhetoric of how things look – the iconography of desire . . . BEAUTY


Artist: Mindy Belloff (New York, NY)

Title: Voices (2013)

Medium/technique(s): Wall installation: Steel book and steel frame on shelf with letterpress printing and hand painting on handmade papers (Cave indigo flax & St. Armand); Authors: Steve Gentile, Rainer Maria Rilke, Dave Hickey

Edition size: Unique

Number of pages: 7 +

Dimensions: 36” X 36” X 11” (installed); 12” X 26” X 10” (book)


Artist Statement:

As a mixed-media installation and book artist, I create layered personal narratives, sensitively integrating text and imagery. In some, painted or photographic images and text communicate with the intimacy of a diary.  In others, the visual immediacy of monoprinting, or the spatial dynamics of sculpture are combined with historic letterpress printing within a book sequence. The book as sculpture, installation or finely bound codex, is always an intimate, tactile experience.  Artist’s books beg to be touched, handled, and considered on many levels, through narrative and visuals.

Voices, recently completed, is a steel book which hangs on the wall, inviting viewers to touch and turn its pages. I am interested in interweaving texts, which resonate conceptually, viscerally, and aesthetically.  I chose two poems:  one titled Under Dark Cover of Night, written by Steven Gentile to his love, and the other of a century earlier, Rainer Maria Rilke’s First Elegy (excerpts, from David Oswald’s translation). The contemporary poem echoes Rilke’s meditations on night and lovers, and together, create a dialog of voices.  The depth of feelings and inner reflections of both poems express a universal search of one’s inner world, through symbolism, mythology, passion and beauty, which transcends the generations. The first text is printed in metallic gold on the right-hand side of the pages. On the left side, Rilke’s words are printed in metallic silver ink.  The poems are handset in metal type. Words such as “Stone” and “voices” are printed from wood type and hand-inked. There is also subtle, wispy hand painting on the deep indigo papers.

Below this book is a smaller piece letterpress printed on bright white paper, set inside a thinner welded steel frame, which rests on a shelf.  The word “Beauty” printed four times in a variety of typefaces, is blind embossed. The page underneath, also letterpress printed, reveals text taken from Dave Hickey’s essay, The Invisible Dragon, which I first read in the early 1990’s:


the language of visual affect

the rhetoric of how things look

 the iconography of desire