Sarah Horowitz, “Effigies”
Last page of the drawing sequence- sumi ink on indigo-dyed, gelatin-sized, kozo. Letterpressed colophon on handmade kozo paper.
Artist: Sarah Horowitz (Portland, OR)
Title: Effigies (2012)
Medium/technique(s): Letterpress, dyed paper, ink drawing, sewn binding
Edition size: 20
Number of pages: 12
Dimensions, open: 10.5 x 34 x .75 in
Dimensions, closed: 10.5 x 17 x .75 in
Effigies is a hand-drawn limited edition artist book featuring Paul Auster’s namesake poem from 1976. My design for the book centers around a long sumi ink drawing of a bramble fence that extends over several indigo-dyed pages. For each of the 20 books in the edition, I re-drew the image by hand, resulting in 20 unique pieces. Meaning `a likeness ́ or `resemblance of ́, effigies straddle the threshold of existence, that which is illusory or real, forgotten or remembered. The ink-drawn weeds and brambles that cross the landscape pages are part of the edges of fields, the forgotten spaces between tilled lands that grow tangled with rusting fencing. I could not be more pleased that Mr. Auster has signed the colophon!
As a book artist, I am continually creating a dialog between language and image. As a Jew — the people of the book — I have learned that my ancestors’ story is my story and its documentation is my cultural imperative. With this new book, the thorny fence represents the line on the edge of reality and forgetting. Remembering history is critical to finding balance in the world.
For the creation of this book handmade kozo paper was dyed in an indigo vat, hung on laundry lines in the sun, gelatin sized, and pressed flat over the course of a year. Paul Auster graciously gave permission for the reproduction of his poem Effigies, and the printing and drawing commenced in early 2012. Each image was re-drawn by hand for the edition with sumi ink by Sarah Horowitz in Portland, Oregon. The Univers types were cast at the foundry of M & H Type. Art Larson of Horton Tank Graphics in Hadley, Massachusetts printed the letterpress on un-dyed sheets of kozo. Claudia Cohen bound the edition in indigo-dyed flax paper made by CavePaper. Twenty copies in all were produced of Effigies by Wiesedruck. Each copy is signed by the author and the artist.
My training in art has roots in a diverse range of fields, beginning with my undergraduate studies in math and physics, through my personal explorations into botany, literature and history, and my bilingual upbringing in the US and Switzerland. After college my printmaking training explored traditional technical studies in Munchringen, Switzerland and non-toxic printmaking at the Edinburgh Printmaker’s Workshop in Scotland. Through drawing, printmaking and artist books, I explore formal relationships of line, balance and composition as a medium with which to distill and document human relationships and emotions of harmony and conflict. I work at Atelier Mars printmaking studio in Portland, Oregon where I have been a member for the past twelve years and I taught printmaking and drawing at Portland State University for the past seven years. I create artist books under my imprint Wiesedruck (Wiese = river on the border of Germany and Switzerland; druck = press), working with poems in multiple languages by Paul Celan, Kadya Molodowsky and Paul Auster. Through the dialog between words and images, I explore themes of the passing of time, absence, and temporality with my images of plants at various stages of life and desiccation.