This book features 78 works by 50 authors from 12 different nations that were selected from over 200 works by an international panel of judges that included the American calligrapher, Thomas Ingmire, Manfredo Massironi, Professor of Cognitive Psychology, at the University of Verona and Tiziano Santi, contemporary art critic and expert.
Written letters, calligraphic letters, drawn letters, painted letters, letters cut into stone, wooden letters. metal wire letters and glass letters have all been equally reproduced and printed with care on precious, long-lasting, non-acid acid paper.
The personal views of Thomas Ingmire in "Calligraphy in the 20th Century” and the essays by Tiziano Santi "Between Word and Image" and Manfredo Massironi "The Pleasure of Showing and Looking at Words" provide an appropriate introduction.
This book demonstrates how vital, stimulating and inspirational to the world of imagery is the research and work performed by these authors, who with full awareness of the historical patrimony of the alphabetic form work in a territory that borders on the realms of pure art, graphics, calligraphy lettering, and design without being entirely comparable to any of these disciplines.
The works by Denis Brown, Jane Dill, Ward Dunham & Linnea Lundquist, Olive Bull, Glen Epstein, Rose Folsom, Georgianna Greenwood, Thomas Ingmire, Cheryl Jacobsen, Hermann Kilian, Brodv Neuenschwander, Jan Owen, Werner Schneider, Paul Shaw, Susan Skarsgard and many other of the most widely known authors have been carefully reproduced with the complete work on one page and an enlarged detail that better illustrates the material nature of the signs and encourages the observer to enter more deeply into the image, on the other. The fascinating appeal of such various and diverse works undoubtedly lies in the fact that they all share a common ground in the shapes of the letters of the alphabet.
Writing as an art, can be likened to an umbilical cord that keeps us firmly linked to our past and transmits the certitude of our history, of something that came before, something that has been continuously subjected to stratification up to this very moment. It also permits us to move forward and further away to a dimension where everything is rarified, in order to probe the confines of legibility and challenge the limits of communication and sense.
Something ancient, but close and deeply rooted in each one of us, can also be recognised in the most innovative and even exasperated graphic forms, where only a few essential and hermetic fragments can be recognised as parts of the alphabet. This something that is so close, intimate and comforting also emerges in certain philological interpretations of the most ancient writings that are so far removed in time, and yet so close to us today.
1st edition1998, Hb, 168pp, full colour throughout, 24.5 x 30.5 cm