LONEY, Alan (1940 - ); GIMBLETT, Max (1935 - )
New York : Granary Books, 2002. Folio, lettered red cloth, exposed binding, cloth slipcase, pp. , printed letterpress, illustrated with monoprints and watercolour.
‘I am committed to the Buddhist idea of the ‘not self’ and in that sense, I try to suspend judgment, and ‘float.’ – Max Gimblett
This project, which takes inspiration from Piet Mondrian’s early, somewhat figurative work, unfolds around Max Gimblett’s blazing kaleidoscopic watercolor spreads. The images in Mondrian’s flowers bear a powerful relationship to Loney’s poems; they are decidedly non-narrative but reveal a subtle family resemblance to the writing. Alan Loney, who notes that “Nothing is so sacred and despicable that it cannot, at some time, be uttered as poetry” has composed a text which is a lyrical and lucid counter meditation to the detonating images. Mondrian’s flowers is paradoxically restrained and untamed, figurative and abstract, energized, almost electric, but simultaneously governed by refined language, careful reflection, and balanced Zen-like composition, demonstrating a true exploration of aesthetic relations.
Mondrian’s flowers measures 14 by 10 inches; there are sixty pages which include three long poems and five double-page spread images. Four of the five images are exceptional monoprints made by Ruth Lingen in New York City, the fifth and final image in the book is an original double-page spread watercolor drawing by Gimblett, each one unique. The typographic design was initiated by Loney (an accomplished and highly respected designer and printer in his own right) and refined in cooperation with Inge Bruggeman who made plates and printed the text (on Hahnemule Copperplate paper) by hand at Textura Letterpress in Portland, Oregon.
Mondrian’s flowers is bound in printed red Barcelona paper over boards with bright blue Barcelona endpapers and features an exposed binding which incorporates yellow, red, white, black and blue papers in a nod to Piet Mondrian’s abstract work. The bindings were made by Judith Ivry in New York. The book is housed in a stamped black cloth-covered slipcase. Each copy has been signed by poet and artist. 16 are hors commerce, 25 are for sale.’ – the publisher’s website
With 25 copies available for sale, astonishingly, 23 are held in institutions including The British Library, the Library of Congress, the National Library of Art, and the Getty Research Institute.