Offset printed black & white illus. throughout. Leporello format (162 x 112 mm. closed, fully extends to 2.5 meters), stiff paper boards, printed pictorial label on upper board. Rochester: Visual Studies Workshop, 1986.
One of Keith A. Smith’s works in leporello format, featuring a poem by the artist; printed offset in an edition of 300 and signed by the artist on the title-page. This work is dedicated to the book artist Philip Zimmerman.
In his auto-bibliography 200 Books, Smith (b. 1938) explains the origin of this piece, “I was not speaking of snow, but the snow job of governments spouting the safety of nuclear power plants. I was driven by the Three Mile Island incident. The poem was written in January 1986, shortly before the Chernobyl melt down. Books 114 and 115 went to press on March 26th, the day of the Challenger disaster.” The text of the poem is reproduced in 200 Books.
In excellent condition, Smith’s books are now very scarce on the market. Signed by the artist.
❧ K. Smith, 200 Books (2000), p. 200–“For printing economy, Books 114 and 115 were printed on two sheets of paper, cut into three equal horizontal pieces and then glued into strips. The two sheets were printed on only one side. The first book required four strips and the second only two. To fill out Book 115, a strip of black Fabriano paper was added at each end to make the books the same width when fully extended. I also like the extent of black considering the subject matter.”
J. Drucker, The Century of Artists’ Books (2004 ed.), pp. 247-48–“Smith’s Snow Job Book 115 was an early experiment with a Macintosh computer. It shows its age — or rather, displays its historical moment of production — at every turn. The type is full of the ‘jaggies’ — an effect of early electronic printers’ inability to deal with the visual manipulations of type, size, scale, and spatial arrangement. The text goes through every possible acrobatic maneuver available on the computer at the time — it bends, twists, writhes, and floats over the pages, ending in a final ‘meltdown’ moment of disintegration. There is a play between the ‘snowjob’ of the title — with its implications of hoodwinking — and the references of the text which are strictly focused on real, literal snow. (Smith lives in Rochester, New York, after all and has an all too intimate relationship with snow.)”.
Item ID: 7172