Stripes Seven Ways

Passage.

Offset-lithographed color stripes throughout (all ca. 87 mm.). One blank leaf, two printed leaves, [32]; one blank leaf, two printed leaves, [39]; one blank leaf, two printed leaves, [25]; one blank leaf, two printed leaves, [29]; one blank leaf, two printed leaves, [26]; one blank leaf, two printed leaves, [31]; one blank leaf, two printed leaves, [33]. Seven vols. Very large & square 4to (535 x 535 mm.), orig. printed semi-stiff wrappers, titles on spines, housed in the orig. publisher’s large wooden slipcase. [Italy]: Edizione Artestudio Macerata, May 1972.

One of Daniel Buren’s earliest artist’s books; exquisitely printed in an edition of 110 (incl. 10 A.P. copies). Reprising the artist’s stripe motif, this work consists of vibrantly rendered stripes, barely apparent at first, that grow bolder and bolder as the reader turns the pages. The French word passage can be translated as “a transition,” “a crossing through,” or even “a pass through a printing press.” Here, each successive page has been run through the offset lithograph press one additional time, until the stripes near oversaturation. Each volume is dedicated to a single color: Bleu (32 illustrated leaves), Jaune (39), Noir (25), Orange (29), Rouge (26), Vert (31), Violet (33). The stripe illustrations are on the rectos, and each leaf is numbered on the verso. The result is a beautifully executed work in book form that accentuates the concept of Buren’s signature stripes.

In The Print Collector’s Newsletter, Vol. 5, No. 2 (May-June 1974), Passage is noted (p. 42): “Screenprinted on each page are the 8.7 cm vertical stripes in white and color Buren has used exclusively in his work since 1966. As each page passes, the color intensifies by a multiple of the number of the page. Six volumes are shades of the spectrum; Tome 3 is black; all are beautiful…Price: $1,400…Distributed by John Weber Gallery, New York, and Seriaal B.V., Amsterdam.”

The seven volumes in this set are in near fine condition; each is internally pristine. The spines are slightly sunned, and there are a few minor marks to the covers. The publisher’s slipcase is intact but has a few splits.

Among North American institutional collections, we have found only two examples of this work, one at the Getty Research Institute, the other at the Museum of Modern Art (NY).

❧ Buren’s online catalogue raisonné, T IV 216 (accessed 21 June 2021).

Krefelder Kunstmuseen’s Künstler Bücher I exhib. cat. (1993) p. 45.

Reviewed by Naomi Spector in the celebrated artists’ books issue of Art-Rite, no. 14, p. 48 (1977).

Price: $14,500.00

Item ID: 7689