Wednesday, March 12, 2014

BOOKED: Kara Walker turns the page on Porgy and Bess

Kara Walker, Suite 3. Porgy and Bess, embracing, 2013, lithograph. 9 x 12 inches. Image via 
Libretto for George Gershwin opera is artist’s first series of lithographs

Arion Press presents Porgy & Bess, illustrated with 16 lithographs by Kara Walker, and a separate suite of four additional lithographs.

The opera with music by Gershwin, libretto by DuBose Heyward and lyrics by DuBose Haywood and Ira Gershwin is the occasion for Walker’s first series of lithographs.

Walker launched the publication last November at the gala opening of the IFPDA Print Fair at the Park Avenue Armory in New York.

Emily Nathan writes in the March 2014 issue of ARTnews : 
Floating like a small picture window on the white expanse of every page, each of the 16 illustrations has a messy, aggravated border – the result of Walker’s rubbing technique – and all the figures are represented in her signature silhouette style.

Excerpt of Kara Walker’s Porgy & Bess artist statement: 
Unlike the bulk of my work, in which I plumb erratically and sometimes dangerously through American history using narrative forms and mis-readings of racist texts as the basis, the Porgy & Bess series of images is quite straightforward, more an homage to the feeling of the music. And to that feeling I had as a child of a heavy atmosphere hanging around a timeless act of love.


Book with 16 b/w lithographs: edition of 400, numbered and signed, $1,750.

26 lettered copies for complimentary distribution to participants in project.

Suite of four lithographs: edition of 40, on mouldmade paper, numbered and signed, $10,000 (book purchase required).

Prints are numbered 1/40 = 40/40; 5 are artists proofs numbered AP 1/5 to AP 5/5; and 5 are printer’s/publisher’s proofs, numbered PP 1/5 – PP 5/5.

The book is a large quarto, printed by letterpress and hand bound, in a slipcase. 
Porgy & Bess can be viewed at Arion Press in San Francisco. Contact them by email for information. 

View the complete prospectus in PDF format. 

Read Kara Walker's Artist's Statement about Porgy & Bess.

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