- Mission, BC, Canada: Barbarian Press, 2019.
- quarter cloth, paper covered boards
- over 100 engravings
Price: $1,000.00 other currencies
Order Nr. 134457
First edition of 125 numbered copies, of which this is one of the 65 standard state copies bound in quarter vermilion cloth with a printed paper label and patterned paper. This book is part of the Endgrain Editions series by Crispin & Jan Elsted's Barbarian Press. Many coloured engravings included, and in a departure from the earlier volumes in the series, brief texts by himself and others which both comment on and counterpoint the engravings set off groups of images. An elegant autobiographical introduction reveals the processes and travels through which he has arrived at his position today in the first rank of American and international engravers.
Some people's fascination with his work are in a response to the meticulous attention to detail which imbues all his engravings, combined with a democracy of aesthetic which allows both realism and abstraction equal weight. In a Parenthesis review of Wageners early book with Peter Koch, Zebra Noise with a Flatted Seventh, Simon Brett said No one else I know of is making such avant-garde grand opera in wood-engraved prints. Yet with abstraction as a vital part of his vision, Wagener is also deeply drawn to the essentials of the natural world - trees, plants, mountains, birds, reptiles, animals - and presents them utterly in and for themselves. There are very few human figures, and virtually no active scenes with a narrative, a story to tell.
When, more recently, he has begun to use colour, it is always in abstract compositions, as if the colour itself as the subject were taking on an immutable abstract persona - and always one colour is the subject even when it is printed against a second coloured background. When these coloured images are used in books, as they were in Peter Kochs edition of Robert Bringhursts translation of the works of Parmenides, they take on the effects of illuminations rather than illustrations. They are co-equal accompaniments.
Texts printed in Joanna with display types to be decided, in various colours and black on Zerkall Cream laid, with more than 100 engravings printed from the wood on Zerkall White Smooth.