- New York, NY: Russell Maret, 2015.
- paper wrappers
Price: $1,250.00 other currencies
Order Nr. 127031
Limited to 90 copies, of which this is one of 70 signed copies bound in paper wrappers by Nancy Loeber. Linear A to Linear Z was a project that started with a daydream and ended with a creative approach to the western alphabet. Utilizing all twenty-six letters, Maret used precise measurements to create an 'alphabet of lines', which are printed using linoleum blocks and white ink. Most of the letters are as linear as one would imagine, however others (including the 'O', for example) required much more in the ways of imagination.
From the introduction: "A letterform is a spatial disturbance; an act of interference on an otherwise passive grid." For me, the path was clear: show the passive grid and a letterform disturbing it. The grid is blind tooled but the letterform is in gold, catching the eye and leaving the grid in the background. The letterform is that of the "V" print taken from the book, placed asymmetrically onto the cover so that it transverses the spine." [artist statement] "Linear A is the oldest known Aegean script, discovered by Sir Arthur Evans while excavating in Crete. Used by the Minoans in the early second millenium BCE, Linear A shares many characters in common with the later Linear B script of the Mycenaeans but, unlike Linear B, Linear A remains undeciphered. As the Mycenaeans succeeded the Minoans as the region's dominant culture, it is logical to search for a link between the two scripts, but attempts to apply character values from Linear B to the same Linear A characters results in gibberish. That a familiar form can have multiple meanings, or be legible in one instance and inaccessible in another, offers an illuminating insight into the struggle of mark making in general, and letter design in particular. It is also a model for the blocks I cut for the book; they are not meant to be immediately recognizable as the A, B, Cs we commonly use, but as forms and shapes that evoke the Roman capital letters. They are meant to be A, B, Cs that can also be something else entirely."
Russell Maret is a book artist, author, and alphabet designer working in New York City. He has produced over fifty books and manuscripts, most of which deal with alphabetical form, geometry, and color theory. His alphabetical works play with the gray area between legibility and abstraction, exploring the relationship between alphabetical form and textual content. His books are represented in public and private collections throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Library of Congress, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Bodleian Library, the Meermanno Museum, and the Herzog August Bibliothek.