Books & Other Things That Disappear

I'm doing some research about the publishing history and production of Agrippa, the 1992 "book" by William Gibson and artist Dennis Ashbaugh. More about another time. Down one of the many dark lanes of tales about Agrippa, I encountered the name Deborah Cullen. She's the Director & Chief Curator of the Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University. Her name popped up in relation to an exhibition she curated last year for the 30th Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana, Slovenia. A copy of Agrippa was included in the show and I wanted to ask her about it.

Deborah was very helpful. Turns out we share a passion for printmaking. She tipped me to a project she did with ICI Press, Bataille's Eye, which included a suite of original prints. The ICI publications are worth clicking through; they're doing some interesting work that might be of particular interest to fans of The WunderCabinet or other Cohen/Hodgson collaborations.


(ICI reminds me a little - in spirit but with better design - of the RE/Search imprint. Esoteric, edgy & thinky.)

Maybe you've already heard the disappointing news that Wessel & Lieberman, Booksellers will be shutting its Seattle doors this summer. A huge loss to the book arts community, publishers and collectors alike. W&L always had a strong commitment to promoting interesting work in the field, especially by new printers and artists. They curated numerous shows and exhibitions at the shop (including one by HM friend Shinsuke Minegishi, and the launch for Harold Budd's Colorful Fortune); were instrumental in establishing Bookfest, an annual fall book arts event that ran in the '90s; and were overall good & kool people. I think I'm also correct in saying that the first thing printed on HM's then new Washington handpress was a little pamphlet containing a poem by Sam Green, with the Wessel & Lieberman imprint.

That's not a sufficient chronicle of W&L's contributions over the years, but it's still difficult to imagine them not being around.

I'll have some info about presses next week, a few small ones that need homes & my desire to acquire a medium-sized handpress...