Jul 242017
 

I have had the great pleasure of working with Gabby Cooksey since she burst forth from North Bennet School and began inflicting her genius upon the world. I had the great pleasure of placing her first binding in Univ. of Virginia’s Special Collections and the greater pleasure of watching her explore, evolve, and expand with each new work. I have said since I saw her first work that she makes design decisions as a new, now young, binder that I would expect from one with decades under her belt… Part of this is to NBS’s credit, but much has to do with Gabby’s profoundly subtle and sophisticated way of looking at her projects and finding elegant solutions at nearly every turn…

It was not long before she branched out and began writing text, creating art, and printing all elements of some projects. Thus we have today’s gem: The Book of Penumbra, of which Gabby writes,

“Death has always fascinated me because it happens to all of us yet no one talks about it. I wanted to see what other cultures personified death as through myths and legends. The gods in this book are very hushed and for some, even if you speak the name, you’ll be cursed. I wanted this book to be shadows, to be played in the light. I chose a delicate paper so one could see through to the page behind it. The text is in all sorts of shapes because I wanted each story to represent the god being told about. For instance, Sedna is in the shape of drowning, Anubis is his eye, Mac is a pit with someone at the bottom. The borders are all plants, roots, and things found on the earth. Some represent death like the poppy, and the yew tree.”

Completed in an edition of 23, bound in wraps, and housed in a box with an inlaid coffin, it is a beautiful bit of work. As she is seldom content with ‘exquisite’, I received a package out of the blue and found a one-off art binding of the book with seven skulls suspended by gold in the cut-through front board (insert above). Always pushing, always expanding…ever brilliant. I am always excited about what she will produce next. Explore the book below…

Jun 012017
 

 

Yes, despite what we complain about, there are things we enjoy about the approaching summer. That includes attending the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section conference in Iowa City! Lux Mentis will be part of the Bookseller showcase this year, along with many other fine booksellers. We are especially excited to feature our selection of book arts and primary source materials in keeping with this year’s theme, “The Stories We Tell.” We are also sponsoring the panel: “MATERIALIA LUMINA: THE CONTEMPORARY BOOK IN ITS HISTORICAL CONTEXT: PHILOSOPHICAL MUSING OF THREE MASTER PRINTERS” featuring Peter Rutledge Koch, Russell Maret, and Gaylord Schanilec.

As a large part of our mission we aim to support especially book arts and book narratives, so we will have a good selection of artist’s books and both pictorial and literary narratives. A few of our latest acquisitions will be featured including works by Ximena Perez GrobetLorena Velázquez, Alexandra Janezic, Maureen Cummins, and Sam Winston. As usual, we will also bring a few challenging and provocative things.

Before the show, we will be attending the Chicago Book & Paper Fair and during the week of RBMS we will also be attending the Solstice Book Fair organized by book artists, Alexandra Janezic and Candida Pagan.

Until then, keep reading, keep collecting! See you in Iowa City!

 

Mar 102017
 

Lux Mentis, Booksellers specializes in expanding the notion of the printed, constructed, and idea of the book. We have an enormous and diverse spectrum of material, from unusual first editions to carefully executed fine press to wildly esoteric books challenging not only the physical object of a book, but the content within. Our mission revolves around building, confronting, documenting, and supporting the printed, painted, and photographed world around us.  We work with a broad range of clients, from collaborating with institutional libraries and private collectors to build collections to supporting and inspiring young mind’s to collect and/or create books. We believe that at the heart of society, books are the brick and mortar that solidifies our identity making us accountable, responsible, and creative humans. It is our job as booksellers to help support that relationship.

#NYCBOOKFAIR2017 #NYABAA17

With that in mind, we like to represent many critical issues in our book selections, embodied by the work of both past and present creators. This year in New York we will showcase books and manuscripts that emphasize women as creators and feminist discourses. The following will be featured at our booth E5:

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Yellow Wall Paper. Boston: Small, Maynard and Company, 1901. Second Edition. Rubbing to extremities, light shelf/edge wear, inscribed on the ffep, else tight, bright, and unmarred. Internally clean and fresh. Publisher’s yellow decorated glazed paper covered boards titled in a rather bilious orangey red. 12mo. 55pp. Very Good. Hardcover.
Inscribed to front flyleaf by the great lady herself:  “To Mrs. Beatrice Forbes Robertson Swinburne Hale! With Love of Charlotte Perkins Gilman. 1910” One of the greatest and most significant weird tales of the late 19th century, a story “not intended to drive people crazy, but to save people from being driven crazy…” inscribed by its ground-breaking feminist author, to a friend and fellow fighter for woman’s suffrage on the occasion of her marriage. (#9123)        $22,500.00

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “Yellow Wallpaper” 2e, inscribed by Gilman

Cummins, Maureen; Nicole Cooley [author]. Salem Lessons. High Falls, New York: Maureen Cummins, 2010. Limited Edition. Concertina, or “theatre in the round’ multi-folded artist book. Signed by artist and author. Fine in Fine Archival Box. Hardcover.
“Salem Lessons” was printed and produced by Maureen Cummins in the Winter and Spring of 2010, with typographic assistance from Kathy McMillan. The cycle of poems was created by Cooley specifically for this book; the accompanying images are from a penmanship book kept by a Salem, MA boy, Josiah Peele, during the years 1808 and 1809. The project traces the psychic reverberations of the Salem witch trials upon succeeding generations. It address–as all examinations of the trials do–our own modern time and situation. There are thirteen poems altogether, representing both the accusers and the accused, survivors and the condemned, but focusing on the trials and the treatment of women. — from the colophon and website. (#9247)    $2,500.00

Maureen Cummings – Salem Lessons

Jacobs, Diane. Object n. Object v. Portland, Oregon: Scantron Press, 2016. Limited Edition. Bright and unmarred. Wood and glass custom case with laser cut text, materials include glass, chicken egg shells, plaster, tangerine skin, gold leaf, acrylic balls, antique glass/aluminum slide mounts, India ink on vellum, oil paint, water color, human hair, wood, leather, aluminum combs, ceramic, military dog tags, and molded handmade cotton paper. np. Numbered limited edition of 4. Fine.
“object n., object v. was created to link present day gender inequality to our ancient past. Male control over women’s bodies and women’s sexuality continues around the world, as does the hierarchy of objective beauty. While the ancient Greeks were oppressing and objectifying women, an egalitarian society roamed north of the Black Sea. Legendary warrior women known as Amazons rode horses, practiced archery, fought to defend and conquer, and had sexual freedom. In this artist book I have juxtaposed two parallel worlds through objects and imagery. All the text is derived from two books that paint the picture and tell the story. Helen of Troy: Beauty, Myth, Devastation by Ruby Blondell and The Amazons: Lives & Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World by Adrienne Mayor. When I read that self-reliant warrior women existed in the ancient world I was inspired and I wanted to share that knowledge to rekindle a collective vision of equality.” [artist statement] (#9240)        $10,000.00

Diane Jacobs Object v. Object

 

Feb 192017
 

We’re back! [for now]. We want to extend our thanks to everyone in Oakland for a successful book fair, organizers, patrons, and booksellers alike! We packed enough material for two booths and after we attended CODEX, we acquired more excellent material for another. CODEX was a truly inspirational experience, as we were able to seek out some new extremely provocative and important work from book artists, including Maureen Cummings, Diane Jacobs, Ximena Perez Grobet, Lorena Velazquez, Xiaoding Xu, and Xueling Dong.

We managed to organize our booth and showcase our collections, in the Lux Mentis way! Images first, a booth tour video at the end. Fun for all!

 

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