Angela Lorenz ~ Massachusetts and Italy
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Angela Lorenz is an American artist who has been living in Bologna, Italy since 1989, where she produces sculptural, mixed-media limited-edition artists’ books.
   

Catalog for "Creating with Abandon" exhibition
Maxims by the Yard bookworks by Angela Lorenz
Novelties of Purpose

 
   
Balzaculator La Comédie Humaine as a Binary System for Balzacolytes
By Angela Lorenz
Bologna, Italy: Angela Lorenz, 2013. Edition of 12.

8.5 x 6"; 91 double-sided cards. Laid in canvas-covered boards with thread and weight closure. Canvas cover printed in gold. Color dots printed with HB pencil erasers on acid-free cardstock. Text in archival ink pen. Housed in a 10 x 6.5 x 2" plexi glass single drawer case. Signed and numbered by the artist .

Angela Lorenz: "This is an analog, proto-computer to determine which characters created by Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) appear in which stories or novels of The Human Comedy. In 1833, after Balzac had already started writing this collection of 90+ novels and stories, he realized the potential of weaving repeating characters throughout the works, to introduce familiarity into any scene and to eliminate the need to describe every figure anew. This also allowed Balzac the chance to develop individuals further, earlier or later in life, in any given moment of The Human Comedy. Of the thousands of characters, all appearing four or more times are here.

"The loom apparatus pays homage to French weaver and merchant Jacquard, whose innovations around the time of Balzac's birth constituted the first computer program: a series of punched cards to indicate a pattern to be woven automatically on a loom. The viewer may place the punched card in front of any of the 179 repeating characters in the Balzaculator and colored dots will show the novels or stories in which a character appears. The Balzaculator Color Code on the reverse is a key to enrich each character by citing professions, status, and personal qualities. For the truly curious, there is also an index regarding the reason two characters share a single sheet. Some notable characters are missing here, appearing only in one story named after them.

"The eight linen bookbinding threads allowing the cover to open and close echo the eight-character bit strings of binary code used to write the title on the cover, and the eight sections of La Comédie Humaine. The faux terracotta antique Roman loom weights dangling from the threads, together with the canvas cover printed in gold, summon up Balzac, the fervid collector of art and antiquities, writing through the night in his white cashmere monk's robe tied with a gold Venetian belt. Dots in Memento Archival Ink printed with HB pencil erasers on acid-free cardstock. Errata in archival ink pen based on Balzac's outlandish corrected proofs which he gave as presents to friends."

$3,750


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Victorious Secret: Entertaining Notions of Elite Ideals for Women, 300 A.D.
By Angela Lorenz
Bologna, Italy: Angela Lorenz, 2013. Edition of 41.

3.5 x 8.6"; 10 leaves. Fan shaped construction. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Dartmouth College announcement: "Artist Angela Lorenz's mosaic triptychs Victorious Secret, based on Roman mosaics from 300 AD, will be on display on Berry Main Street August 30 - December 1, 2013. In this work, Lorenz takes an entertaining approach to visually addressing misinterpretations of the original images.

"Lorenz's talk will encompass the process of making the original mosaics and the process she used to recreate the ancient images out of buttons and hairpins. She will explain the archeological context of the original mosaics and will convey the erroneous and intended interpretations of them, based on research published by Italian archeologist Isabella Baldini Lippolis.

"Additionally, Lorenz will show the artist's book in 41 copies that she created to accompany the nine panels and to commemorate the passage of Title IX in 1972, the same year Dartmouth went co-ed. In honor of the inaugural venue of Victorious Secret, the book displays a Dartmouth pennant on the cover."


Angela Lorenz: "It is revelatory to me, an ice hockey player from age 4, competing against boys in tennis and hockey at age 10, that noble Romans were promoting athletic competition as an ideal for women almost 2,000 years ago. That this imagery has attracted so much attention for the superficial aspect of the women's novel and titillating garments completely subverts the original intentions of these mosaics."
$475


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Lambe Latin:
Tales of a Mantua Maker and Her Brother, from the South Sea Co. to the Merchant of Venice
(A Biography of Charles and Mary Lamb)
By ngela Lorenz
Bologna, Italy: Angela Lorenz, 2012. Edition of 12.

4" x 14" closed, as briefcase; 20" x 58" open, as straightjacket. 9 vintage Italian postcards (chromolithography or original photographs) inserted into pocket: transfer printed. 5 cloth handkerchiefs with embroidered monograms: printed with Styrofoam meat tray packaging. Signed, dated, and numbered by the artist on one of the postcards.

Angela Lorenz: "The title provides many clues to understanding this visual biography of the authors Charles Lamb (1775-1834) and Mary Lamb (1764-1847). ... The 'e' in 'Lambe Latin' refers to Charles’ ... day job, recording shipments of textiles and other imports for the East India Company until he reached retirement. This false vowel was an occult device permitting Charles to provide free mail service to Coleridge, Wordsworth, and other literary friends courtesy of his company, one of the many ways Charles managed to 'stick it to the man' in his long career as a clerk. When the extra 'e' appeared on his name, he knew the mail was destined for one of his friends.

"
Lambe Latin refers to the genesis of this work, inspired by research into early children’s verse for the visual biography of the poet, architect, and gambler Sir John Denham (1615-1669), represented by a pair of paper blue jeans, item 50 in the artist’s digital archive. A footnote in the nursery rhyme anthology detailed Charles Lamb’s amusing translations of nursery rhymes into Latin in letters to a friend. ... Lamb is credited with resuscitating Wither’s reputation in the 19th century. Americans are familiar with the coded speech pig Latin, known as dog Latin in England. Lamb’s Latin is very playful in its rendition of 'Mary, Mary quite contrary', 'Diddle Diddle Dumkins', 'Little Jumping Joan', 'Little Jack Horner' and 'Cat’s in the Cupboard', but the Latin grammar is genuine. ...

"The Latin nursery rhymes are executed by the artist in calligraphy resembling early type, and transfer printed together with the accompanying images on cloth handkerchiefs purchased from a merchant in Venice, Italy. The illustrations are images based on woodcuts from early children’s books, printed with Styrofoam meat tray packaging formerly containing lamb and pork. In the early world of book publishing, sometimes printers used recycled woodcuts that were lying around the shop instead of more appropriate, newly created ones, resulting in odd pairings. Following this tradition, 'Cat’s in the Cupboard' is illustrated by an image for 'Pussy’s in the Well', and 'Little Jack Horner' has a plate and a wife like Jack Sprat. 'Mary, Mary Quite Contrary' is a lesser-known version with cuckolds all in a row instead of cockleshells, the more puritanical version familiar to children.

"Mantua in the title is not just a nod to the city in Romeo and Juliet where Romeo was exiled. Mary’s chosen profession when she was required to be the sole wage earner in a household of three elderly relatives, two of them physically impaired, was that of a mantua maker, or seamstress. ...


"
Lambe Latin presents itself as a white briefcase with a leather handle. Untying the bow at the front allows the work to cascade open, revealing itself to be a straightjacket, known as a straight waistcoat in the Lambs' time. This format evokes the necessity of carrying a straightjacket on trips, in case Mary started exhibiting signs of a looming mental crisis, possibly provoked by the stress and fatigue of their frequent changes of address and household moves. The bottom half of the straightjacket resembles a green baize desk blotter, with corners of embroidered book cloth. Nine vintage Italian postcards nest in a pocket behind the baize desk, stored in an acrylic pouch tied with ribbon. Charles and Mary were great lovers of art, and collected portfolios of prints which they often framed to adorn the walls of their various homes. Charles wrote essays on art, and collecting images with their meager budget was one of their cherished pastimes.

"While Charles' translations of nursery rhymes into Latin launched this project, with research that entailed reading modern and contemporary biographies, it was the process of reading the three volumes of their collected letters that provided the key to representing their lives visually. In reading the letters, one can't escape the unifying thread of textiles. The constant mention of fabrics and clothes, their own and in descriptions of others, textiles regarding their work and their memories and daily lives, suggested the idea of bringing the Lambs to life with very minimal text, entirely through quotes with textiles. ... The postcards, and the desk blotter corners they can slot into, introduce writing, letters, collecting, Italy and art, while still providing a format to define the authors through their textiles."
$7,500


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Bacon's Bits of Broken Knowledge
(with Ornamenta Rationalia)
By Angela Lorenz
Bologna, Italy: Angela Lorenz, 2007. Edition of 22.

6" tall x 2" round plastic jar with lid. 5 pages; multiple clay bacon bits. Materials: plastic spice jar; lens; compass; brass wire; paper label; plastic modeling clay.

Contains sayings from Sir Francis Bacon's Essays embossed with letterpress text on fake bacon bits. (Yes, fake bacon bits, not to be tried at home.)

Angela Lorenz: "This work is an attempt to encapsulate a bit of knowledge about Sir Francis Bacon (1561- 1626) in a spice jar. I became curious about Bacon when I learned, through a history of science scholar, that he had windowpanes in his study with symbols on them to help him remember things, which relates to a project I am doing on memory. Then in Peter Ackroyd's book Albion I discovered Bacon's concept of 'broken knowledge,' which is adapted from the term 'broken music,' referring to the many parts for different musical instruments in English music. Months later I spied an old book of Bacon's Essays in my grandmother's parlor, which contained Bacon's aphorisms, officially known as Ornamenta Rationalia.

"A few of Bacon's sayings are printed with letterpress text onto fake bacon bits in the shape of the continents. Bacon was one of the first to notice that the continents fit together. The term scientist was not in use, so Bacon was known as a 'natural philosopher' and the label boasts Natural Philosophy! The spice jar label also claims, New Atlantis and New Organum. These are two famous works by Bacon which underline his unconventional approach to the Platonic and Aristotelian schools of thought. Aristotle wrote a work called Organum and Plato created the mythical Atlantis in Timaeus and Critias, two of Plato's dialogues, which Bacon reacted against. Bacon's New Atlantis is a utopia which became the model for one of the first scientific institutes, The Royal Society (1666), [formed] forty years after his death. It was actually Sir Thomas More who invented the term Utopia, the title of one of his books, and popularized the utopia genre of writing. Bacon wrote about More, and both occupied the highest appointment of the King, Lord Chancellor. Both plummeted suddenly from power and went to prison. But Bacon, accused of taking outlandish bribes, paid a fine and was soon released and pardoned by James I.

"Bacon is most famous for his Essays, which are listed on the back of the label. He is considered the father of essay in English, rivaled only by Montaigne, and can be credited with popularizing the genre. Some consider Bacon a pioneer in science as well, advocating scientific method, as opposed to relying on the theories of Aristotle. He asserted the need to begin an investigation by collecting as much data as possible, upon which theories might be formed, so that science may be built upon facts obtained through experiments. Bacon is also respected for stating that there was much knowledge still to be discovered.

"The lens in the top of the jar pays homage to Bacon's call for experiments. The navigational compass attached to the bottom of the jar references Bacon's statement about three innovations or technologies which transformed Europe: the compass, printing, and gunpowder. Gunpowder is represented symbolically in the number of the edition, 22, which relates to bullets and the weapons that shoot them. All of these technologies were spread to Europe from China during the Mongol Empire."
$750

 

 


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Life, Life, Eternal Life: Uncle Wiggily Meets the Pilgrim's Progress
By Angela Lorenz
Bologna, Italy: Angela Lorenz, 2006. Edition of 17.

15.5"x 13 x 3.75" closed, 9.9 x 10.5 x 2" fully extended. Accordion fold cloth book. Recycled materials. Housed in "pillow case."

Connecticut College, Newsletter: "Angela Lorenz is a gifted American book artist who has lived and worked in Bologna since 1989. Life, Life, Eternal Life: Uncle Wiggily Meets the Pilgrim’s Progress, created in an edition of 17 copies in 2006, is an elaborate ‘board game’ based on her interpretation of the famous Christian allegory Pilgrim’s Progress , first published in 1678 by John Bunyan. Although rarely read today, Pilgrim’s Progress is considered to be one of the most significant works of English literature and it has never been out of print. It was enormously popular and influential for many generations.

"Using modern and antique fabrics, buttons, pen nibs, book pages, Velcro, gum wrappers, safety pins and other recycled objects and materials, Lorenz has painstakingly fashioned a visual and allegorical representation of Bunyan’s book in which every detail is significant. The book/game comes in its own linen pillowcase because the story unfolds in a dream. The strap inside converts the pillowcase into a pilgrim’s bag that may be worn by the players. A golden crown holds the unopened accordion fold cloth book in place. Once the book is opened, the crown is worn by each player in turn and, at the end, is placed just beyond the gates of the Celestial City. It took Ms. Lorenz two years to research, design and create this book.”

Dartmouth College, Rauner Library blog: “As the title suggests, this board game is a meeting of the classic 334 year old Christian Parable, The Pilgrim's Progress, by John Bunyan and the board game Uncle Wiggily. In this game, players take turns drawing cards and moving their pieces along the board following Christian's journey from the City of Destruction, Bunyan's earth, to the Celestial City, Bunyan's heaven. Similar to Uncle Wiggily, players receive help or hindrance from characters in Bunyan’s story – from Faithful, Christian's companion and friend, to Beelzebub, a devil who guards the road to heaven and shoots arrows at anyone who tries to pass. Players must also compete in a number of tasks – from a game of musical chairs, or ‘Going to Jerusalem,’ to a game of croquet, where players must hit their playing pieces through the Wicket Gate to begin their journey, to target practice using a handmade catapult, to spinning a teetorum, a sort of Christian dreidel, to cross over the River of Death."

Angela Lorenz: "This artist’s book in seventeen copies presents itself as a cloth accordion-fold book with a cloth case that resembles a pillow. After untying the cloth bows of the case, it becomes apparent that the pillowcase transforms into a humble shoulder bag with a buckle and frayed strap terminating in an enormous metal tagged lace. Unbuckling the strap allows the viewer to put the pack on his or her back with the strap wrapped around the torso. Thus begins an artist’s foray into the world of the itinerant tinker, preacher, and writer John Bunyan, and a visual and allegorical representation of his most famous book The Pilgrim’s Progress(1678).

"Many of the materials used to make this book are old, from antique pen nibs to 19th-century textiles from my family. I even incorporated linen sheets given at the time of my wedding, and my own wedding dress and scarf. ... Accordingly, I chose to use as many recycled materials as possible. As a prisoner [Bunyan] earned money for his family by putting metal tips on laces. This explains the over-sized metal tip on the pilgrim’s purse strap, recycled from an aluminum pie tin. Bunyan was trying to create a novel, amusing version of the Bible that would appeal to the barely literate. So I avoided using text on the game board, and tried to relay his narrative with the same kinds of allegorical methods and symbols he used. There is even a piece of ink-jet printed potato starch with the recipe for Mr. Skill's Pills, conceptual food Bunyan invented which is based on the Eucharist.

"Playing the game: This work presents itself as a pillowcase, because the novel unfolds in a dream, and also because the Bible dream sequence of Jacob, who lays his head on a stone for a pillow and dreams, is used by Bunyan in his novel. Untie the pillowcase and you may extract the book. You may also take out the strap inside to view the case in its pilgrim’s bag format. In order to open the book you must remove the crown wrapped around it. You may undo the safety pin to make this easier. When the book is totally unfolded, the crown may be placed at the end, just beyond the golden gates of the celestial city, resting on a carded wool cloud. The safety pin also makes the crown adjustable, as each player that finishes the pilgrimage from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City is entitled to wear the crown in turn. The title on the front cover is a pocket – inside is a "cheat sheet" that will help you play the game without reading the three pamphlets (City of Destruction Instructions, House Beautiful, and Vanity Fair) included on the game board. It tells you what to do when you land on any of the numbered spaces, or spaces where your felted ball can’t stick to the Velcro path because something is attached there. Open the accordion-fold book and take yellow and red cards out of the 18th-century woman’s 'pocket.' Carefully remove wicket gate, slotted in on the second page above the Velcro path, unroll it, and set it up so that the words read 'wicket-gate,' with Pope and Pagan’s cave in view. Later, you will flip it forward to turn it into the Vanity Fair stockade. ...


"The yellow and red cards, based on Uncle Wiggily, allow the players to move without throwing dice, once considered sinful due to associations with gambling. Sometimes games included an alternative to dice called a teetotum, similar to a dreidel or top. Accordingly, players must spin the teetotum when they reach the Black River of Death, representing the Jordan, to reach the gates of the Celestial City. Bunyan peppers his narrative with amusing, somewhat childish, rhyming verse throughout the novel. The language is not that dissimilar to the rhyming yellow Uncle Wiggily cards, nor are common themes of helping others along, giving them treats to eat, singing, and doing good deeds in general. Thus, the Uncle Wiggily text often remains unaltered with Bunyan’s characters inserted. When the yellow cards instruct the player to take a red card, it will be helpful to use the recycled optical device, or ink-bottle loupe, representing Clear Hill, to read the tiny text. In the book, the shepherds let Christian use a scientific novelty, a 'perspective-glass,' to view the Celestial City from atop Clear Hill in the Delectable Mountains …"
$10,000

 


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The Strength of Denham –
Sir John Denham Jeans and Imitation Denhamst
By Angela Lorenz
2004. Edition of 54.

3.5" x 4.2"x .3", 3.5"x 219" fully extended. Only the first 10 of the edition are housed in a pair of jeans which is the deluxe. This is one of the standard edition with a scrap of the jeans and one of the embossed paper buttons on the inside cover of the protective box. Poem printed with a Canon printer on Ermine paper. Bound with scraps from Sir John Denham Jeans, rubbed with a Decoro color pencil on mulberry paper. Cover based on an antique tax wrapper for playing cards housed in the Victoria & Albert Museum. Inset is composed of a Denham Jean button embossed on Nile paper. Portrait of Sir John Denham drawn in pen and ink with a border based on the old American game "Authors Improved".

The book consists of a 696 line biography in rhyming verse, explaining the life and times of English poet, spy and architect Sir John Denham
(1616-1669).

Angela Lorenz comments on the making of "The Strength of Denham": "[It] is highly concentrated in puns and double-entendres, in keeping with 17th century satire, which often aimed below the belt anatomically speaking. The wit was crude, not subtle. Mine is very mild in comparison, but describes the themes wielded by the wits of the period. Behinds, pants, briefs, bestiality, adultery, flatulence and sexual disease are all prominently featured, albeit mildly.

While Denham is defined through his homophone, in punning with fabric I am not alone. Textile terms are present throughout the poem. This is consistent with Denham and his contemporaries, especially in satirical "mock" genres, like mock advices, mock eulogies and mock heroics, which Denham helped establish as genres. In a poem ridiculing poet and playwright Davenant's "Gondibert", Denham writes," As I came from Lombardy with my fustian style." He is joking about clothing, as fustian is the term for the stiff, robust material we call jeans, or denim. But Denham is also punning with the word "style", which means stylus or pen, not just fashion of clothing. To this day, fustian refers to stuffy language. In Denham's wonderful elegy on his friend and fellow poet Abraham Cowley, written and published within three weeks of Cowley's death, he praises his knowledge of ancient authors and his ability to emulate as opposed to copy them: "And when he would like them appear, their garb, but not their cloaths, did wear." Two possibly unfamiliar textile terms for readers might be "woad", a blue dye of the time, and "tailor's hell", a box where tailors' leftover scraps were ossed. ...

The color blue is a recurrent theme, as it is associated with royalty and nobility as well as being the color of jeans. Royal blue is the color of the ribbon worn by the highest chivalric order, or knighthood, the Order of the Garter. Blue is also associated with blue-prints, appropriate for Denham, who became the chief architect in Britain as Surveyer General, although this cyanotype process postdates Denham. The numerous low-points in Denham's life would make great material for the blues, but Denham preferred to make light of woe, writing humorous bawdy verse instead of wallowing in self-pity, and needed to devote his time to conniving his way out of one disaster after another. ...

There are numerous references to playing cards, gambling and poker, appropriate for Denham the gambling addict. His nickname Jack relates to cards, but suits him in its definition as "knave" as well as laborer, in regard to all of the public works he was responsible for with his various titles and building committees. There are references to work clothing and equipment, such as jackhammer, compressor and plumb, as well as architectural terms such as "folly", an ornamental architectural structure. ...

The terms pens, pencils and drawing appear in Denham's own verse, as well as in this biographical poem, including words and names starting with Pen, as in "My Lady Pen" and "Penshurst". ...

Lastly are the references to the US West, where jeans were invented, and sheriffs, cowboys, frontiers people and pony express riders wore them on horseback. The names of Denham's father's estates Horseley Parva and Horsenden Manor, his claims of being of Western origin, his being named High Sheriff of Surrey, his trip west to Portland, his role as mail courier between royals, and his bawdy references to horses and farting all conjured up images of the rough times in the old west. ..."
$450


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Soap Story
By Angela Stone Lorenz
1999. Edition of 200.

4 x 5.75" Two packages—one containing the boxed album and the other the bars of soap—come wrapped in acid-free reproductions of pages from a 1956 woman's magazine. They are tied with twine, in keeping with the practice of wrapping packets of soap and eggs in recycled newspaper for travel. Handbound into a cloth-covered album and housed in a matching box lined with rags and sealed with a color-lithographed soap label. Silk-screen and lithograph in Stone Sans and Stone Serif.

This artist's book tells the story of a young woman in Calabria, Italy, during the 1950s whose real life reads like a fairy tale or "soap" opera. Six installments are silk-screened on linen pages that are in turn embedded in small, square blocks of soap imprinted with figures from lead type. After drying, the linen sheets slot into six acid-free pages with oval die-cuts through which the text remains visible.. The process confronting the reader reflects what the protagonist must face. In transforming the story, you allow the young woman to wash her hands of her sorrows.

Lorenz' editions focus on nonfictional cultural phenomena. She endeavors—and succeeds at—creating artist's books that utilize every imaginable aspect of the work, including process, sequence, typeface, materials, edition number, and self-written text to contribute to a unified message.
$350


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Pandora's Hieroglyphic Primer
By Angela Lorenz
Bologna, Italy: Angela Lorenz, 1992. Edition of 45.

6 x 10"; 20 leaves. Silkscreened on cotton cloth in Century Schoolhouse at Edizioni Grafiche Il Navile. Pages cut by the artist with pinking shears. Pages linked with 2.25" safety pin at top left corner. Thread and button accent on cover page. Slipped into red cloth lined pouch with stiff backing for support. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Angela Lorenz: "Pandora's Hieroglyphic Primer is a poem of words and hieroglyphics colored by hand. The text is based on information from history and mythology concerning prototypes of women responsible for propagating evil in the world. This work was originally inspired by images of the snake in the garden of Eden in the Sistine Chapel and elsewhere, with the torso of a woman. It seemed curious to me that not only was Eve responsible for the downfall of 'man' but the apple was offered by yet another female figure. Lilith, known under a variety of names and forms from Sumerian days onward, came well before her. And it is probably Lilith wrapped around the tree in Eden offering the apple, as she was supposedly created at the same time as Adam but refused to obey him and led an independent existence creating mostly monster-children from stolen semen.

"With research, I discovered that the number of negatively-depicted women was enormous, and thus I have limited my representations to a select few for the time being. Although the choice of subjects may seem lopsided in that they come mostly from Western culture, there is a reason for it. The figures from Japan, India, Africa, the Americas and Hawaii that I researched had dual natures and multi-personalities, with positive as well as negative aspects. Both respected and feared in a cyclical vision of life and death, the non-Western mythological female figures do not seem entirely evil, and to represent them solely as evil would not be true to their more complex natures. The Western figures found in Classical and Biblical sources are largely good or evil, reflecting a linear vision of life followed by death, with perhaps heaven but no afterlife. They seem, however, to be modeled on earlier archetypes which were cyclical and not wholly evil.

"Pandora was familiar to me from childhood as the Greek woman who opened the box, letting evil into the world. So it seemed appropriate that Pandora's box be the idea behind the project, which led me to the concept of the sewing basket. It is ironic that a female figure let evil out of a box, yet her descendants have been confined to it. Representations of and restrictions on women limited their choices at times, but with limitations people often become even more resourceful. With that idea in mind, I restricted myself to the materials available in a woman's work box. Some women, from ancient Greece onward, were able to sculpt in marble and paint oils, but most were not. They were largely restricted to their homes and to the so-called 'minor arts,' which were executed alone or with groups of women in seminaries and community gatherings. Within the confines of their sewing boxes they composed embroidered rhymes and imaginative designs that endure."

$875


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Red Ages A B. C. - A. D. (sic)
By Angela Lorenz
Bologna, Italy: Angela Lorenz, 1991. Edition of 150.

3.5 x 3.5" closed, extends to 54.25";17 pages. Single-sided accordion structure. Silkscreen on acid-free paper. Bound in red cloth boards with title character – as Red Rama – embossed into top board. Clear slip-on slipcase. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Angela Lorenz: "This is Red's second multiple edition, following his debut in the printed world with Red Empire, 1990. This leporello silkscreen edition on acid-free paper conveys Red's continuing sense of humor with plays on words and a singular ability to adapt to any given situation. In Red Ages, Red lends himself to the depiction of the History of Man beginning in the age of reptiles and ending on Broadway. He chooses to avoid the technological era, limiting himself to more playful and less automated activities.

"The text itself mimics Red's polymorphic qualities – commencing with the texture of reptilian skin, rising and righting itself with Homo Erectus and tumbling with the Roman Empire. Each cover has a figure in relief showing Red as the Indian Prince Rama posed in the Hatha Yoga position, 'The Tree,' or as a reptile crawling on its belly, depending on the viewer's point of perspective."

$1,250

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Wax Promises
By Angela Lorenz
Bologna, Italy: Angela Lorenz, 1991. Edition of 50.

2.25 x 3"; 5 boards. Printed with linotype in Times Roman. Wax applied to boards. Signed and numbered by the artist. Bound by twine through hole pierced in middle of each board. Twine knotted through a separate piece of wax, which is stamped with title, and place and date of publication.

Angela Lorenz: "Wax Promises is a reproduction of the prototype for the Western book. The original materials consisted of wood or occasionally ivory tablets spread with maroon beeswax and bound with a cord sealed by the owner. The tablets were made in two sizes: larger ones for contracts or deeds and rough drafts of literary works, smaller ones for love notes and private communications. This information comes to us through Ovid, Seneca, and Martial, who described such books in their works.

"Messages in wax become promises that can't last, as the empty tablets from Pompeii in the Naples museum attest. The ephemeral qualities of wax make it an appropriate metaphor for love, which is what the poem inside is about. Wax was also commonly used, by men and women, as a depilatory in Ancient Rome. Even as a depilatory, its function is only temporary. The book itself is a false promise: instead of sweet smelling wax, an odorless plastilene is in its place on which the poem is printed with linotype in Times Roman. When Bologna was a Roman city it was known as Bononia."

$450

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Discover Italian Monuments
By Angela Lorenz
Bologna, Italy: Angela Lorenz, 1989. Edition of 3000.

3 x 4" closed, extends to 34.7"; 24 unnumbered pages. Printed on a continuous strip, then folded accordion style. Text in English and Italian.

Angela Lorenz: "Discover Italian Monuments is a facsimile of a fold-out postcard book for tourists. But the tourists might be disappointed this time. Or they might be empathetic, especially if they have recently returned from Europe, as each monument is masqueraded with scaffolding, which obscures large portions of the architecture from view. Printed on the flip side of the color reproductions are the names of the twelve monuments in Italian, as well as a handwritten text in English describing the monuments' temporary, alter egos: 'Bernini takes a bath,' 'Michelangelo censored,' and 'DisneyMiland' nickname the monuments in their transitional states, which may last anywhere from one to six years.

"Discover Italian Monuments is more than a plea or a play on words. It's a reality."
$20
   

Catalog for "Creating with Abandon" exhibition
   

Creating with Abandon:
Process in the Artist's Books of Angela Lorenz

Contributors Stephen Bury; Rosemary L. Cullen; Marcia Reed; Laurie Whitehill Chong
Italy: Stamperia Valdonega, 2006. Trade Edition.

8.5 x 11"; 61 pages. Cream illustrated wraps. Illustrated with images of bookworks and bookmaking processes.

Flyleaf summary: "This catalog was produced to accompany an art exhibition of the same title at The Fleet Library, Rhode Island School of Design and the John Hay Library at Brown University in 2006. The primary purpose of the exhibit and catalog is to illustrate how the artist's limited edition artworks are created by showing stages of development along with the waste created, normally invisible to the viewer. Six essays provide critical analysis, backstage observations and background information."

Angela Lorenz: "Creating with abandon may be defined in several ways. I feel more akin to the idea of creating with 'unbounded enthusiasm, exuberance' as opposed to 'a complete surrender of inhibitions' as far as the American Heritage Dictionary goes. There is also the idea of abandoning solutions - casting out, editing and changing elements along the way. Then there is the sheer waste created, the tare of the finished product, from notes and prototypes to scraps, die-cuts, printing plates and packaging, essentially trash. And in my own case, there would be the connection to abandon through the collecting and documenting of things lost, forgotten or tossed by others. Most of the above is invisible in the final product, except where I have visibly incorporated process in a few editions. This catalog attempts with viewpoints from five different individuals, to demonstrate the adventurous, accidental and error-fraught journey to my finished works of art."
$40


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Maxim Series:

Angela Lorenz: “The maxims here are heartfelt opinions, autobiographical musings and human observations. Some are intended purely to amuse, but all spring from truth. A number of the maxims are composed in rhyming couplets or metric verse, which is why "meter" figures in the title. That is also why there are precisely one hundred copies in this edition; one for every centimeter in a meter."

   

Maxims by the Yard
By Angela Lorenz
2003. Edition of 100.

Diameter 5", .75 x 144" fully extended. Spool title printed at Stamperia Valdonega of Verona on acid-free cardstock manufactured by Cartiere Fedrigoni. Spool die-cuts created and executed in Bologna's industrial quarter. Ribbon woven in Carpi, Italy. Sewing, ironing and cylindrical forms carried out by the artist. The volume is stored in a non-adhesive cardstock clamshell box, with one woven maxim, visible on the spine, used to bind the clamshell together.

Angela Lorenz: "This volume of 36 original maxims mimics a spool of ribbon from a sewing shop. The maxims, one for every inch in a yard, are woven, not printed, on a computerized loom. The letters are red on a white ground, with reverse tones on the verso. The ribbon scroll has two joins, sewn on a sewing machine, with ironed folds to evoke the folds of banners or scrolls with titles or mottos, often with Latin text, found in paintings, crests and seals.

The typeface is san-serif to increase the legibility of the woven letters, but the upper-case initial letter of the first word in each phrase is in a Roman type approaching Palatino. The titling on the cardboard spool itself is genuine Palatino, designed by Hermann Zapf. It was based on Renaissance letterforms which in turn reflected Ancient Roman chiseled lettering, when both serifs and maxims were very popular. One of the maxims on this roll, "Good messages bear repeating, not plagiarizing" relates both to the Palatino typeface and Hermann Zapf's career. Good messages, verbal and visual, have always appeared in history. The existing record of human creativity makes it impossible to be entirely original. But every epoch needs its bards and good ideas bear repeating. Zapf, a highly gifted, self-taught calligrapher and type designer was greatly disheartened to see his influence deteriorate into plagiarism: Palatino is known by many different names in type catalogs and computer programs all over the world, with no royalties or recognition to the man who created it.

The initial letters are not only distinguished by being a different typeface, they are also larger than the letters that follow, and are woven in bold type. This is to convey the idea of a rubric, which is a distinctive initial letter or heading usually in red lettering. A rubric is also a rule or instruction in religious texts and law codes. Maxims are similar, in that they attempt to express fundamental principals, as well as rules of conduct, in a concise manner."

$375 Some in Meter Spool of Knowledge Vol. I
2003. Edition of 100.

$375 Some in Meter Spool of Knowledge Vol. II
2005. Edition of 100.
Angela Lorenz: "This second volume of 36 original maxims duplicates Volume I in its confection, but the letterpress printing on the spool and the woven ribbon text are both of a carmine color as opposed to the first volume’s maroon. Also, this time there are no joins along the length of the ribbon."

$375 Some in Meter Spool of Knowledge Vol. III
2010. Edition of 100.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Novelties of Purpose is the press name under which Lorenz publishes her "trade editions".
   
The Mansion of Thought
Written and illustrated by Angela Lorenz
Bologna, Italy: Novelties of Purpose, 2012. [Edition of 2000].

7.75 x 7.75"; 24 pages. Printed on acid-free paper. 66 images. Fold-out book. Laid in four-flap wrapper.

Angela Lorenz: “Folding picture book of over sixty watercolor paintings, housed in a case with two essays on the modeling of ideas in three dimensions. Objects, architecture, mazes, gardens, and games throughout recorded history make knowledge visible to aid memory or enhance ritual practice. The mutable quality of the book underscores the symbolic role of geometry in mapping ideas visually. The images interact in a folding picture book that may be used to make omnipresent geometric forms: triangles, squares, cubes, hexagons, even a house shape. The quadripartite case that envelops the book outlines the main categories presented. Subjects ranges from sacred Assyrian trees to Renaissance Cabala and memory theaters, from humanist Bibles to Buddhism, from Chinese mirrors to Maya astronomy, from Islamic urban planning to Jain cosmic geometry. “

Colophon: "Objects and architecture have forever been containers for ideas. Recorded history bursts with manmade structures that make knowledge visual, to aid memorization, to record information, and to enhance ritual practice geared toward each culture's concept of harmony or spiritual enlightenment. The quest for immorality, universal knowledge, and paradise pervades material culture.

“Witness these prevalent structures for conveying ideas in the last 4000 years: the human body, the tree and the column or pillar, frequently interchangeable; the mountain and cave, difficult to separate; and the concept of path, labyrinth or circumambulation, linked to a spiritual and celestial progress in architecture, gardens and games. Also considered is the orientation of these constructions to features of the natural world, like planets, stars, mountains, caves, water and cardinal directions."


Kay Stewart, A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, PenBayPilot November 30, 2012: "The Mansion of Thought: Making Knowledge Visual in Three Dimensions is a mixed-media adult picture book that folds out unto itself like origami. It contains much of Lorenz’ studies and research in drawing, printmaking, fine arts and semiotics (a field equivalent to communications). ...

"The book is made of acid-free paper and was assembled and printed in Italy. The interior of the book was designed like a paper pair of pants. When she holds the simple design that was cut down the middle, the two “legs’ of the pants are what she can then intricately shape and fold into a variety of shapes, such as cubes, a hexagon and a house, which alludes to the title of the book.

"To demonstrate, she unfolds the casing of the book, which exposes a built-in essay as well as what looks like a Parcheesi game, which is actually a Central American game board. ...

"It’s an apt metaphor, this labyrinth, as it very neatly characterizes what it is like to open this enigmatic book and use your fingers to explore the many possibilities."

$50


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More Dicky Birds, or Cockney Rhyming Words
By Angela Lorenz
Bologna, Italy: Novelties of Purpose , 2012. [Edition of 2000].

4.45 x 7" closed, 38" x 7" fully extended; 8 pages. Accordion fold. Watercolor images printed on acid free paper in Baskerville typeface.

Angela Lorenz: “Introduces six words of rhyming slang in illustrated verse. The watercolors are composites of Victorian ephemera: card games, cut-outs, fashion plates, tourist items, and early children's books combined to make new images which illustrate both this playful historic slang and the astounding variety of early color printing, from cheap stencils to chromolithography.”

Colophon: "Cockney rhyming slang has been around in East London and beyond from Victorian times. Whether or not it served as secret speech to confuse outsiders may never be known. That it displays a playful love of language is certain. New terms, often connected to celebrities, may be found in online dictionaries.

“The two volumes in this series each introduce six words in cockney rhyming slang, defined within a rhyming couplet, and illustrated in watercolor. Every image is a composite of Victorian ephemera: card games, cut-outs, fashion plates, tourist items, and early children's books printed in the mid-19th century. The original sources, all in the author's collection, show the startling range in quality of early color illustrations, from crude hand-coloring with stencils to exquisitely printed chromolithography."

$20

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My Elusive Cockney Family
By Angela Lorenz
Bologna, Italy: Novelties of Purpose, 2012. [Edition of 2000] .

4.45 x 7" closed, 38 x 7" fully extended; 8 pages. Accordion structure. Watercolor images printed on acid free paper.

My Elusive Cockney Family is the second of the two volumes in the series of cockney rhyming slang books by Angela Lorenz.

Colophon: "The two volumes in this series each introduce six words in cockney rhyming slang, defined within a rhyming couplet, and illustrated in watercolor. Every image is a composite of Victorian ephemera: card games, cut-outs, fashion plates, tourist items, and early children's books printed in the mid-19th century. The original sources, all in the author's collection, show the startling range in quality of early color illustrations, from crude hand-coloring with stencils to exquisitely printed chromolithography."

I'm never sure just what to make
Of rumpled Uncle Ned
He's hardly even visible
All bundled up in bed.

$20


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The Theater of Nature or Curiosity Filled the Cabinet
By Angela Lorenz
Bologna, Italy: Novelties of Purpose, 2002. Trade Edition of 5000.

6.5 x 7" accordion structure. Pop-up museum housed in a magic lantern box. Images reproduced in a facsimile version of the original deluxe edition.

Angela Lorenz: "This work was inspired by the remnants of the most famous and extensive collection of artifacts, mostly natural, in 16th c. Europe. They were amassed by Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522-1605), the first professor of natural history ever appointed in Italy, at the University of Bologna. A tiny fraction of Aldrovandi's 18,000 items are still on display in today's Aldrovandi Museum at the University of Bologna, but a few of the strangest pieces caused the artist to investigate the collection. Oddities, such as a frog with a lizard's tail plastered on and fishes' teeth inserted into the frog's mouth, led to research that included not just Aldrovandi and his thousands of tempera paintings but the History of Museums in general. What was originally going to be a work about the fakes created for museums and natural history collections gave way to the broader topic of museology from Hellenistic Greece to the Enlightenment.

"The Trade Edition of "The Theater of Nature" is a mechanical reproduction of a limited series of handmade books created in two slightly different versions. Both the original series and the Trade Edition contain the same imagery and text. In the first handmade series of nine copies, each book has nine original watercolors of completely different subjects based on manuscripts commissioned either by Aldrovandi or by Manfredo Settala (1600-1680) for their collections of curiosities. Settala's museum was in Milan, but his manuscripts are housed today in the Biblioteca Estense of Modena, not far from Bologna. The artist spent a year making this cycle of 81 unique miniature paintings which were glued and sewn into the nine books. The Trade Edition more closely resembles the second handmade series, known as the Magic Lantern Edition. It contains the same black and white copperplate etchings as the first version, and looks identical when set upright and extended to make the "theater", but the cover is entirely different. It is really a case as opposed to a cover. When the book is removed from it, the case may be set up to form a magic lantern, a sort of early slide projector from the 17th century.

"The historical research for The Theater of Nature, both iconographic and textual, was boiled down to a 900-word rhyming poem that accompanies the color illustrations. The color images and text are hidden from view, however, when the book is viewed in the theater format. In this position, the 11 copper-plate etchings form a collection of curiosities or wunderkammer, receding into the distance. The etchings, hand-drawn and printed by the artist, are based on the images of six early museums in Europe, put together here to form one fictitious museum. Lorenz adapted the images from engravings commissioned by the founders of these early collections to depict their museum at the front of a published catalog. In most cases, these engravings and the lists of museum contents are all that is left of the early collections. The etchings demonstrate a goal of early museum founders: to shock the visitor into a state of wonder by trying to make the entire collection visible at once, through both open architecture and crowded displays on every surface. "
$39.95


 

 

 

 

 

   

Angela Lorenz Out of Print Title:
• Binding Ties

   

Ornamental Deciduous Tree
Scratch n' Sniff Not Included
By Angela Lorenz
Bologna, Italy: Angela Lorenz, 2007. Edition of 30.

6" long fan-shaped book housed in a test tube. Light verse and artistic invention offer homage to the scent of the ginkgo tree. (The verse is not doggerel although dogs and gingko trees share more scents than nonsense in common.)

Angela Lorenz: "For years in Bologna I noted the stink in Largo Respighi by Bologna's city theater. Underneath the tree with fan-shaped yellow leaves the city created a place for people to let their dogs relieve themselves. There was a little sign: W.C. CANI. One day, two young women were walking ahead of me in that street when one turned to the other and said, 'This tree is so smelly!' I thought to myself what an idiot this woman is — didn't she notice it's a designated dog bathroom here? How strange to cast blame on the tree. Well, several years later, near the Post Office, I recognized the same smell under the same variety of tree, the Chinese ginkgo tree….Thus I realized, even as people around me kept stopping to look at the bottom of their shoes for dog excrement, I was the ignorant one.

"In October, in New York City, walking along a ginkgo-tree-lined section of 57th street, I noticed many people checking their feet. I watched the same thing happening in Bologna several days later, and realized the shape of the leaf could easily be evoked in a paper binding. The poem followed soon after. The first person I shared it with, a neighbor across the street, said her uncle, Koji Nakanishi, professor emeritus at Columbia University, New York City, discovered the medicinal properties of the ginkgo 30 years ago, launching the movement to find the medicinal properties of many plants. He also loves to do magic tricks in front of his colleagues. This work is dedicated to him, and inspired the chemistry packaging from which the magical form may be extracted.

"Photocopy text transferred by bone-folder onto saffron-dyed Japanese mulberry paper and cardstock title label with magic marker blender pen. Bound with early 19th-century yellow linen Barbour drug twine. Housed in a test tube with rubber stopper. Test tube and stopper are from Di Giovanni chemistry supplies, Bologna, formerly located opposite the Teatro Communale, and the large ginkgo tree from which germinated this poem and project. When the owner saw the paper gingko leaf, he informed me that his shop used to be opposite a great ginkgo tree, causing him to laugh all the time at the pedestrians checking to see they hadn't stepped in something, which he adeptly mimed from behind the counter."
(SOLD)

 

 


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