Press 63 Plus ~ Georgia
(Ruth Laxson)

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Catherine Fox, Ruth Laxson's singular language shines … : " Over the course of her long, fecund career, Ruth Laxson has honed a unique language rooted in her fascination with forms of communication. Letters, words, hieroglyphics, mathematical symbols, equations, Braille, computer acronyms, typefaces, handwriting, pictures: the Atlanta artist uses these elements as abstract shapes, allusive imagery — and content.

"Text is as important as image, be it straightforward sentences and phrases or wordplay: the puns, anagrams and lists through which she gets at more elusive meanings than linear language allows."


A Hundred Years of: Lex Flex
By Ruth Laxson
Press 63 Plus / Nexus Press
Atlanta, Georgia: Nexus Press, 2003. Edition of 500.

48 pages. Digital prepress and offset printing. Paper is Mohawk Vellum. 10.5 x 8" book with gray paper covered boards.

Laxson's book provides a timeline of the technological innovation that propelled language to new extremes of inventiveness in the twentieth century as well as considering what was being lost. Recounts the first third of the century in a typewritten account of large historical events counterpointed by site-specific tales from the rural South. The middle segment of the book, printed from handset type, recounts the transformation of American life in the war years and after, leading to the digital revolution that is captured in the final, computer-assisted segment.
$50 (Two copies available)

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Press 63 Plus Out of Print /SOLD titles:
• Imaging 1991 Edition of 35


By Ruth Laxson
Atlanta, Georgia: Nexus Press, 1986. Edition of 500.

Images drawn on mylar and transferred to positive plates then printed off-set on Mohawk Superfine.

Laxon's faux notebook has the look and feel of a children's book but is a transformation into offset printing, the philosophical and visual intensity of her intricate letterpress artist's books.



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ideas of god
By Ruth Laxson
Atlanta, Georgia: Press 63 Plus, 2008. Edition of 100.

8.75 x 11.25"; 34 pages. Printed on Cougar Opaque Smooth with hand set type on a Challenge flat bed press. Type: Caslon and News Gothic Condensed.

With expressive typography offering riffs of word, symbol, drawings, dingbats, creative punctuation, and more Laxson gives free rein to her nimble mind as she explores the concept of the god. She cites three books as references: Erring by Mark C. Taylor; The Alphabet Versus the Goddess by Leonard Shlain, and Straw Dogs by John Gray. Save yourself the trouble: spend the time smiling as you think along with ideas of god.

Ruth Laxson: "The themes of science and universality reflect my attitudes about religion. I grew up being saturated in fundamentalist thinking and religion, so that, forever, is something I have to deal with. Books are a good place to put that. I think that we are all bound together, but various things have separated us like religion. I have this idea that church pews should face each other, instead of facing east, and look into each others eyes....

"Perhaps beneath the clutter and the information glut, some things are sacred. But how would we know? When, by the mere fact of showing itself, the sacred hides itself' and thus the vicious circle continues."

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Muse Measures
By Ruth Laxson
Atlanta, Georgia: Press 63 Plus, Edition of 50. 1999.

10.5 x 9.25". Printed letterpress and offset on Birch Royal fiber, UV Ultra II, and Warren Patina paper.

By theory, a matrix of boundaries, enzymes, particles, and verbs interacting with the muse in order to create numbers, desires, and poems. Laxson's singular brilliance is her fusion of things that inter/act. Whether it is the shifting boundaries of the page, pen-and-ink line drawings, or imaginative texts, her vision is intelligent fun and engages on all levels.

Joanna Drucker, JAB 12: "By using the gutter to separate the speaker/author from the "you" who is seen, Laxson uses the book's structure as part of the meaning of the text, isolating the two fields of first and second person point of view from each other. This distinction is further reinforced by the fact that the left hand page is spare, the type clean and readable, while the repeated word 'seeing' is overprinted on a dark cloud of visual activity that also contains fragments of type, words, marks, and letters leaping off as if to reach escape velocity as language emerging from a raw mass of matter. ... Laxson's work has been reduced to essentials, and yet, has a visual richness and textual complexity to it, creating spatious narratives that are highly specific and yet sufficiently general to function almost as metanarratives, describing the structure of stories while enacting them."

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By Ruth Laxson
Atlanta, Georgia: Press 63 Plus, 2000. Edition of 40.

11.25 x 7.125”. Letterpress printed Caslon and Franklin Gothic on various papers including translucent sheets with silver and black inks. Printed silver paper over boards with stab spine.

An artist book in three parts, subtitled "Chance Chants," "Timing," and "Logic." In this layered study of language and consciousness, Laxson explores the spoken and printed (or written) aspects of alphabetic cultures and an eventual diminishment of image-making because it diluted the potency of words. The book moves in a nonlinear fashion (even through the more linear sections ). To greatly oversimplify: Laxson begins in prehistory symbolizing the beginning of language as an extension of image-making by a combination rebus/word map. As a concept of numerical ordering develops out of the collective chaos—"We're here in the land of scheming"— the individual (ego) takes the stage. Ultimately, an inherent richness and diversity of awareness is abandoned for one that can be explained in words—"She: We all lost our capacity for awe and wonder . . .when we started writing about it. He: But writing glorified monotheism, individualism. It invented money, prose, drama, philosophy..." Throughout the exploration, and in her signature style, Laxson carries on a running commentary—in word, image, and symbol—that circumscribes and questions the primary narrative. Hardly does she advocate a "simpler" way of thinking. Although the titular concepts could be viewed as a linear progression of awareness, rather they are more correctly seen as a simultaneous, multi-leveled picture of a consciousness that is meant to function with all modes intact.





By Ruth Laxson
Atlanta, Georgia: Press 63 Plus, 1992. Edition of 200.

8.25 x 9.5”. Illustrated with hand drawn pictures, photographs, pop-ups, cutouts. Printed using silk-screen, letterpress, and offset lithography on Beckett Enhance and Graphica Frost papers. Bound in grey boards. Signed and numbered.

An amusing and illuminating history of the automobile, plus an allegorical dialogue on the effects of an increasingly fast pace that sets our lives "spinning" out of control. By design, this artist’s book treats the car culture with scrutiny and humor through shaped and layered text in interaction with image.

Cited in Joanna Drucker's The Century of Artists' Books as "a quintessential artists' book."


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Page last update: 02.17.16

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