San Francisco: The Book Club of California [designed and printed by Peter Koch], 2013. Wagener, Richard. Limited Edition. Hardcover. No. 170 of 308 copies, folio size,  pp., signed by Richard Wagener, with prospectus. Fine. Item #18082769
Richard Wagener (b. 1944) is an American wood engraver who creates gorgeous and detailed landscape scenes as well as abstract engravings; he has collaborated many times with Peter Koch to make books of his work, and his work has been included in the Legion of Honor in San Francisco and published in limited editions at Magnolia Editions in Oakland, California. "The Sierra Nevada Suite" is a collection of Wagener's wood engravings of landscapes in the Sierra Nevada mountains, each one formed with exquisite detail and rich contrast, with a technique that Wagener makes appear effortless. Peter Koch designed the book, and writes in the foreword, "What is at issue in these engravings is a quintessentially human conundrum -- one born of a complexity both opposed to and connected intimately with the work of Nature writ large -- the role of the hand in the work of art."
Wagener creates prints that bring to life the essence of the California landscape; his intimate landscapes draw the viewer closer to nature and what it means to see the outside world.
___DESCRIPTION: Quarter navy cloth with green paper boards, black-and-white engraving by Richard Wagener on the front board, cream paper spine label with red and black lettering and black ruled borders, fore- and bottom edges uncut, orange endpapers, title page in orange and black with black-and-white engraving by Wagener (matching the front board), thirty-one black-and-white landscape engravings (including the one on the title page) by Wagener throughout with two being double-page spreads, with image on the recto and caption on the verso of the interior pages; Monotype Dante type, Zerkall Butenpapier paper, folio size (12.75" by 7.75"), 61 unnumbered pages, one of 308 copies, this number 170, signed by Richard Wagener on the colophon. No dust jacket, as issued. Loosely laid in is the prospectus, with two wood engravings by Wagener and title in orange, one sheet folded once. In a green paper slipcase with top and bottom edges covered in navy cloth, with a cream paper spine label with red and black lettering and black ruled borders.
___CONDITION: A fine copy; the covers clean, the corners straight and unrubbed, the binding tight with solid hinges, the interior clean and bright, and free of prior owner markings. The slipcase is near fine, strong and sturdy, without wear, clean overall except for some soiling to the rear board. The prospectus near fine, clean and with only a few extremely shallow creases. A lovely example of perfect craftsmanship, by both the artist and the publisher.
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