Fortress Marin; An Aesthetic and Historical Description of the Coastal Fortifications of Southern Marin County
[Mill Valley, California]: [Quail Press], . Killion, Tom. First and Limited Edition. Hardcover. One of 240 numbered copies, with prospectus. Fine. Item #22042703
The artwork of American artist and author Tom Killion (b. 1953) displays exquisite detail of line and shape; Killion learned printmaking and bookbinding from Jack Stauffacher of the Greenwood Press, one of the most prominent printers in the Bay Area in the latter half of the twentieth century.
As with many of Killion's works, this illustrated by means of linocuts, each hand-printed from the original blocks. This volume contains eighteen original prints; the double-spread title page was composed by use of four blocks and is in two shades; the remaining prints are in the blue colour Killion typically favours. His mastery of the art of printing is evident on every page, the landscapes coming into sharp relief. Every illustration is printed on the rectos only; as Killion notes in the colophon, "the reverse, or 'ghost image' which backs most of [the prints] is intentional; it represents the original block."
The book is dedicated by Killion "to my father, who first showed me this land above the sea", and his love for the landscape of Marin county is evident on every page. Per the prospectus, "[t]he theme of 'Fortress Marin' is the tension between Man and Nature: in the juxtaposition of the fortifications' sterile concrete geometry...with the majestic backdrop of cliffs and sea..."
___DESCRIPTION: Quarter bound in taupe linen over light red textured paper over boards, paper label with black lettering inset onto the front board, inscribed by Killion on the front free endpaper, the text in two parts, the first being "a lyrical walking tour along the cliffs lining the Marin shore of the Golden Gate...the second part a short history of the fortifications on these cliffs" (from prospectus), the linocuts made from the original blocks, with a hand-drawn map tipped onto the last page of the volume; Bembo type on Japanese hosho paper, quarto size (11" by 8 1/8"),  pp., this copy no. 46 of the 240 copies, signed by Killion at the colophon. The prospectus printed as a broadside on a single sheet folded twice, with a sample linocut and the usual information, paper uncut on the right side, measuring 16 3/8" tall when extended by 9 3/4" wide.
___CONDITION: Fine overall, the boards clean and unworn other than a very small area towards the top edge of the front board near the joint, the corners straight and unrubbed, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and other than Killion's inscription entirely free of prior owner markings. Prospectus also fine with only the original folds, clean and without wear.
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