Item #CNAP110a The Bridge. Hart Crane, Joel Shapiro, Artist.

The Bridge

San Francisco: The Arion Press, 2017. Shapiro, Joel. Scroll format, 13-1/2" x 50', set by hand and printed by letterpress in black on handmade Chinese paper, with 7 images bound in, presented in a box along with a separate volume containing the introduction, 300 copies, numbered and signed by the artist. New. Item #CNAP110a

Hart Crane’s 1930 poem "The Bridge", with seven woodblock prints by sculptor Joel Shapiro, is one of Arion's most ambitious and innovative projects. It combines a classic of American literature, work by one of today's most prominent American artists, a scholarly essay, and highly unusual bookmaking materials and techniques.

The book with seven woodblock prints by Shapiro and two small photographs of the Brooklyn Bridge by Michael Kenna is issued in a signed two-part edition of 300. The book is in scroll format, evoking ancient Chinese traditions, measuring 13-1/2 inches high by 50 feet long. The paper was made by hand in China. The type is handset and was printed, along with the woodblocks, by letterpress. The scroll is wound on an aluminum spool and presented in a box. A sheet of instructions on how to display and read the scroll is included. The form was inspired by Andrew Hoyem’s visit to China in 2016, when he examined 7th century scrolls and toured the workshop where the paper is made.

"The Bridge" was conceived by poet Hart Crane in 1923, when he was twenty-three years old, and published in 1930. After his death in 1932, Crane grew into a figure of legend and is now regarded as one of the great American poets of the twentieth century and "The Bridge" as his greatest work.

A specially commissioned essay on the poem by Yale Professor Langdon Hammer is included in a separate bound volume. Joel Shapiro, born in 1941, is a renowned abstract sculptor who has also been active as a printmaker, particularly in the medium of woodblock prints. His images here are untitled but are suggestive of themes in the poem.

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Price: $2,500.00