Llandogo: The Old Stile Press, 1992. Graham, Rigby. Limited First Edition. Hardcover. Number 146 of 150 copies, elephant folio size, 58 pp. Fine. Item #CNJL825
Rigby Graham (1931-2015) was a landscape and topographical artist, book illustrator and muralist who worked within the British Romantic tradition. His work is distinguished by bold lines, a formalistic understanding of structure, and dramatic use of colour, alike to German expressionism.
The text of this volume was conceived in hospital during an extended treatment for cancer, where he retreated into recollections of the past to escape the sterile detention of the infirmary; the overall structure of the book is built around that method of circumvention during a time of calamity. The feature of the book are the colour woodcuts, which include four double-page images composed with four to six blocks each; there are also five single-page images printed in three colours to give a glowing 'monochrome' effect. As Graham shares in his introduction: "Cuts would be the answer. Woodcuts. I had always like the stiff angularity of woodcuts. The wood was not only unyielding, it bit back with a ferocity more readily associated with a rabid dog. Perhaps it is because of our civilised pattern of living that we tend unthinkingly to look on many natural things as attractive and somehow imply, or suggest, 'gentle'. We imbue them at times with qualities they do not actually possess...."
Here, then, is a travelogue of the mind, reflections on woodcuts and the images made using them, infused with the philosophical musings of a man whose body was recently "hacked at by surgeons" as a wood-cutter would hack away at a piece of wood.
___DESCRIPTION: Full natural linen covered boards, line drawing inlaid to upper board, title in gilt to backstrip, fore-edge uncut, endpapers with three-colour woodcut illustrations, four double-page woodcuts in four to six colours, five single-page woodcuts in three colours, line illustrations printed in green throughout; Baskerville type, Lana Royal Crown paper, elephant folio size (15 1/8" by 11 3/8"), [1-5] 6-57 [1 colophon] pp., limited first edition, this number 146 of 150 copies. Housed in a slipcase covered with green paper, with a large woodcut that spans the whole.
___CONDITION: A fine copy, with clean boards, the inlaid pastedown on the front board clean and unrubbed, straight corners without rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; like new. The slipcase also fine, strong and sturdy, clean and without wear.
___POSTAGE: Please note that this is a large and heavy volume, and additional postage may apply; please inquire for details.
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