Books On Books Collection – Eleonora Cumer

variazione (2015)

variazione (2015)
Eleonora Cumer
Linocut on card and tarlatana. Unique.
H287 x 416 mm closed.
Showing front and back covers.
Acquired from the artist, 16 September 2017.

Centrally open view, showing printed linen crape (tarlatana) pages.

Views of the three “double-page spreads.

Open envelope for note of thanks. Container for the work.
Both with pin-pricked and thread-sewn images.
Container initialed and dated on reverse.

scultura da viaggio dipinta n.2 (2017)

scultura da viaggio dipinta n.2/ sculpture de poche peinte n. 2 (2017)
Eleonora Cumer
Single sheet of card, cut and painted front and back.
Unique, embossed with artist’s stamp and initialed.
H250 x W116 mm closed, H250 x W270 mm open.
Acquired from the artist, 16 September 2017.

Cumer’s scultura da viaggio builds on Bruno Munari’s portable or “travelling sculptures”, but they could just as easily have emerged from her own earlier works such as l’attesa, visioni urbani and contaminazione.

l’attesa/ l’attente (2010)

l’attesa/ l’attente (2010)
Eleonora Cumer
Three-dimensional accordion book with painted front and back pages in painted case.
H135 x W125 mm closed, H135 x W 1200 mm open.
Unique. Acquired from the artist, 16 September 2017.
Selected for the Abracadabra Bookcase Exhibition, Barcelona, May 2010.

Internal and external views of open cover.

“Reading” the opened concertina l’attesa (“the wait”).

Front view of l’attesa.

Rear view of l’attesa.

visioni urbane/ visions urbane (2015)

visioni urbani/visions urbane (2015)
Eleonora Cumer
Three cards, tri-fold, painted front and back, and cut, encased in a duo-fold sheet, painted on one side.
H240 x 150 mm closed, H240 x 600 mm open
Unique. Acquired from the artist, 16 September 2017.

Opening the work.

Rear view, top view.

contaminazione (2015)

contaminazione (2015)
Eleonora Cumer
Four sheets of card, each cut and folded into three panels.
H300 x W300 mm closed, H300 x 900 mm open.
Acquired from the artist, 16 September 2017.

View of the four component cards.

Duo-fold gray cover H302 x W315 mm closed, H302 x W943 mm open.
Fourth component card, initialed and dated by the artist.

il giardino della mia VITA (2015)

il giardino della mia VITA (2015)
Eleonora Cumer
Hand-sewn booklet of hand-stamped photo-collaged paper. Glassine envelope, glued to page 6, contains shards of coloured glass.
H288 x W205 mm closed, H288 x W410 open.
Edition of 50 numbered and signed, of which this is #20.
Acquired from the artist, 16 September 2017.

The text in English: “The garden of my life: my life like a garden or better”

PAROLE (2015)

Parole (2015)
Eleonora Cumer
Hand-sewn booklet of hand-stamped photo-collaged paper. Glassine envelope, glued to page 2, contains slip of lined paper hand-stamped with the letters of the word “parole” superimposed on one another in two groups.
H288 x W205 mm closed, H288 x W410 open
Edition of 50 numbered and signed, of which this is #20.
Acquired from the artist, 16 September 2017.

The text in English: ”Words: unreadable words, incomplete words, unspoken words”

Conflitti (2015)

Conflitti (2015)
Eleonora Cumer
Hand-sewn booklet of hand-stamped photo-collaged paper. German air rifle training disc (distance 10 m) sewn with red thread and glued to cover; exiting on page 1, the red thread crosses to pages two and three; page two includes a pastedown grid, labelled in its margin with the abbreviation for an anti-cholergenic incapacitating chemical weapon.
H288 x W205 mm closed, H288 x W410 open.
Edition of 50 numbered and signed, of which this is #16.
Acquired from the artist, 16 September 2017.

The text in English: “Conflict: the flight to the sea to meet death in search of a new land”

Further Reading

Eleonora Cumer”, WorldCat Identities. Accessed 5 September 2019.

Cumer, Eleonora. “At school of artist’s books”, Topipittori, n.d. Accessed 5 September 2019.

Cumer, Eleonora. “From travel sculpture to scenography”, Topipittori, n.d. Accessed 5 September 2019.

Cumer, Eleonora. “Books that are born from books”, Topipittori, n.d. Accessed 5 September 2019.

Quinz, Anna. “People I know: Eleonora Cumer and her world of books (artist’s)”, Franzmagazine, 25 July 2012. Accessed 5 September 2019.

Bookmarking Book Art – Giorgio & Giulio Maffei

Display of Ed Ruscha's Various Small Fires and Milk, 1964, at Pliure: La Part du Feu, 2 February - 12 April 2015, Paris. Photo by Robert Bolick. Reflected in the lower left hand corner is the display of Bruce Nauman's Burning Small Fires; in the upper right corner, the film clip of Truffaut's 1966 Fahrenheit 451; and in the upper left, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva's La bibliotheque en feu, 1974.
Display of Ed Ruscha’s Various Small Fires and Milk, 1964
Pliure: La Part du Feu, 2 February – 12 April 2015, Paris, Fondation Calouste-Gulbenkian.
Photo by Robert Bolick, 11 April 2015.
Reflected in the lower left hand corner is the display of Bruce Nauman’s Burning Small Fires, 1968; in the upper right corner, the film clip of Truffaut’s 1966 Fahrenheit 451; and in the upper left, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva’s La bibliotheque en feu, 1974.

The Studio Bibliografico Giorgio Maffei specializes in original texts and book art by twentieth century visual and literary avant-garde artists such Baldessari, Lewitt, Munari, Man Ray, Ruscha and Warhol among others. Recently the owner’s son – Giulio Maffei – “started making film as a side activity” and introduced a series of short animations “to put on the social networks and reach new potential customers”.  An anonymous pair of hands displays a variety of the books and book art in stock.

But Giulio’s videos are not always the straightforward marketing effort intended. They provide an experience of book art or artists’ books that most of us will never hold or touch. And that may be Maffei’s point in his series “Le Vite dei Libri” (The Lives of Books) in which these usually glassed-off works are playfully handled, gently made fun of and still honored.

Some of the videos are derivative artworks in their own right in the same vein as Bruce Nauman’s Burning Small Fires, 1968.  Nauman poked fun at Ed Ruscha’s Various Small Fires and Milk, 1964, by composing a book of photos recording the burning of a copy of Various Small Fires. Maffei’s Nauman-esque handling of Various Small Fires and Milk involves flash paper or its Photoshop equivalent.  His celebration of Ruscha’s The Sunset Strip is still more endearing with its soundtrack and toy convertible. His cheeky animations of the pop-ups in Warhol’s Index (Book) and the ironically daring destruction of Papa Maffei’s copy of Some/Thing No.3 are even better.  In the latter, the plastering of a Banksy-like mural with Warhol’s “Bomb Hanoi” stickers torn from the perforated cover is a sharp-edged example of the arch, reflective commentaries throughout Maffei’s videos.

Most of the films’ credits pay typographical homage to the work at hand, which is a nice self-deprecating and affectionate touch.  At my last viewing, there were twenty-two works in the Lives series.  They are listed below, but once you reach one on YouTube, the others follow. Giulio Maffei has also created a longer video catalogue for his father’s enterprise: Tra Libro e Oggetto (Between Book and Object). The Maffeis are a knowing team. The catalog title can be read as the beginning of a statement displayed on the cover.

BETWEEN BOOK AND OBJECT

The artists’ book, the multiple and the object

become an artwork

A statement that refers not only to the works in the catalog but to the video catalog itself and to the elder Maffei’s lifework of collecting, selling and writing about book art.

1 – An Unreadable Quadrat Print, Bruno Munari

2 – The Sunset Strip, Ed Ruscha

3 – Nine Swimming Pools, Ed Ruscha

4 – Various Small Fires, Ed Ruscha

5 – Andy Warhol’s Children’s Book, Andy Warhol

6 – Choosing Green Beans, John Baldessari

7 – Kleve 2009, Ettore Spalletti

8 – Made in Machine, Jean-François Bory

9 – Cieli ad Alta Quota, Alighiero Boetti

10 – Il Merlo Ha Perso il Becco, Bruno Munari

11 – Mémoires, Guy Debord, Asger Jorn

12 – Zang Tumb Tuuum, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti

13 – Acervus, Luigi Ontani

14 – Toiletpaper JAN 2011, Maurizio Cattelano & Pierpaolo Ferrari

15 – Toiletpaper JUL 2012, Maurizio Cattelano & Pierpaolo Ferrari

16 – Les Illuminations, Fernand Léger & Arthur Rimbaud

17 – Man Ray, Man Ray

18 – The Biggest Art-Book in the World, Enrico Baj

19 – Fable, John Baldessari

20 – Air Condition, Allan Kaprow

21 – Andy Warhol’s Index (Book), Andy Warhol

22 – Some/Thing No.3, ed. David Antin, cover by Andy Warhol