Books On Books Collection – Leslie Haines

Animal Abecedary (2018)

Animal Abecedary: A One-of-a-Kind Alphabet Book (2018)
Leslie Haines
Hardcover, paper over board, dustjacket and foldout poster in back cover pocket. H287 x W224 mm. 32 pages. Acquired from Dines Books, 13 October 2021.
Photos: Books On Books Collection. Displayed with permission of Leslie Haines.

Of the many artistic techniques applied to alphabet books, the collage has several champions, and the surreal collage claims many of them: Clément Mériguet, Paul Thurlby and Ludwig Zeller. Leslie Haines’ effort harks back to the collages of surrealist Max Ernst, who also turned his hand to lettrines.

For a useful exercise in comparing styles of collage, take Haines’ Animal Abecedary for a visit with Zazie Sazonoff’s L’Alphabet Zinzin as well as Mériguet’s ABCDead, Thurlby’s Paul Thurlby’s Alphabet and Zeller’s AlphaCollage.

Further Reading

Abecedaries I (in progress)“. Books On Books Collection.

Lynn Hatzius“. 2 December 2022. Books On Books Collection.

Clément Mériguet“. 13 November 2021. Books On Books Collection.

Zazie Sazonoff“. 4 November 2022. Books On Books Collection.

Ludwig Zeller“. 24 March 2020. Books On Books Collection.

Brown, Jennifer. “Children’s Review: Paul Thurlby’s Alphabet“. 28 September 2011. Shelf Awareness. Accessed 3 November.

The Collages of Max Ernst“. 6 February 2020. The Paris Review. Accessed 3 November.

Books On Books Collection – Clément Mériguet

ABCDead (2010)

ABCDead (2010)
Clément Mériguet
H170 x W140 mm, 56 unnumbered pages. Acquired from Chapitre Libraire, 10 September 2021.
Photos of the work: Books On Books Collection.

An alphabet of sardonic commentary in words and images on death, human behavior, stupidity and fetishism. Starting with the skull for Avenir (“future”), Mériguet places his alphabet artist book squarely within the genres of the vanitas and still life. which in French is — appropriately — nature morte (“nature dead”). (In addition to the images below, the artist offers the images of an ivory carving to illustrate Éléphant, a tree stump for Oxygène and a dead bee for Pollen. With his medium being the computer, he clearly cannot resist compounding the punnery by describing his images as nature morte virtuelle.

Further Reading

Abecedaries I (in progress)“. Books On Books Collection. 31 March 2020.