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 – Jan Liesfield, “theartfields”

It can be hard to find the time to experiment with your art. Often you feel everything we create should be a finished artwork but it is extremely valuable to take the time to just play. It can feel like a waste of time but often from these opportunities the most fascinating results, techniques and […]

via Experimenting in art — theartfields

This work comes from Jan Liesfield in Australia. It reminds me of works by Jaz Graf (US), Merrill Shatzman (US) and Eleonora Cumer (Italy).

Fascinating how book art has its global dialects.

Books On Books Collection – Jenny Smith

Untitled (2006)

Untitled (2006)
Jenny Smith
Matte-beige slot-and-tab case containing eight-panel leporello, four panels lasercut and three screenprint. Case: 167 x 167 mm; Book: 165 x 165 mm.
Edition of 25 of which this is #21. Acquired from the artist, 31 July 2017. Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

Photos: Books On Books Collection.

This portable sculpture echoes the tradition of Bruno Munari and Eleonora Cumer. The handling of ink from matte gray to silver to reflective black plays beautifully behind the vertical and

Book of Beads (2008)

Book of Beads (2008)
Jenny Smith
Case of beige matte-finish, screenprint black interior, title lasercut: 165 x 165 mm;
Book in accordion-fold, eight panels lasercut, taupe on one side, screenprint black on other, 160 x 160 mm
Edition of 20 of which this is #13. Acquired from the artist, 31 July 2017. Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

Photos: Books On Books Collection.

The interlocking views of panels through panels foreshadow a work by Katumi Komagata:Ichigu(2015). The fine tendrils in the cutting may remind some of works by Béatrice Coron or Merrill Shatzman.

Little Black Book (2009)

Little Black Book (2009)
Jenny Smith
Matte-black slot-and-tab case containing matte-black single fold booklet; cover engraved with an abstract, calligraphic design that is cut out inside on the pop-up page and reappears in shadow against a gloss black screenprint insert behind the pop-up page. 
Case: 167 x 167 mm; Book: 160 x 160 mm; Pop-up page: H140 x W150 mm.
Edition of 20, of which this is #14. Acquired from the artist, 31 July 2017. Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

Photos: Books On Books Collection.


Little Black Book exemplifies Smith’s exploration of writing as a form of drawing, which also often finds expression in site-specific work such as What is the most important decision you have made? (2013) in Cupar, Fife, Scotland, and What is Shadow? and What is Freedom? (2016) in the same vicinity.

The grassy nature of the 2013 installation and its engagement with children may remind the reader/viewer of Water on the Border (1994) by Helen Douglas and Telfer Stokes. For some, the interaction of cage and words in the 2016 installation may recall Bird Language (2003) by Xu Bing.

Further Reading

Medicinal Art”, Studio Pavilion, 19 September 2019. Accessed 2 May 2020.

Blakeley, Deborah. “Jenny Smith, Edinburgh, Scotland”, Zone One Arts, 1 November 2015. Accessed 2 May 2020.