Portfolio: "The Plain of Smokes"
The complete fabric covered portfolio case surrounding a Los Angeles city map bound clam shell box, consisting of 20 screen prints (loose as issued) in both color or black on wove paper and all associated text. Prints “Club Zebra” and “Tiki Motel” are signed and dated in pencil, lower right: “Price 81” and numbered lower left: 123/150. All 20 prints show three blindstamps, (artist, printer, and publishers) in the lower left margin (Ken Price, SOMA Fine Art Press, San Francisco, and printer Gary Lichtenstein). The colophon is signed in black ink by Price and Mudd and is numbered in red ink 123. All prints show full margins. Sheet size: 12 1/4” by 14 3/4”. Overall portfolio size is 15 3/4” by 13 3/8”. Also included: a fold out cover sheet, the full text of Harvey Mudd’s poem cycle “The Plain of Smokes” on large folded sheets, and two small folded pieces adding comments on “A Note on the Printing” and “A Note on the Text and Images.”
“Arabesque Books asked Gary Lichtenstein of SOMA Fine Art Press in San Francisco to print Price’s multilayered paintings featuring pencil, gouache, watercolor, and india ink for the book. In order to translate every last nuance of color relationship and texture from the original work into printer’s ink, Lichtenstein deconstructed Price’s work layer by layer. The most complicated image in the series, “Club Zebra,” required 28 color separations and nearly 5,000 passes through the hand press to print 186 copies. The prints’ “painterly” qualities are a stunning testament to Lichtenstein’s mastery.”
Note: Although Arabesque Books is listed as the publisher Arabesque Books was an imprint used by Black Sparrow Press to distinguish art books and portfolios from its other titles.
Inventory ID: 1266