Monday, May 2, 2011

Seeing Gertrude Stein | Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco

In 1990 The Yolla Bolly Press agave me the chance to pick a title to illustrate, any title. I picked Paris France by Gertrude Stein and Yolla Bolly published a limited edition, letterpress version. This coming month San Francisco's Contemporary Jewish Museum will be including it in "Seeing Gertrude Stein," a show curated by Wanda Corn. I'm pleased to be included in this show.

Announcement card

 Le seul bien qui me reste au monde c'est d'avoir quelque fois pleurĂ©.

It is not a secret but one does not tell it.

27, rue de Fleurus

Les Grandes TĂȘtes

Portrait of Gertrude Stein: "I cannot write too much about how necessary it is to be completely conservative that is particularly traditional in order to be free."

 Basket fait le beau.

(French cooking is) Fashion and Logic

Country Life in Wartime

Dog Man

Pavanne for Dead Twins

Tower of Horses

Les Fleurs Farouches


Two Kitchens in Provence by M F K Fisher

The Yolla Bolly Press gave me the opportunity to do Paris France because the year before, 1989, I'd done a book for them that had sold out in two weeks. This had only happened once before.

The book was Two Kitchens in Provence, by food writer M F K Fisher, a memoir of life in Provence in the 1950s.

The Stein book was filled with stories, events I could illustrate. Not true of Two Kitchens. For it the work was less specific to the text, more evocative of the tone.

Both books contain an Afterward written (and signed) by a celebrity:
the late George Plimpton wrote for Paris France; Alice Waters did Two Kitchens.

I loved working for Jim and Carolyn Robertson at the Yolla Bolly Press. Jim and I would get into shouting matches, big fights. He was the only friend with whom I ever felt comfortable doing that.

My wife, Vivienne Flesher, also did a book for Yolla Bolly, Vittorinni's Tears and Wine.
Jim died soon after it was published.

After Jim's death, Carolyn decided to quit publishing books. It was a great loss.

Ever since I've searched for another client to fill the hole left by Yolla Bolly's absence. But I've never found one. That loss is part of the reason I returned to doing personal work, hand-painted books and works for the wall.

Still, nothing takes the place of a duo like Jim and Carolyn.