Thursday, November 29, 2012

Livers des Artistes

Frida Kahlo
Livers des Artistes. Fairfax, CA, Jungle Garden Press, 1994. One of only three copies, signed by the illustrator, Carl Dern, and the printer, Marie Dern. 

Playing with, or possibly parodying, the concept of the livre d'artiste, or artist's book, the tongue-in-cheek illustrations in this portfolio interpret the work of eight famous modern artists, incorporating a representation of a human liver into the artists' works.

Georgia O'Keefe
Ram's Head - 1930 (via)

Georges Seurat
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte - 1884 (via)

Kurt Schwitters
Mz 410 irgendsowas (something or other) - 1922


Joan Miró
Nocture - 1940 (via)

Also included are parodies of René Magritte, Eva Hesse, and Joseph Beuys. Each illustration is preceded by a page bearing the name of the artist, letterpress printed by Marie Dern. The loose sheets are housed in a purple clamshell box designed by Dominic Riley.


In a Dadaist touch, a textured, liver-shaped piece of metal is laid in, and attached to the box on a piece of string is a small plastic figurine of a baby. It is a fitting "closure" to this quirky tribute to modern art done as a collaborative effort between Marie Dern, a book artist, and Carl Dern, an accomplished sculptor, and it reflects the sense of humor and irony found throughout the work of both artists.

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