Russell Maret

Æthelwold Etc. (Deluxe)

Russell Maret

Æthelwold Etc. (Deluxe)



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Artist Book

$ 12,000.00


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The University of the Witwatersrand, Wits Art Museum (WAM), Jack Ginsberg Centre for Book Arts

Æthelwold Etc. was undertaken as a dialogue with history, particularly with the historical form of the writing manual. While making it, I have gained many insights from ‘discussions’ with Joaquim Jozé Ventura da Silva, Nicolas of Verdun, Godeman, Eadfrith, Marcus Vitruvius Pollio,  Anonymous Chicagoensis, Nicolete Gray, Bartolomeo San Vito, Johann Froben, Giovanni Antonio Castiglioni, John Baskerville, Giambattista Bodoni, Fra Luca Pacioli, Francesco Alunno, Giovanni Mardersteig, Filocalus, the eighty years between 1750 and 1830, Filippo Brunelleschi, Ludovico Vicentino, Juan de Yciar, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Arthur Rimbaud, Rudolf Koch, Herman Zapf, the essay, ‘Testaments Betrayed‘, by Milan Kundera, John Keats, Lord Byron, the book, ‘Sylvæ‘, by Ben Verhoeven and Gaylord Schanilec, and countless artists who worked anonymously between the fall of Rome and the birth of Poggio. No discussions have been as helpful, though, as my nightly conversations about the project with Annie Schlechter. This book is dedicated to her.

The 26 letters in Æthelwold Etc. are born partly of the belief that the communal form of the alphabet is as responsible for a letter’s legibility as that letter’s specific form. If, for instance, you were to come upon a basket weave pattern in the Duomo floor, your mind would not necessarily view it as an O even though it is circular. If you came upon the same basket weave pattern printed in a book, preceding a P and following an N, there would be no doubt that it was an O.”
— Russel Maret