U.B.3 (Ultra Bio 3)
U.B.3 (Ultra Bio 3)
Colored Pencil, Ink, Lithograph, Pencil, Screenprint
Rives heavyweight paper
13 × 10.5 in
CollectionLimited Edition Artists Books
Dartmouth College, Rauner Library
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Libraries
University of Delaware Library
University of Minnesota
University of Vermont
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Special Collections
Yale University Art Gallery (YUAG)
“David Lantow’s ambiguous, sci-fi like creatures/vessels are unnamable but, rendered with traditional gradations of light to dark, exist in a familiar, realistic, or at least, imaginable space, though whether its macro- or microcosmic is left up to us.”
— Carter Foster, Curator of Drawings Whitney Museum of Art.
“What started as a Surrealist parlor game, the exquisite corpse has become a favored medium for book artists. Originally the concept was a word game: lists of words sorted into their parts of speech could be assembled and reassembled to create surprising new meanings, confusion, and profundity. With the Surrealists, the idea became visual and the codex was the ideal format to build bodies and shapes.
U.B.3 (Ultra Bio 3) is an exquisite corpse that features eight interchangeable lithographic images by David Lantow. While the corpse has a head, body, and feet, it looks a little like a germ, a fungus, or even an alien. But in the wake of Deepwater Horizon, it evokes memories of tar balls washing ashore in the Gulf of Mexico and crude oil clinging to dying wildlife. The text morphs from “This Quiet Fellow” to finally rest at “Our Global Addiction.” Along the way there are an additional 510 possible combinations, some serene like “Sweet Velvet Situation,” some more sinister like “Tricky Plastic Monster.” Of course, if you want, you can have a “Sweet Plastic Addiction” or a “Tricky Velvet Fellow.”
— Jay Satterfield, Dartmouth College, Blog Post, Friday, August 12, 2011
“The foundation of my work is improvisational and complements my interests in theories regarding creation and evolution. The eight lithographs selected here are from a larger base series of imagined images sometimes known as “Fleshapoids” The original “vessel” images were born from observations of seedpods and other real world objects, which are then imaginatively fleshed out, transformed, and rendered in traditional light and dark gradations. I see the images ultimately as metaphors for a kind of general transformation in our ever changing globalized world. In the alternative universe where these images reside, common themes of fear and consumption, isolation, environmental and biogenetic manipulation, come together in hybrids mother nature may or may not have anticipated.’
— David Lantow, Brooklyn, NY
The book was created, hand-printed, and bound by the artist on Rives heavyweight paper. Each image was drawn on textured mylar with graphite and Stabilo pencils and exposed onto aluminum photo-lithographic plates. The plates were proofed and editioned in black ink by the artist at Brooklyn College on a Griffin lithographic press. Once the images were printed, the text was added using an Epson Pro Stylus 4800 printer. The text was printed in Herculanum font. Seven of the images were then cut into thirds, and sewn together using waxed linen thread. The last image is left whole. The three signatures were then secured with an inner cover sheet of Magnani Pescia and an outer cover sheet of Mouchette. The title on the cover was screen-printed in water-based ink at Brooklyn College by the artist. Once completed, each book was hand colored using primarily Prismacolor colored pencils. In the end, the divided sections combine to create hundreds of images with interchangeable tops, middles, and bottoms. My daughters’ children’s books served as inspiration for the structural layout of the book.
Edition of 13. Size 13″T x 10.25″W Lithography and Screen Print, Colored Pencil, Hand Bound. Paper cover.