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International Artists

Which artists reside outside the US?

Shared experiences, interest in a technique, and learning new skills all prompt collaboration, like these flourishing between book artists living outside the United States. While our collection focuses on southern-made books, it also revealed international ties among the artists. This case explores how artists, printers, and publishers collaborate with paper makers, illustrators, poets and others. Their collaborations result from many shared things—mentors, studio space at a residency, or themes. This selection from our dataset includes works by Havana city historian and preservation director Eusebio Leal Spengler as well as books by British artist Telfer Stokes. 


MATCH (a)-[r]->(Place{parent:'other'})

Flag Book: Interaction towards a Better World
(Atlanta, GA: Nexus Press. 1996)
Fernando Lopes
Southern Civilization Collection
Vanderbilt University Special Collections

Flag book: Interaction Towards a Better World combines 96 triangular pieces of flags from countries represented at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. Made from cheap, offset glossy black and white boards, the book strays away from traditional techniques and materials in its peculiar design. The paper structure was generated using the now obsolete computer program Corel Draw!, perhaps highlighting the endurance of papermaking and book structures over the ephemeral nature of computer software. Crafted by Brazilian artist Fernando Lopes, this piece reflects an international focus in its treatment of multiple languages and countries, and cleverly handles imagery of flags within a flag book structure. The work was a collaboration between Lopes and the Nexus Press, Cultural Olympiad, and Atlanta Committee for Olympic Games.

<em>Desire : The Collective Unconscious</em>

Telfer Stokes. Desire: the Collective Unconscious

Desire: the Collective Unconscious
(Atlanta, GA: Nexus Press. 1989)
Telfer Stokes
Southern Civilization Collection
Vanderbilt University Special Collections

Desire, the title of this small, square book, is printed in black ink on a floral pattern. This combination severely contrasts with the message sent by images within the work. Inside its pages are offset photographs that have been cropped and cut so that they are incomplete - an ear, a mouth, bits of a conversation - saturated with color and pixelated before printing, making them seem hard to grasp. The pages are held together by textured covers, which feel like a grid of fencing wire, holding the images hostage. This interesting interplay was crafted by English artist Telfer Stokes in collaboration with the Nexus Press and Weproductions during an artist residency.

<em>Havana : A Living City</em>

Eusebio Leal Spengler. Havana: a Living City

Havana: A Living City
(Tuscaloosa, AL, Havana, Cuba: Parallel Editions, 2009)
Eusebio Leal Spengler, Maria Vargas, Ángel Manuel Ramírez, Steve Miller
Southern Civilization Collection
Vanderbilt University Special Collections

International in origin and highly collaborative by design, Havana: a Living City has at its foundation excerpts and speeches by Dr. Eusebio Leal Spengler, historian of the city of Havana, Cuba. This artists’ book includes text in Spanish and a translation into English on facing pages, offering words and illustrations to audiences across borders. Ten linocuts were carved and printed by Cuban artist Angel Manuel Ramirez. The design, letterpress, and bookbinding were executed by Professor Anna Embree, Professor Steve Miller, and University of Alabama students. Taller Experimental de Grafica in Havana, Cuba, made the papers for this book at Papel Artesanal.

Then From All the Stones
(Ragland, AL: OEOCO Press. 2003)
Dorothy Field, Mary Ann Sampson
Southern Civilization Collection
Vanderbilt University Special Collections

Poet and visual artist Dorothy Field lives in Cobble Hill, British Columbia, on her farm. Her poetry has been widely published in Canada and in the United States.  Book artist Mary Ann Sampson collaborated with her on this book as part of Sampson’s MFA degree in book arts at the University of Alabama.