by J. Lyons
In the 1970s several of my books dealt with feminist issues. For many women, an artist’s book then seemed the perfect container for a passing observation or a site where a personal story could be translated into a public narrative. This book is a one-liner, a somewhat tongue-in-cheek contribution to the serious and theoretical feminist practice prevalent at that time. The genesis of this book was the observation that shutting the ink off on the AB Dick Press caused the image to gradually fade away as more sheets were run through. I made several books this way. “Sunspots,” was particularly successful—reds, yellows and blues fading in and out approximated the sensation of staring at the sun. The “bride” was a found, large format negative. She looked so immobile, so isolated; I couldn’t imagine a future for this icon. The original idea was to print the book in black and white, “Bride Book Positive to Negative.” I did so—fading the image out, then running the sheets back through the press in reverse order with a negative plate. The bride began as a positive image, faded away in the center of the book, and gradually reappeared as negative. The only problem was the all-important center images, in which the bride was to disappear. Because the little AB Dick would not register well enough, the effect was ruined. This is why “Bride Book Red to Green” was born. Perhaps the symbolic intent suffered, but the center of the book with its softly vibrating complimentary colors was not only beautiful, but prevented the eye from perceiving the mis-registered image.
Bride Book Red to Green
themes: Women and marriage, offset printing [T. Shaw]
inspiration: A found bride photograph and a discovered procedure of offset printing [T. Shaw]
related works: [other of the artists' works (see project statement)]
community: press Visual Studies Workshop Press [T. Shaw]