Kara Walker, Lithographs for Porgy & Bess, 2013.
Now available: a deluxe limited edition of the libretto for the opera Porgy & Bess: Libretto by DuBose Heyward, with lyrics by DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin, for music composed by George Gershwin, with sixteen lithographs by Kara Walker, and with four additional lithographs in portfolio.
The Porgy & Bess series includes sixteen lithographs that are bound into the book and four more lithographs that are offered as an extra suite of prints with the book. This is an artist book, in that the original prints are a significant graphic contribution to the work and an integral part of the object, their individual pages having been hand-sewn into each volume.
To make the lithographs, Kara Walker drew on frosted Mylar with lithographic crayon and inks. The drawings were made into plates for printing on a large lithographic proofing press at Derrière L’Etoile Studio NYC, under the supervision of Maurice Sanchez.
The book is large quarto in format, 12-½ by 9-¾ inches, 108 numbered pages for the text, plus 16 leaves for the lithographs, for a total of 140 pages. The prints are attached to hinges of thin Japanese paper, which are pasted to folded three-page signatures within sewing sections. The paper is French mouldmade Johannot, thinner for the text, heavier for the prints. The binding has a red goatskin spine, with stamped title, and calico cloth over the boards, reminiscent of fabric used by the black women of Charleston, South Carolina, in the period, a pattern of triangles that recalls hurricane flags. The book is housed in a slipcase covered with dark grey cloth, with titling on the spine, stamped in red.
The book edition is limited to 400 numbered copies for sale and 26 lettered copies for complimentary distribution to participants in the project. Of these, 50 copies are accompanied by the extra suite of four prints, of which 40 are for sale, numbered 1/40 – 40/40; 5 are artist’s proofs, numbered AP 1/5 – AP 5/5; and 5 are printer’s/publisher’s proofs, numbered PP 1/5 – PP 5/5.
All of the books and the prints in the suites are signed by the artist.
The price of the book is $1,750.
The price of the book with the extra suite of 4 lithographs is $11,750.
This Kara Walker limited edition artist book is available at Arion Press