Item #415 Still Life; | Illustrations & Text by Walter Bachinski. Walter Bachinski.
Still Life; | Illustrations & Text by Walter Bachinski
Still Life; | Illustrations & Text by Walter Bachinski
Still Life; | Illustrations & Text by Walter Bachinski

Still Life; | Illustrations & Text by Walter Bachinski

s.l. [Shanty Bay, Ontario]: Shanty Bay Press, [2019]. Tall quarto, 38.7 x 26.6 cm. Cased in full ochre cloth. A vibrant still life panel by Walter Bachinski, printed from a reduction linocut in blue, amaranth purple, and pink, is inset to the upper cover. Title-label, printed in black on amaranth purple paper, to the spine. Black cloth hinges and amaranth endsheets. Housed in a matching ochre cloth covered slipcase. Top edges trimmed, others untrimmed. pp. [12] 5-53 [5]. A fine copy. The text was handset in Deepdene roman and printed on Arches Cover paper. The woodcuts were printed using a Washington Press on Fudagami Oguni paper. The book was designed by Walter Bachinski and Janis Butler. Butler printed both the text and colour blocks, and executed the binding. In addition to Bachinski’s reflections on the practice and history of still life, the text contains remarks and excerpts from critics, historians, and artists, including: Kandinsky, Braque, Matisse, Odilon Redon, Charles Stirling, Meyer Schapiro, Paul Johnson, Bernard Zurcher, and Alex Danchev. The text is illustrated with 17 works by Walter Bachinski. Five are woodcuts, five are pochoirs, and seven are reduction linocuts in several colours each. The pochoirs are variations on pastel and large-scale painting works by Bachinski: “Most of my finished works are in private and public collections. I looked through 35 years of still life images to select five to execute as pochoir variations. Translating these pastels to the acrylic medium used in pochoir has been a major challenge. There are many stencils for an image and each of these has several openings that can be worked with more than one colour. To achieve the final result, I use multiple stencil brushes & direct drawing with pen and brush on the image. This is a very slow, laborious technique, but I find it very satisfying.” From an edition of only 33 copies, three of which were retained by the Press. The present copy is number 20. Signed in pencil by Bachinski and Butler on the colophon page.

Accompanied by a loosely inserted copy of the prospectus. The prospectus is a trimmed bifolium (25.6 x 18.9 cm closed). It is printed with the title and a three-colour linocut to the first recto, followed by a description and details of the book on the second recto and its verso. Item #415

“Kandinsky wrote in his influential manifesto On the Spiritual in Art (1912), ‘Cézanne made a living thing out of a teacup, or rather in a teacup he realized the existence of something alive. He raised still life to such a point that it ceased to be inanimate. He painted these things as he painted human beings, because he was endowed with the gift of divining the inner life in everything. His colour & form are alike suitable to the spiritual harmony. A man, a tree, an apple, all were used by Cézanne in the creation of something he called a ‘picture’, and which is a piece of true inward and artistic harmony.’

Still Life is the eighth book published by our Shanty Bay Press. It is a departure for Janis & I. Our previous books featured images created to accompany classical texts that move us. We have also made two books on the circus, using texts from 19th & 20th century authors. Our last book, Venus Poems, revolves around a complex pochoir triptych depicting the Birth of Venus. This image was derived from an amalgam of three large pastel paintings I had done over several years. I then chose relevant poems to accompany it.

Still Life takes my personal involvement as an artist a step further by combining my writing with my artwork. The pochoirs here are based on works I have done in pastel and the woodcuts on my ink drawings. I have also created small colour linocuts to accompany selected statements from artists regarding still life.

A major aspect of my art practice has involved exploring the still life genre. This is largely because Cézanne’s above-mentioned idea of painting a teacup as though it were a human being and of striving for artistic harmony in a picture struck a chord in me. The following outlines how I evolved as an artist and came to feel my still lives [sic] are of equal importance to my figurative work. While touching on the history of still life, my focus is on how I have come to understand the genre and to practice within it.” — Walter Bachinski.

Price: $3,000.00

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