The Bells: A Numerical Exploration. Images by Donald Glaister. Text by Edgar Allan Poe - Rare Book Insider
The Bells: A Numerical Exploration. Images by Donald Glaister. Text by Edgar Allan Poe

Glaister, Donald. Poe, Edgar Allan

The Bells: A Numerical Exploration. Images by Donald Glaister. Text by Edgar Allan Poe

Vashon Island, WA: 2014
  • $6,050
Artist's book, one in a series of 10, on paper, polyester film, and metals, by noted book artist, Donald Glaister, who has signed and numbered the book on the colophon. Page size: 14-1/2 x 8-7/8 inches. Bound by the artist: painted paper over boards, hand-sewn with each page on tabs to allow complete opening of each page spread, grey morocco spine, title written in dark grey on aluminum inset on front panel, edges of front and rear panel edged in orange, housed in clamshell box. Designed, painted and bound by the artist, this book uses paper, various metals and polyester. The text is printed by laser on mylar; the mathematical formulas and equations are hand painted on metal inserts in each of the pages / boards. Using Edgar Allan Poe's diacopic masterpiece, THE BELLS (1849), the artist uses this important American text as a basis for visual exploration. The musicality of "The Bells" is reflected in the artist's use of numerical notations / equations. While not musical notations, they do reflect that sensibility - as do the arabesques that link each page spread. The page colors reflect the increasing darkness and frenzy of Poe's text, starting with the bright silver-white opening page spread with bright blue arabesques that run across both recto and verso and the interleaved mylar text page. The silver bells are reflected in the three aluminum inserts on each page - perfectly placed to lead the eye to the smaller text page in the middle. The "golden bells" of the next - not quite gold but more orange-toned - page spread have the mathematical equations written on gold metal, in black, orange, and white and the arabesques running across both pages (in a more frenetic pattern than the preceding page) again highlight the text. The subsequent page spread (alarm bells - fire) is a deeper orange, more frenzied. The iron bell page spread is dark grey - with the painting and inset mathematical formulas drawing the eye in to a very deep, dark place indeed. A masterful book, what one expects from Donald Glaister, who manages to astonish with each new work. Edgar Allan Poe's word mastery and dark visions are perfectly served by the non-representational art, painted on each page, of Donald Glaister.
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