Idiot Pages by Rosaire Appel
I purchased a copy of the hardcover version with dust jacket. Worth it! This is an absolutely wonderful book and a benchmark in the world of asemic publications. Start to finish, every page of this substantial, nearly 200 page black and white book is a full bleed detail of an intensive exploration of mark making. While full of interesting variety, there is an overall unifying sensibility to the book in its totality. Like a sound engineer for musical recordings, Appel took great care to edit, adjust and manipulate many of the digital files of the handmade surfaces of her works on paper to exploit the printed page environment to great effect creating an illusion of translucence in some pages and other subtle surface manipulations in others that make the reader wonder what kind of paper the book is printed on.
From Appel’s Blog about the book:
“Last summer, taking a break from digital creations, I made dozens of drawings on 20” x 26” papers using ink or pencil or charcoal or marker. I also drew on a large whiteboard and photographed it before erasing. The pleasure of simply making marks on paper is, well, idiotic. Without reason. The repetition of hard short attacks, or quick sweeps, dashes, punctuations — the experience is more physical than visual. The major impetus for this project was a desire to resist the urge to make images, or patterns, or suggestive scribbles – to resist the urge to communicate. I began to think of them as energy fields.
“Idiot Pages” is complied from these drawings. Since the actual drawings are large, these are details. The book is a record or reminder – a souvenir from a summer of mark making.”