21st Editions, London Art Fair 2014
February 28, 2014
A few weeks back I took time away from printing to visit the London Art fair, one of the main reasons being to visit the 21st Editions stand. I have been following the progress of this unique publisher ever since I saw them at Photo London in 2004 and have started to acquire a number of their publications when funds permit as there currently is no publisher in the world that is creating books with original prints to such a high standard, incorporating a number of alternative photographic printing processes most notably platinum. I always look forward hearing about new offerings and viewing them in person when possible.
One particular book that I wanted to cast my eyes on was 21st editions second original print publication on Imogen Cunningham. It had just been completed and was available to view at the stand. Following on from the successes of their first book on Cunningham entitled ‘Platinum Prints’ which sold out within a few weeks of it being announced, see figure 1 & 2, the second covers her early Symbolist work which was originally shot on glass plates, see figure 3.
This new publication contains nine tipped in platinum prints and three 3 loose gum over platinum prints and included poetry and prose by William Blake. The platinum prints were masterfully created by my good friend Stan Klimek who I have worked with in the past. He is one of the finest printers in the world today and capable of printing large editions, in this instance over 400 prints were created for this particular project. One of his skills is to be able to restore old negatives/plates and the Imogen Cunningham glass plates certainly needed his expertise.
Having had a good look at the prints at the stand they certainly do not disappoint. Printed on Rives BFK the prints had all the qualities of great platinum prints. The gum over platinum prints were special too, they almost had some of the wonderful reflective qualities you get with Japanese papers. Other titles on display that I really enjoyed were Michael Kenna’s book of exquisite platinum prints entitled Huangshan and Masoa Yammoto ‘s platinum book.
Overall it was well worth the visit, as with all 21st Editions’ original print publications you really need to see them in person to fully appreciate the quality of the platinum printing, letterpress text and artisan bindings.
For further information visit 21st Editions here.