List of Monumental sculpture projects 2015

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Sunday, 24 January 2016

好奇藝術 Kunstkammer 58 : Best Illustrations Alice in Wonderland

好奇藝術 Kunstkammer 58  :  Best Illustrations Alice in Wonderland

Now that I have started to draw portraits - which I have not done much of since I started it in highschool.  I am looking at all the story book illustrations.  The precious paper quality of books and stories.  So I begin with one of my favorite books : Alice in Wonderland.

I found a starting list from the blog brainpickings.

(Because, you know, it’s not a tea party until somebody flips the bird.)
Should you find a surviving copy, Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland Illustrated by Ralph Steadman is an absolute treat in its entirety. See more of it here.
In 1959, three years before the publication of hergorgeous illustrations for The Hobbit and nearly two decades after her iconic Moomin characters were born, celebrated Swedish-speaking Finnish artist Tove Jansson was commissioned to illustrate a now-rare Swedish edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland(public library), crafting a sublime fantasy experience that fuses Carroll’s Wonderland with Jansson’s Moomin Valley. The publisher, Åke Runnquist, thought Jansson would be a perfect fit for the project, as she had previously illustrated a Swedish translation of Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark — the 1874 book in which the word “snark” actually originated — at Runnquist’s own request.
When Runnquist received her finished illustrations in the fall of 1966, he immediately fired off an excited telegram to Jansson: “Congratulations for Alice — you have produced a masterpiece.”
What an understatement.
In 2011, London’s Tate Museum published an English edition of Janssen’s Alice, but copies of that are also scarce outside the U.K. Luckily, this gem can still be found in some public libraries and, occasionally, online.
See more here.
One of the most beautiful editions of the Carroll classic is also one of the earliest color ones — a glorious 1949 edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (public library), illustrated by artist Leonard Weisgard. The vibrant, textured artwork exudes a certain mid-century boldness that makes it as much a timeless celebration of the iconic children’s book as it is a time-capsule of bygone aesthetic from the golden age of illustration and graphic design.
“Words mean more than we mean to express when we use them,” Lewis Carroll once wrote in a letter to a friend,“so a whole book ought to mean a great deal more than the writer means.”
That’s what British artist John Vernon Lord — one of the most imaginative literary illustrators working today, who also gave us those spectacular recentillustrations for James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake — sought to embody in his special ultra-limited-editionThrough the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (public library), published in 2011 in a run of only 420 signed and numbered copies, of which 98 came with a special set of prints.
Lord writes in the afterword to his glorious edition:
There is hardly anything new to be said about Lewis Carroll’s two ‘Alice’ books. So much has been written about them. Their contents have been probed by the scalpels of psychoanalysts, literary theorists, annotators, enthusiasts and the journalists. Perhaps I should include illustrators among this group, for it is the illustrator’s duty to get to grips with the text and thus make a visual commentary upon it.
Readers of the text and viewers of the illustrations also make a book their own. Each one of us interprets stories and pictures in our own way and each one of us is unique. . . . [But] I think we have to be careful not to look for too many possible meanings that we might think may be lurking within the text of Carroll’s Alice books. It is very tempting to do so and many writers have done just that, sometimes disturbingly, often without evidence, and sometimes in a most delightfully illuminating way.
And yet Lord’s own illustrations invite a wealth of meaning — the most “delightfully illuminating” kind possible. He argues that illustrators of classics like Carroll’s have the special duty of “confounding people’s expectations,” as readers are already well familiar with the stories and long “to be given a different slant to a familiar narrative.” I was fortunate enough to hunt down one of these rare editions — here’s a taste of Lord’s unparalleled genius:
If you’re able to track one down, do treat yourself to a copy of Lord’s Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There — it’s absolutely gorgeous. See more of ithere.
In 1969, Salvador Dalí was commissioned by New York’s Maecenas Press-Random House to illustrate a special edition of the Carroll classic, consisting of 12 heliogravures — one for each chapter of the book and an original signed etching in four colors as the frontispiece. Distributed as the publisher’s book of the month, the volume went on to become one of the most sought-after Dalí suites of all time — even rarer than Dalí’s erotic vintage cookbook and his illustrations for Don Quixotethe essays of MontaigneRomeo and JulietThe Divine Comedy.
Down the Rabbit Hole
The Pool of Tears
A Caucus Race and a Long Tale
The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill
Advice From a Caterpillar
Pig and Pepper
Mad Tea Party
The Queen’s Croquet Ground
The Mock Turtle’s Story
The Lobster’s Quadrille
Who Stole the Tarts?
Alice’s Evidence
See more, including a hands-on video tour of the folio case, here.
In 2012, Yayoi Kusama, Japan’s most celebrated contemporary artist, unleashed her signature dotted magic onto a gorgeous edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (public library) from Penguin UK and book-designer-by-day, analog-data-visualization-artist-by-night Stefanie Posavec.
Since childhood, Kusama has had a rare condition that makes her see colorful spots on everything she looks at. Her vision, both literally and creatively, is thus naturally surreal, almost hallucinogenic. Her vibrant Alice artwork, sewn together in a magnificent fabric-bound hardcover tome, becomes an exquisite embodiment of Carroll’s story and his fascination with the extraordinary way in which children see and explore the ordinary world.
Kusama’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a breathtaking piece of visual philosophy to complement Carroll’s timeless vision. See more of it, including a short trailer, here.
Those of us enchanted by imaginative pop-up books — from an adaptation of The Little Prince to the life of Leonardo da Vinci to a naughty Victoriana — are bound to fall in love with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: A Pop-up Adaptation (public library) by pop-up book artist and paper engineer Robert Sabuda. Originally published in 2003 — three years after Sabuda’s equally enchanting adaptation of The Wizard of Oz and five years before his take on Peter Pan — the book is a kind of “Victorian peep show” version of the Lewis Carroll classic.
Then the Queen, quite out of breath, said to Alice, ‘Have you seen the Mock Turtle yet?’
‘No,’ said Alice. ‘I don’t even know what a Mock Turtle is.’
‘It’s the thing Mock Turtle Soup is made from,’ said the Queen.