Jess: To and From the Printed Page continues ICI’s history of highlighting the unexpected, and explores the work of a revered artist active in the San Francisco Bay Area from the 1950s to the 1990s. It focuses on the intricately imaginative collages and drawings that Jess created for books, magazines, and other printed matter and traces a rich web of connections—to communities of poets, small independent publishers, and other artists. Infused throughout with Jess’s unique literary sensibility, this publication offers an illuminating view of a bold and idiosyncratic artist.
The images alone—detailing Jess’s collages, comic strips, and illustrations—are enough to draw you in for hours. One of the few publications dedicated to the under appreciated artist, Jess: To and From the Printed Page includes a text by exhibition curator Ingrid Schaffner, who highlights Jess’s timely works, which clearly resonate today. The book also includes a prologue by distinguished poet and longtime Jess admirer John Ashbery, and an essay by noted poet and literary scholar Lisa Jarnot. The book concludes with a unique glossary of terms used or coined by Jess and his circle, as well as a list of the small presses that produced the books and other printed matter they authored, making this title a must-have for any independent book lover.
As one reviewer writes:
“I came across one small work by Jess while visiting a small museum recently, and was utterly taken by its mysterious quality, both erotic & ominous, achieved through collage of kitschy figures with more subtle, understated images. I’d never seen anything quite like it & immediately wanted to know more about the man & his work. This volume is the perfect introduction to both.”
Recommended by Fran Wu Giarratano, ICI Exhibitions Manager
2007. Prologue by John Ashbery, essays by Ingrid Schaffner, and Lisa Jarnot, glossary by Thomas Evans and Brandon Stosuy. 112 pages, 55 color; 35 black-and-white illustrations. 8.5 x 10.5 in., softcover. ISBN: 0-916365-75-1.