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Prosek, James, 1975–

The peacock & the cobra / James Prosek.

Additional Title(s):

Peacock and the cobra

Peacock & cobra

Norwalk, Conn. : Center for Contemporary Printmaking, [2008]
Physical Description:
10 sheets, 1 matchstick ; in box 27 x 39 x 6 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio A 2017 7
Yale Center for British Art, Friends of British Art Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
"This artist's book consists of 5 intaglio prints (plates 3 and 4 hand-colored), one linoleum cut, one handmade matchstick, essays by Harold Bloom and Ahmad Iftikhar, and colophon page with contents, set in 12 pt. Berling Bold. It is an edition of 20, numbered 1-20, with 4 artist's proofs numbered I-IV, 1 CCP archive proof, and 1 printer's proof. Each intaglio print was printed on Magnani Pescia paper. Linoleum cut printed on Moriki Japanese paper. All editions were printed by Anthony Kirk with the assistance of Chris Shore, at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking in Norwalk, CT, in association with Waqas Wajahat LTD, New York. The portfolio box was designed and built by the artist, and final boxes assembled at Imageworks, Westport, CT, by Mark Bunger."--Colophon.
The slip box is designed to resemble an oversized matchbox, with title: "Peacock & Cobra. Multanshire Matchworks safety matches."
BAC: British Art Center copy is no. 11 of 20; inscribed by the artist in graphite on the colophon page, with small drawing of a cobra. Housed with a Säkerhets Tändstickor matchbox cover that served as inspiration for the project (see copy of artist's letter).
"The portfolio takes the form of a colonial-era matchbox from Multanshire, a fictional amalgam of a South Asian and British region. Hybridity, a term used both in biology and in cultural studies, holds a special fascination for the artist. In the final folio of The Peacock and the Cobra, Prosek portrays the two creatures fusing into a single being ... Prosek's visual reflection on their combined form is both thoughtful and provocative, and experiencing the work in a South Asian context probes the unexpected cultural dialogue that constitutes global art in a modern world."--Ainsley M. Cameron, exhibition brochure for The peacock and the cobra: James Prosek among the arts of South Asia (Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2013-2014).
Subject Terms:
Artists' books -- United States.
Cobras in art.
Great Britain -- Colonies -- Asia.
Nature in art.
Peafowl in art.
Stevens, Wallace, 1879-1955.
Yeats, W. B. (William Butler), 1865-1939.
Artists' books.
Etchings -- 2008.
Etchings -- Hand-colored -- 2008.
Drypoints -- 2008.
Linocuts -- 2008.
Matches (fire-making equipment)
Bloom, Harold.
Ahmad, Iftikhar (Doctor of Agriculture)
Shore, Chris.
Kirk, Anthony (Printer)
Waqas Wajahat (Firm)
Center for Contemporary Printmaking (Norwalk, Conn.)

  • Contents (from colophon page): Peacock and Cobra, cover, digital print with silkscreen and ground walnut shells (texture on strike pad) on paper, wrapped around handmade cardboard slip box
  • Peacock and Cobra, Black and Red, linoleum cut
  • Matchstick, wood, wood epoxy, enamel paint, and burned image
  • Title page
  • The Encounter, etching and drypoint
  • The Conflict, etching and drypoint
  • The Mangoes, hand-colored etching with drypoint
  • The Emergence, hand-colored etching with drypoint
  • The Resolution, etching with drypoint
  • W.B. Yeats, Wallace Stevens and the Peacock, essay by Harold Bloom
  • Mangoes, essay by Ahmad Iftikhar.

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