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Campbell, Ken, 1939-

Broken rules and double crosses / by Ken Campbell.

[Norwich, England] : Ken Campbell, 1984.
Physical Description:
[108] leaves : chiefly ill. ; 48 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio A N 183
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
"... a book by Ken Campbell, written, designed and printed by him during his Brinkley Fellowship in the Department of Graphic Design of the Norwich School of Art 1983-84."
"I had this idea of making grids that spun in different ways, and they turned into certain drawings and certain paintings ['Dervish Grid', 'Dervish', 'Garden in Sfad']. But also out of them came a concern with the cross as a meeting place, the crossroads, the Christian cross. I looked at the cross and thought, it's kind of like a body--a head, two arms, and two legs put together. It became an interesting little design proposition: what would be the proportion of the arms to the head to the legs, what would be the thickness of the thing? I invented a typographic forme, a thing that would constrain the pieces of metal that would make this thing happen in the bed of the press. I decided that the unit that I would use to build up the cross was a twelve-point rule, the standard measure for type materials in the days of hot-metal relief printing. I worked out the proportion by trial and error ... I was then faced with the problem of getting the rules to any particular length, so I snapped them to make them cruel and Christ-like and suffering; there's a jagged edge to the ends of these elements. These rules were put together in groups of ten deep to make a rectangle, and these rectangle were printed, so that in the centre they overlapped, and [where] they overlapped there was ink upon ink. It became very sculptural. The book was printed two crosses at a time as twinned pairs ... An ancient Gnostic tradition held that Christ had a twin, Judas Thomas. A mirroring twin, or brother, can be seen as an image of improvement and be embraced laterally, eliminating vertical authority ... The main poem is titled 'Of officers and men' and is dedicated to the fallen of the First World War."--Ken Campbell, from The word returned.
A visit to Jerusalem prompted this exploration of a diagram giving the many variations of an articulated Christian cross. The limbs are formed from painfully snapped pica printing rules overprinted at the center up to four times to give a variety of black. Verses and text by Ken Campbell point to Muslim and Jewish notions of trying to do work well. Wrapped in a silkscreened shroud.
Comprises 56 folded sheets, printed letterpress on double leaves in Chinese style; one page silkscreen printed. Wrapped in silkscreen printed fabric, in green cloth box.
Edition of 50.
Original archival material related to this work is available in the collections of the Yale Center for British Art, Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts (Ken Campbell Collection, MSS 25).
Campbell, K. Ken Campbell: an artist's books, 3
Facing the page : British Artists' books: 1983-1993. p. 33.
Word returned: artist books by Ken Campbell, 5
BAC: British Art Center is no. [27] of 150 copies. Signed by artist.
Subject Terms:
Artists' books -- Great Britain.
Campbell, Ken, 1939- -- Publisher.
Crosses -- In art.
Symbolism in art.
Artists' books -- Great Britain.
Norwich School of Art.

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