Leipzig: Leipziger Bibliophilen-Abend/ Faber & Faber, 1998. Limited first edition. Hardcover. 1/150. Quarto (13-3/4" x 10"). 26 un-numbered leaves. Original quarter orange cloth over decorative paper-covered boards, with purple lettering on the spine. Housed in matching slipcase. This copy (XLI) is one of 150 subscriber copies numbered in roman numerals, with Joshua Reichert's signature in pencil at the bottom of the colophon at the rear. From a larger limitation of 276.
This beautifully designed and printed work by acclaimed German graphic artist Joshua Reichert (b.1937) is comprised of 22 colorful serigraphs, each featuring a stylized letter of the Hebrew alphabet against a dynamic background that generates optical color vibrations. Corresponding text on the facing pages pairs most letters with passages from the Zohar (1:2b-3a, translated from Aramaic to German), the foundational work of Jewish mysticism (Kabbalah). In a playful and inspired conceit, each of these letters appeal to the master of the universe in attempting to making a case for why it should be chosen as the letter - the sound, the word - by which the world will be created. For example, the letter ‘mem’ petitions via its being the first letter of the the word Melekh (king), but fails to win the honor, which of course goes in the end to ‘bet’ as in Bereshit (beginning). Dancing roundly in the tradition of Jewish mysticism with Shimon bar Yochai, Abraham Abulafia and Moshe de León, Reichert's work brings letter magic to vibrant life through skillful command of color theory and printmaking.
Includes a nicely printed insert laid in at the half-title at the front, showing each letter, and its name in Hebrew text as well as a translation into roman script.
Text primarily in German (much of it translated from the Aramaic), with some Hebrew text throughout as well. Lettering finely printed in black, purple and red on a yellow background, on heavy stock textured 'burgu' paper. Pages assembled in the French style on folded leaves with text and illustrations on the outside only. In fine condition. Fine. Item #51719
Winner of Leipziger Bibliophilen-Abend’s eighth annual Leipziger Drucke award. Otiot was printed by the artist and Martin Schimansky at Schumacher Gebler in Munich. Although Reichert is one of Europe’s most noted typographers, the appearance of the letters—an expression of their interior energy—in Otiot is the font "Chaim" which was created in 1929 by the Polish graphic designer, book illustrator and set designer, Jan Le Witt (1907-1991).