Jean Arp (1886-1966), Vers le blanc infini [Toward the Infinite White] (Lausanne, Paris: La Rose des Vents, 1960). Eight etchings with aquatint printed by Georges Leblanc; letterpress poems printed by Féquet et Baudier. Copy 395 of 499, signed by the artist. Graphic Arts GAX 2010- in process
In the last years of Arp’s life, he created two beautiful livres de peintres. Ver le blanc infini begins with an etching, followed by a poem, followed by an etching, and so on. Eight poems interspersed with eight prints. Neither is the print an illustration of the poem, nor is the poem a reaction to the print. The works were created by the same man and represent his late period art, but are in no way an integration of image and text. In this way, Arp obstructs the convention of the livre de peintre just as the prints and poems confound his self-defined practiced of automatic (free-conscious) writing and drawing.