In the classic tradition of xylographic printing, both image and text in Erde und Feuer are produced from woodcuts designed by the Leipzig artist Frank Eissner (born 1959) and printed on Bunko Shi paper. Originally trained in lithography, Eissner now specializes in relief printing, operating Eissner Handpresse since 1989, where he publishes limited edition artists’ books. For this volume, he collaborated with his colleague publisher Jens Henkel and “Blank Generation” poet Holger Benkel.
“His work—books made entirely in wood block printing, books in a wonderful form with most carefully chosen texts—is not intended for the general public, but merely for a small circle of connoisseurs, whose affection for each printed work has to be won anew. …Eissner’s language consists of expressive figures combined with equally dominant, almost abstract parts which give an appearance of painting due to the transparent imprint of Eissner’s color range. Eissner is not interested in a large number of copies, but rather in experimenting with wood blocks in a new way. …Eissner’s lean figures symbolize asceticism and uninhibited physicality, his colors quiet and silence.”—Wolfgang Grätz, Büchergilde Artclub (2004)