Paper cut alphabet and alphabetical prophecies in English and French on multi-colored papers. Letterpress typography, 4.8 x 8.5 inches, Edition of 20. $420
Based on a poem by the French writer Raymond Queneau, in French with English translation, 3 parts forming a hopscotch game, letterpress typography,
eight color etchings, 9.2 x 8.6 inches, edition of 30. $850
What motivates me to make artists books is the incredible flexibility and invention that if offers as a medium. An artist book is a voyage, an adventure, both in the making and in the viewing. No two pages are alike in my books and the viewer is invited to see what happens next. The form is inspired by the subject or the text. For example, a hopscotch court of paper for the La Marelle (Hopscotch), based on a text by Raymond Queneau; pages cut in the form of the tide rolling onto the beach, for the Waves of Virginia Woolf, or the double opening for the dual use of the alphabet—one side, cut-out letters, the other side, a language game of prophecies.
As a printmaker, I started out by solely using prints, but now incorporate photos, numbers and cut paper images. All of the books use letterpress typography as I enjoy the collaboration with a typographer who can help to interpret and add to the meaning of a text.
Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Shirley Sharoff lives and works in Montreuil, near Paris. She studied printmaking at the Atelier Friedlaender and the Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts in Paris. In the 1980’s she became interested in the contemporary artist book, an artform which has always existed in France but limited to a certain format. In 1987 – 88, she spent a year in Beijing teaching English, which led to the creation of her artist book, The Great Wall and to her continuing fascination with Chinese culture and language. Her books can be found in numerous French libraries and the Bibliothlèque Nationale, as well as in the US and the UK. Articles concerning her work have appeared in the French publication Arts et Métiers du Livre and the Cutting Edge of Reading :Artists Books by RR and J Reese.