Artist Book Spotlight: Mutterfarbe by Erin Mickelson and Brandi Katherine Herrera


Mutterfarbe by Erin Mickelson

Mutterfarbe by Erin Mickelson

Poetic and Visual Experiments with Goethe’s Zur Farbenlehre

Mutterfarbe is a work of experimental text + visual translations and poems by Brandi Katherine Herrera. Using Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s seminal work, Zur Farbenlehre (Theory of Colors, 1810) as a primary source. Working during a residency in Germany, Herrera translated sections of the text from German to English for the first time since Charles Eastlake’s 1840 edition. Here, the language of color is transformed in order to provide fresh perspective on an archaic text, and allow Goethe’s words to re-imagine themselves within a more contemporary conversation.

Mutterfarbe by Erin Mickelson

Mutterfarbe by Erin Mickelson

This limited edition artist book was designed and produced by Broken Cloud Press (Santa Fe, NM), the imprint of artist Erin Mickelson. The book is comprised of separately bound sections, each a standalone piece, (measuring approximately 5.5 x 5.5 inches each) enclosed in an archival box:

• The first section, Natürlicher (vis-à-vis land, animal), is comprised of color swatches and accompanying poems (based on colors sourced from the author’s environment) printed on loose pages held together in a folio.

• The second section, Ursprünglicher (origins, experiments), is comprised of erasure poems & illustrations (“visual translations” of Goethe’s original illustrations), and includes drum leaf binding and blind impressions.

Mutterfarbe by Erin Mickelson

Mutterfarbe by Erin Mickelson

• The third section, Farbe Gespräch (speaking of color), is an imagined text convo with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe using contemporary language & technology, while watching Jodorowsky’s iconic surrealist film The Holy Mountain and discussing the use of color therein. This section includes leporello binding and pop-up elements.

• The book’s back matter (including translator’s note & color source photos, scans of the original erasures, and the translation) is bound in three pamphlet stitched books.

This project recently debuted as an installation at 23 Sandy Gallery, which included not only the book, but also collaborative sound and video components.

Read more about this work and see additional photos here.



How to Purchase Mutterfarbe: For further information or to order this work click here. Or, send an e-mail to Laura.

Now Showing in the Gallery!


On view through December 17, 2016

Please join us for an artists reception: Saturday, November 5, 2016, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

23 Sandy Gallery is pleased to present Pop-Up Now II, a juried exhibition of pop-up and movable artist books. Pop-up books captivate and excite the child in all of us. They come to life as three-dimensional works of art hidden inside the pages of a book. Pop-Up Now II showcases handmade artist books that pop-up, move, slide, twirl, whirl, and even light up. One of the best aspects of book art is the opportunity to push the definition of movable books and tackle deeper subjects. It’s easy to make a whiz-bang pop-up, but book artists are very adept at pushing further and rounding out the book with more context. We are thrilled that so many artists were inspired to make pop-up and movable books that tell a bigger story.

Click here to see our online catalog for Pop-Up Now!

Explosive Politics by Ed Hutchins

Explosive Politics by Ed Hutchins

Pop-Up Now II features the following artists: Charlene Asato, Angela Batchelor, Anita Bigelow, Mary Beth Boone, Ruth Bryant, Susan Collard, Jan Dove, Don Drake, Katie Nelson Harper, Patricia Heimerl, Kyra E. Hicks, Ed Hutchins, Diane Jacobs, Paul Johnson, Bryan Kring, Jihae Kwon, Mary Jeanne Linford, Susan Lowdermilk, Amy Lund, Kimberly Maher, Celeste Maia, Mary V. Marsh, Emily Martin, Dorothy McCuistion, Lise Melhorn-Boe, Cathryn Miller, Bettina Pauly, Meryl Perloff, Dawn Peterson, Katie Preston, Camille Riner, Michelle Segal, Judy Sgantas, Krista Sharp, Carolyn Shattuck, Stephen Sidelinger, Lynn Skordal, Marilyn Stablein, Carmen Tostado, Elsi Vassdal Ellis, Zoe Waller, Thomas Parker Williams and Dorothy A Yule.

Top image: left to right © Emily Martin, Dorothy A. Yule and Elsi Vassdal Ellis.
Bottom image: Ed Hutchins

Celebrating the Dead Feminists!

Gun Shy by Chandler O’Leary and Jessica Spring

Gun Shy by Chandler O’Leary and Jessica Spring

NOW SHOWING at 23 Sandy Gallery

Makeready: Dead Feminists from Print to Page
Jessica Spring and Chandler O’Leary

On view through October 29, 2016

Artists Reception and Book Signing: October 22, 2016

Since beginning their Dead Feminists series of letterpress-printed broadsides in 2008, collaborators Chandler O’Leary and Jessica Spring have featured 24 different women from history, connecting their words and stories to current social and political issues. The newest chapter in the series is the publication of Dead Feminists: Historical Heroines in Living Color a book about the series published by Sasquatch, set for release on October 11, 2016. The concurrent exhibition at 23 Sandy Gallery delves into the process of creating both the prints and the book, from original drawings and ephemera to the latest print in the series to be revealed concurrently with the book release.

Dead Feminists by Chandler O'Leary and Jessica Spring

Dead Feminists by Chandler O’Leary and Jessica Spring

Each signed and numbered limited-edition broadside in the Dead Feminists series is letterpress printed by Jessica Spring and illustrated and hand-lettered by Chandler O’Leary. A portion of the proceeds of each piece is donated to a cause that aligns with the issue highlighted by the artwork.

Click here to view our online catalog for this exhibition.

“Dead Feminists offers well-researched and meticulously illustrated insight into some of America’s inspiring historic heroines—but it also goes way beyond that. This book is a profound and super-smart look at feminist craft, creation, and collaboration, and reminds us that what goes on behind the scenes can be just as powerful as the finished product. I am so grateful to Chandler and Jessica for allowing us into their radical world.”
— Kate Schatz, author of Rad American Women A-Z and Rad Women Worldwide

Title Nine Iron by Chandler O’Leary and Jessica Spring

Title Nine Iron by Chandler O’Leary and Jessica Spring

Broadsides are a form of street literature popular from the 16th to the mid-19th centuries as large printed sheets of paper, designed to be plastered onto walls. By the mid 19th century, the advent of newspapers and inexpensive novels resulted in the demise of the street literature broadside. Today, broadsides are a popular artistic endeavor for printers, publishers and designers. Most are letterpress printed and feature poetry or literature combined with typography or hand lettering and illustrations.

Jessica is the proprietor of Springtide Press, where she designs, prints and binds unique artist books, broadsides and ephemera, incorporating handmade paper and letterpress printing. Small finely-crafted editions consider historical topics and popular culture from a unique perspective. Jessica has a MFA from Columbia College Chicago Center for Book & Paper, and now lives and works in Tacoma, Washington.

Chandler is an illustrator and lettering artist. She has a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, and creates her own line of prints and paper goods under her in-house brand Anagram Press. She also does lettering and illustration work for publications and brands throughout the U.S., and posts her sketchbook drawings on her illustrated travel blog, Drawn the Road Again. She lives just a few blocks from Jessica in Tacoma.

Click here to view our online catalog for this exhibition.

23 Sandy Gallery Blog