|Title||Look On This Wonder|
|Artist / Creator||Rutherford Witthus|
|Press Name||Phi Press|
|Artist's Nationality||United States|
|Place of Publication||Walpole, New Hampshire|
|Process / Technique||Inkjet|
|Structure / Binding||Paper prisms as a myriorama|
|Number of Pages||25 prisms/pages|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||15 x 15 x 3 inches|
|Edition Size||Edition of 5|
Hedi's genius involves paper, toys, play, folds, mobility, action, articulation, structure and elegance. Many of my books include male nudes (which always makes Hedi smile) so I made the male body prominent. Hedi was recently playing with myrioramas, sets of illustrated cards, each with a linking element, that can be arranged and rearranged to form different pictures. I chose a prism as my structure and a square as the element that links the pieces together in this playful myriorama. On one side of the prism are lines from Whitman's I Sing the Body Electric. Each prism is a page that can be moved around randomly within or outside the book. The pages can also be stacked on top of one another to form three-dimensional chapters. The questions of what constitutes a page or a book remain as unresolved here as they are in Hedi's work. Touching the fragile paper prisms is like touching the model's body, which adds an element of sensuality, an ever-present feature in Hedi's work.
Artist BioRutherford Witthus has worked with books for most of his life, starting in high school as a page in the Denver Public Library, where he was introduced to the world of rare books and fine editions by curator Harry Mooney. His subsequent interest in ancient philosophy led him to the University of Denver, where he received a BA and an MA in Philosophy. He taught there as an instructor during the tumultuous late 1960s and early 1970s. An additional degree in Librarianship and Information Management allowed him entry into the professional library world, where he specialized in archives and manuscripts. After working for a number of years at the Denver Public Library and the University of Colorado at Denver, he finished his career at the University of Connecticut's Thomas J. Dodd Research Center as Curator of Literary and Natural History Collections. As a retirement gift to himself, he enrolled in the Book Arts and Printmaking MFA program at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. His interest in book structures was ignited in classes taught by Hedi Kyle, with whom he independently studied the design of Asian books. Combining his interest in ancient languages and book structures, he is currently working on a series of books of literary fragments.