SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION
THE GIFTS / I DONI
Gold / Oro - Frankincense / Olibano - Myrrh / Mirra
Published by Edgewise Press, in collaboration with Paolo Torti degli Alberti
Edgewise Press, Inc., in collaboration with Paolo Torti degli Alberti, is proud to announce the publication of a bilingual English and Italian three-volume set in three individual slipcase editions (bronze, terra cotta, paper) entitled: THE GIFTS / I DONI: GOLD / ORO - FRANKINCENSE / OLIBANO - MYRRH / MIRRA.
This special book edition, THE GIFTS / I DONI, which includes literary writing and art, was produced to commemorate the New Millennium. THE GIFTS / I DONI contains sculptures and drawings by Saint Clair Cemin, Not Vital, and Alessandro Twombly, texts by Nanni Cagnone, Demosthenes Davvetas, and Richard Milazzo, and a slipcase sculpture by Abraham David Christian. About the project a critic has written, using the words of an ancient Roman philosopher: “White, milky, caught between the silhouette of an oriental temple and the stylization of a classical column; that is, it is a real meeting between the oriental and occidental. The effect, at any rate, is one of elegant simplicity.” The Gifts / I Doni was presented at the International Book Fair in Turin (Italy), May 2000, at the Esso Gallery in New York, October 2001, and at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2003.
Abstract: Taking a cue from the Three Wise Men bearing gifts and traveling through the deserts of the East to search for a child-king, The Gifts / I Doni: Gold / Oro - Frankincense / Olibano - Myrrh / Mirra renders the mythic journey in more secular, humanistic or ontological terms as the search for the meaning of life. While it is a search that we all must conduct at a certain point and on a certain level, none perhaps do so in more emphatic terms than the artist or writer. And while their gifts — the documents and objects they generate as testament — are clothed in aesthetic raiment, it is often the degree to which they reflect and encapsulate this journey as a fundamental process that determines the significance and impact of their work.
Perhaps this journey is summarized most essentially by the short distance that exists between what is supposedly lowly and supposedly transcendent, and for this reason the artists and writers in this caravan — Saint Clair Cemin, Not Vital, Alessandro Twombly, Abraham David Christian, Nanni Cagnone, Demosthenes Davvetas, and Richard Milazzo — avail themselves of a fly, but one made of incense, and the sun, but one that is as small as a coin in one’s hand. The threshold in between becomes a kind of talisman that we might find in the desert, somewhere between the “ashes of representation” and “streets of gold.” If we seek refuge in this desert, in this outside, in all the libraries of the world that have turned to stone, perhaps it is because, like Balthazâr, we know that we enter this world only in order to leave it. We give nothing that is not already here, in our stories, in the traces of our stay, in the smallest bits of gold, frankincense, and myrrh that we momentarily reshape and leave in our wake. The Gifts / I Doni documents the journey into this luminous void — of life, meaning, and the journey itself.
Volume I: Gold / Oro of the bronze edition of The Gifts / I Donicontains an original sculpture, The Sun, by the Brazilian artist Saint Clair Cemin, in hand-hammered 22-carat gold, measuring 2.2 cms. (1 1/16”) in diameter, and displayed in a detachable, custom-made glass and olive wood unit. There are 7, with 2 A.P.’s, in the bronze edition. In the terra cotta edition, there are 100, and the sculpture is 18-carat gold; in the paper edition, there are 500, and the sculpture is replaced by an original drawing by Saint Clair Cemin, entitled Moors in the Desert, utilizing the lithographic and silkscreen processes, and printed as a gatefold measuring approximately 18 x 54.5 cms. (7 1/16 x 21 1/2”). The sculptures and drawings are produced in Italy, and signed and dated by the artist. All three volumes in each edition also contain a first-edition paperback, July 2000, with an original text by the American writer Richard Milazzo, entitled Streets of Gold, with an Italian translation by Paolo Torti degli Alberti. The book is 19 x 11.5 cms. (7 1/4 x 4 1/2”), 64 pp., sewn, bound and printed in Turin (Italy), with a two-color front and back cover. The frontispiece of the bronze edition reproduces in color a map of “La Terra Santa ai Tempi del Nostro Signore” (The Holy Land in the Time of Christ); the frontispiece of the terra cotta edition reproduces in color a map of “Canaan diviso fra le Dodici Tribù” (Canaan Divided Among the Twelve Tribes); and the frontispiece of the paper edition reproduces in color a detail from the map of “L’Egitto e la Penisola del Sinai” (Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula). From the Biblical Atlas of the Society for the Exploration of Palestine, Florence, 1641, edited and reissued by Revs. W. Wright, D.D., and A. Meille, printed by George Philip & Son, 32 Fleet St., London, England, 1894. (ISBN-13: 978-1-893207-07-3, ISBN-10: 1-893207-07-2)
SAINT CLAIR CEMIN was born in Cruz Alta, Brazil. He studied at the Ecole Nationale Supériore des Beaux-Arts, Paris from 1974 to 1977. He has exhibited in such galleries as Anders Tornberg (Sweden), Robert Miller (New York), Soledad Lorenzo (Madrid), Daniel Templon (Paris), Camargo Vilaça (São Paulo), Lars Bohman (Sweden), Enrique Guererro (Mexico City), Velge & Noirhomme (Belgium), and Cheim and Read (New York). He is represented by the Brent Sikkema Gallery, New York. He is currently preparing a show for Galeria Brito Cimino in Sãn Paulo. He has had museum shows at the Hirshhorn, Washington, D.C., in 1991, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Monterrey, in 1994, Birmingham Museum of Art in 1998, and the Arts Club of Chicago in 1999. In 2002, he had a retrospective in Guadalajara that traveled to the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City. Saint Clair Cemin’s sculptures have been included in such museum shows as the Whitney Biennial, Documenta IX, and the São Paulo Bienal. A monograph on his work, entitled Saint Clair Cemin: Sculptor from Cruz Alta, by Richard Milazzo, has recently been published by Brent Sikkema Editions, New York. It contains 500 black and white illustrations and 154 color plates, and it is 524 pp. He lives and works in New York.
RICHARD MILAZZO was the co-publisher and editor of Out of London Press in the 1970’s. His critical and curatorial work with Collins & Milazzo fashioned the theoretical context for the new Conceptual art of a whole new generation of artists that rose to prominence in the 1980’s. From 1995 to 1997, he founded and curated in New York an exhibition space, 11, rue Larrey at Sidney Janis Gallery. Most recently, Richard Milazzo has curated major one-person exhibitions of Malcolm Morley, Ross Bleckner, Abraham David Christian, Saint Clair Cemin, Sandro Chia, Robert Longo, Alex Katz, Alessandro Twombly, David Salle, Mark Innerst and William Anastasi. Hyperframes: A Post-Appropriation Discourse in Art (the Yale Lectures) in two volumes (Paris, 1988 and 1989) recently went into an Italian edition with Campanotto Editore.
In 1993, after a hiatus of twelve years, he returned to writing poetry, with the volume Le Violon d’Ingres: Sunday Poems and Lineations 1993-1996. Most recently, he has written two major monographs, Saint Clair Cemin: Sculptor from Cruz Alta and The Paintings of Ross Bleckner. Among his other books are Malcolm Morley: The Art of the Superreal, the Rough, the Neo-Classical, and the Incommensurable 1958-1998; Streets of Gold; Caravaggio on the Beach: Essays on Art in the 1990s; Hotel of the Heart: Poems 1997-2001; Jonathan Lasker: Expressions Become Things; Along the Hudson (with drawings by Abraham David Christian); Il Facchino di Venezia (The Porter of Venice): Poems 2002-2003; Green Nights / Golgotha / Love’s Quarrel: Poems 2001-2003; Mute Sirens (with photographs by Carlo Benvenuto); An Earring Depending from the Moon: Poems 2006; Stone Dragon Bridge: Poems 2006-2007; La Porta della Pescheria (The Fishmonger’s Door): Poems of Modena 2000-2008; and Circus in the Fog: Poems 2005-2006. He lives and works in New York City.
Volume II: Frankincense / Olibano of the bronze edition of The Gifts / I Doni contains an original sculpture, Incense Fly, by the Swiss artist Not Vital, made of incense, measuring 0.5 x 2 x 2.2 cms. (3/16 x 3/4 x 7/8”), and displayed in a detachable, custom-made glass and olive wood unit. There are 7, with 2 A.P.’s, in the bronze edition, and 100 in the terra cotta edition. There are 500 in the paper edition, and the sculpture is replaced by an original drawing by Not Vital, entitled Braille Drawing, printed as a gatefold and measuring 18.5 x 56 cms. (7 1/4 x 22”). The sculpture and the drawing are produced in Italy, and signed and dated by the artist. All three volumes in each edition also contain a first edition paperback, July 2000, with an original text by the contemporary Greek writer Demosthenes Davvetas, entitled In the Ashes of Representation, with Italian and English translations from the Greek by Simona Martini and Judy Giannakopoulou, respectively. The book is 19 x 11.5 cms. (7 1/4 x 4 1/2”), 64 pp., sewn, bound and printed in Turin (Italy), with a two-color front and back cover. The frontispiece of the bronze edition reproduces in color a detail from a map of “Armenia, Siria e Mesopotamia” (Armenia, Syria and Mesopotamia). From the Biblical Atlas of the Society for the Exploration of Palestine, Florence, 1641, edited and reissued by Revs. W. Wright, D.D., and A. Meille, printed by George Philip & Son, 32 Fleet St., London, England, 1894. The frontispiece of the terra cotta edition reproduces in color a detail from the map of “Impero Romano” (Roman Empire), and the frontispiece of the paper edition reproduces in color a map of “Egitto e Palestina” (Egypt and Palestine). Made by F.C. Marmocchi for the Royal Library of Turin, and printed by Maurizio Guidoni, via Goita, 7, Turin (Italy), 1861. (ISBN-13: 978-1-893207-08-0, ISBN-10: 1-893207-08-0)
NOT VITAL was born in Sent, Switzerland, in 1948. Since 1971, he has exhibited his sculptures in such galleries as Galerie d’Art Moderne (Chur), Gimpel-Hannover & Andre Emmerich (Zürich), Nature Morte (New York), Ascan Crone (Hamburg), Montenay (Paris), among many others, and has had museum shows at the Bündner Kunstmuseum (Chur), Musée Rath (Genève), the Kunsthalle (Bielefeld), and the Malmö Konsthall (Sweden). He lives and works in Lucca (Italy), Sent (Switzerland), and New York.
DEMOSTHENES DAVVETAS was born in Athens in 1955. From 1982 to 1988, he was an art critic for Libération. In 1999, he received his doctorate in arts and letters at the Sorbonne. He has written catalogue essays for many artists, including Gilbert and George, Georg Baselitz, Cy Twombly, and Joseph Beuys. Among his novels and books of poetry are La chanson de Pénélope (Galilee, 1989), Soleils immatériels (Galilee, 1989), Les manteaux de Laocoon(Galilee, 1991), L’incendie de l'oubli (Galilee, 1992), and Poèmes(Voir, 1995). Demosthenes Davvetas lives and works in Paris and Athens (Greece).
Volume III: Myrrh / Mirra of the bronze edition of The Gifts / I Doni contains an original sculpture, Talisman, by the Italian artist Alessandro Twombly, cast in myrrh, measuring 0.5 x 2.2 x 4.2 cms. (3/16 x 3/4 x 1 5/16”), and displayed in a detachable, custom-made glass and olive wood unit. here are 7, with 2 A.P.’s, in the bronze edition, and 100 in the terra cotta edition. There are 500 in the paper edition, and the sculpture is replaced by a lithograph made after an original watercolor by Alessandro Twombly, entitled The Desert, utilizing a copper engraving process, printed as a gatefold on deckled paper and measuring 13 x 54 cms. (5 1/8 x 21 1/2”). The sculpture and drawing are produced in Italy, and signed and dated by the artist. The three volumes in each edition also contain a first edition paperback, July 2000, with an original text by the contemporary Italian poet Nanni Cagnone, entitled Enter Balthazâr, with an English translation by Paolo Torti degli Alberti. The book is 19 x 11.5 cms. (7 1/4 x 4 1/2”), 64 pp., sewn, bound and printed in Turin (Italy), with a two-color front and back cover. The frontispiece of the bronze edition reproduces in color a detail from a map of “Jerusalem and Environs”; the frontispiece in the terra cotta edition reproduces in color a detail from a map of “Mar di Galilea e Dintorni” (Sea of Galilee and Environs); and the frontispiece of the paper edition reproduces in color a map of “The Kingdoms of Judah and Israel”. From the Biblical Atlas of the Society for the Exploration of Palestine, Florence, 1641, edited and reissued by Revs. W. Wright, D.D., and A. Meille, printed by George Philip & Son, 32 Fleet St., London, England, 1894. (ISBN-13: 978-1-893207-09-9, ISBN-10: 1-893207-09-9)
ALESSANDRO TWOMBLY was born in Rome (Italy), in 1959. From 1986 to 1991, he exhibited with Galeria Alessandra Bonomo in Rome. Collins & Milazzo gave him his first one-person show in New York in 1994. He showed with the Paul Kasmin Gallery (New York) in 1995 and 1998. He had a one-person exhibition of his sculptures at 11, rue Larrey at Sidney Janis Gallery, curated by Richard Milazzo, in 1997. His paintings and sculptures have also been shown at The Drawing Center (New York), Lucio Amelio (Naples), and Laura Carpenter Fine Art (Santa Fe, New Mexico). Most recently, Alessandro Twombly had a one-person exhibitions at Centro Cultural Recoleta in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Gallery Alain Noirhomme in Brussels, and Lefevre Gallery in London. He lives and works in New York and Rome (Italy).
NANNI CAGNONE was born in the Italian province of Liguria in 1939. His books of poetry include What’s Hecuba to Him or He to Hecuba? (New York, 1975), Vaticinio (Naples, 1984), Anima del vuoto (Bari, 1993), Avvento (Bari, 1995), The Book of Giving Back(New York, 1998), and Il Popolo delle cose (Milan, 1998). His first book of collected poems, Armi senza insegue, was published in Milan in 1988. Among Nanni Cagnone’s other books are an Italian translation of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ The Wreck of the Deutschland (Milan, 1988), and a novel, Comuni smarrimenti(Milan, 1990). He currently lives in Bomarzio (Italy).
The Slipcase: All three volumes in all three editions of The Gifts / I Doni encase their sculptures, drawings, and books in paper jackets that reproduce in color details from the map of “Iudaea seu Terra Sancta quae Hebraeorum sive Israelitarum in suas duodecim Tribus divisa secretis ab invicem Regnis Iuda et Israel expressis insuper sex ultimi temporis ejusdem Terrae Provincijs” (Judah or the Holy Land divided among the Twelve Tribes of the Hebrews and Israelites into the separate Kingdoms of Judah and Israel, and showing its six most recent Provinces), made by Gulielmi Sanson, Head Geographer of the Most Christian King, Luigi di Francia, and printed and published by A. Hubertus Iaillot, Paris, 1709. Original slipcase-sculptures, produced in bronze, terra cotta, and paper, have been made by the international artist, Abraham David Christian, to contain the three volume editions of The Gifts / I Doni: Gold / Oro - Frankincense / Olibano - Myrrh / Mirra. Each slipcase is in three parts, and measures approximately 26 x 16 x 21 cms. ( 10 1/4 x 6 1/4 x 8 _”). The bronze edition is an edition of 7, with 2 A.P.’s; the terra cotta is an edition of 100; and the paper is an edition of 500. All are signed by the artist.
ABRAHAM DAVID CHRISTIAN was born in 1952. He has had one-person exhibitions at Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld (1978), Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf (1983), Sprengel Museum, Hannover (1985, 1994), Musée des Beaux-Arts, Calais (1988), and Tallinna Kunstihoone, Estonia (1998). His sculptures were included in Documenta V (1972) and, again, in Documenta VII (1982), and in shows at the Nationalmuseum (Seoul), Museum Ludwig (Köln), Nationalgalerie (Berlin), and Fukuyama Museum of Art (Japan). Abraham David Christian’s sculptures and drawings were recently the subject of a major international exhibition at the Lehmbruck Museum (Düsseldorf) in 2000. A monograph by DuMont accompanied the show. He lives and works in New York and Düsseldorf.