Paul Auster Books

Reflections on a Cardboard Box: Created by Samuel Hamady and illustrated by Henrik Drescher

Purchased directly from the estate of Samuel Hamady, originally displayed in the James Watrous Gallery of the Wisconsin Academy. Edition of 100 . 35 x 18 x 0.8 cm (9.75 x 7 x 0.25″); 32 page surfaces (30 printed). Printed in reds, blues, browns, greens, and grays. Titled page calligraphed by the illustrator. Hand-bound by the printer. Printed cloth spine with Sugikawa over thin boards. Box certificate on cover reading ‘Auster-Drescher Container Corp., Hay Hollow, Wisconsin’. Press numbered. Signed by Auster and Hamady. Hamady’s signature dated ‘6 VII 17.’
This is the first collaboration with this author and the third with this artist. As in all creative endeavors, this one, almost Ouija-like, took guidance from the text, including custom-made papers (from Twinrocker and St. Armand) to evoke a corrugated cardboard box. Gill Sans Bold seemed appropriate to the toughness of topic and was reset with paper and copper thins to ease the reader’s eye, the opposite effect of Drescher’s imagery. Alastair Johnston, ‘Life & Death in Driftless, Wisconsin’: ‘So often Hamady has used the binding to extend the meaning of the book – such as Auster’s Reflections on a Cardboard Box (illustrated by Henrik Drescher, 2004), Perishable’s 129th title. It has an entirely calligraphed title-page by Drescher printed in six colors, which has a cover stamped with the kind of seal you see on actual cardboard boxes (the Container Corp in this case is a container of art and ideas).’ Selected by The American Institute of Graphic Arts for ‘50 Books/50 Covers’ 2004 show.
The book is now housed in a custom fit slipcase in Japanese bookcloth with a ribbon pull. Slipcase was hand designed and built by Jason Patrician of The Fish Bindery in Portland, OR in 2023.
The Perishable Press: Mount Hebron, Wisconsin, 2004.

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