A Mimeo Classic That Isn't

If the publications of Lines Press have a distinctive look, works/aram saroyan is a perfect example.  Simple, classic mimeo, right.  Wrong.  None of the publications of Lines Press were run off a mimeograph machine although they certainly look as if they were.  Many people, including myself, have described them as mimeograph publications, but they were all offset.  Some of them were even professionally typed.

Offset makes perfect sense.  The process of printing a Lines publication is like a Donald Judd sculpture that Judd conceived and designed but contracted out the actual construction elsewhere.  Talk all you want about Ed Ruscha and the many Flux books from the 1960s, but the classic Lines Press titles I think hold an interesting conversation with those more talked about and noisy publications.  Judd's work from 1966 will provide the foundation for speaking of works/aram saroyan alongside Twenty-Six Gasoline Stations or Every Building on Sunset Strip.

Before I got a copy of works/aram saroyan, I assumed they were 8 X 11 like Lines magazine or Perreault's Camouflage.  works/aram saroyan is actually smaller, though not a pocket book by any means.  Make no mistake there is a tremendous sense of space despite the minimal nature of Saroyan's works and it smaller dimensions.  works/aram saroyan is by no means ephemeral.  It is solid and dense.  Like a piece of stainless steel.  Mimeograph is the wrong technology here; offset is the proper (and I would suspect deliberate and calculated) choice.

works/aram saroyan is quite simply a beautiful book.  In fact a minimalist artists book.



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