R U S S E L L   M A R E T
& K U B O A A

The Center for Book Arts is pleased to present an exhibition of artist bookworks by Russell Maret. Mr. Maret, a printer and bookmaker since 1989, is the proprietor of Kuboaa, a small press which produces fine letterpress editions and one-of-a-kind books. During the last seven years, he has created a body of work that manifests his unique aesthetic and demonstrates a level of skill not usually evident so early in a career. This exhibition showcases bookworks created at the Center for Book Arts by Mr. Maret before and during his 1996 Artist-In-Residency. Mr. Maret started printing while a poetics student at the New College of California and apprenticed with Peter Koch in Berkeley, California. He was also Resident Printer of Adrian Wilson's Press in Tuscany Allley. In Boston, Mr. Maret worked as Associate Printer, Monotype Caster and Chief Linotype Caster of Firefly Press until settling in New York to start Kuboaa. All of the books in this exhibition were designed, printed and bound by Russell Maret (except where noted). The books are divided between Kuboaa, which is specifically a collaborative press, and Russell Maret, which are written and occasionally illustrated by Russell Maret.

The exhibition includes:

Meditation on Saviors by Robinson Jeffers  (Kuboaa, 1994). The book's type, a classical Roman face originally designed for the Oxford Lecturn Bible, was printed on a non-Western paper and bound into a Japanese structure to emphasize the contrasting inspirations for Jeffers' 1926 meditation on solitude, God and Empire.

Images of a Voice by Mary Louise Cox  with lithographs by Lou Hicks (Kuboaa, 1994). This book was designed to open into a complete standing circle to mirror the spiral motif of the cover lithograph and to echo the cyclical content of the poems, which represent a span of sixty years in the poet's life.

Elements by Robert Bringhurst  with drawings by Ulf Nilsen, technically manipulated by Russell Maret (Kuboaa, 1995). Elements was a collaborative meditation on Earth, Air, Fire & Water, which employed material as an integral part of its illustrative techniques.

Incidents by Daniel Kharms , translated by John McGonigle (Kuboaa, 1996). Designed & illustrated by Mikhail Magaril & Russell Maret. This book was designed in scale, material and technique to be a freewheeling foray into futurism and the absurd.

The Players & Paradigms of the Commedia Dell' Arte (Russell Maret, 1995-96). Interpreted by Russell Maret, the text describes the characters of the Commedia Dell' Arte with anecdotal fragments. It is illustrated with drawings excerpted from various 17th & 18th Century sources. Inspired by the colors and costumes of the Commedia Dell' Arte, this book presents a lively cast of characters, followed by a visual portrayal, in picture book form, of a typical performance. The images were printed in watercolor paint on wet paper to heighten the romantic feel of the scenes.

Noise for Sloane. A Series of Four Books by Russell Maret (Russell Maret, 1996). The Noise series was an exploration of typographic interference and an attempt to create sound on the silent page.

Commedia Dell' Arte Alphabet (Russell Maret, 1996). This alphabetical sentence was composed during the process of printing it, borrowing the spontaneity of improvisation utilized in the performances of the Commedia.

Man'yóshú (Kuboaa, 1996). Translated by Ian Hideo Ley. Selected and illustrated by Russell Maret. Japanese poems from the 6th and 7th Century were printed on handmade translucent paper and illustrated with abstract imagery in clear ink and 23 karat gold.

Mr. Maret's books are in the collections of the New York Public Library, The Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, the Gleeson Library, Brown University Library and Houghton College Library at Harvard, as well as other private and public collections, and have been exhibited throughout the United States and Europe.