Paulette Myers-Rich, “Quartet #2, River Reveal”

clamshell box with letterpress printed codex and double-sided gravure prints mounted on board in hand-made flax wrappers

open codex, with box and double-sided gravure prints mounted on board in handmade flax wrappers

8×10” double-sided gravures mounted on board assembled as panorama, with 4×5” quarters in handmade flax wrappers

various gravures laid out for assembling with codex opened to instructions page

various gravure prints laid out in one of many possible configurations


Paulette Myers-Rich (New York, NY)

Quartet #2, River Reveal
Photogravure, letterpress, boxmaking
Edition of 5
Dimensions open: variable sizes from 4×5″ to 8×10″; 20×16″ assembled
Dimensions closed: 10.75 x 8.75 x 1.75″ boxed

The Quartet series are interactive artist photo-bookworks comprised of four-4×5 inch photogravure prints that have been quartered from four-8×10 inch prints. The larger prints are references for assembly and can be joined to make a 16×20 inch panoramic image of the site. The viewer handles and repositions the 4×5 inch prints to either reassemble the larger images or create new arrangements.

The conceptual basis underlying this work is an exploration of the activity of framing and the decisions made during the act of photography. The quartered prints allow new, visually dynamic compositions removed from the logic of representation.

The prints are quartered – cut evenly and arbitrarily without regard to the composition of the image. Each of these cuts references the act of framing, yet the random result is contrary to the act of taking a photograph. When one is composing through the camera, many decisions are made. The selection process is deliberate or planned by the photographer and results in what is an aesthetic, as well as a representational, illustrative or documentary image.

The size of this work corresponds to the dimensions of analog photography paper and film. The quartered 4×5 inch images reference the sheet film used in large format view cameras and the act of arranging and composing the photograph under a black cloth, deploying tilts and swings and various manipulations until satisfied with the resulting image. This framing and composing is a deliberate, selective process. In viewing Quartet #2, repositioning the quartered prints underscores the decision-making process inherent in analog photography. The variables in both are many and offer a multitude of possibilities.

Quartet #2 is from the River Reveal series; an observation of a site once lived and worked upon, then demolished- resulting in abandoned rubble and dumped rubbish mounds buried by leaves, dirt and river silt sprouting weeds and trees mingling with vine later exhumed by storms, floods and the wake of boats upon the Mississippi River at Lilydale. Revisited from time-to-time as the seasons changed, 2005-2007.