Friday, October 21, 2011

A tribute to Gertrude Huston and Naomi Savage

Entangled Man after GH(51), 2011 - Douglas Prince

Entangled Man after NS(66), 2011 - Douglas Prince

The credit for the image is here:
"Cover by Gertrude Huston for the 1951 New Directions edition of A Dark Stranger"

Julien Gracq is an incredible French writer who died in 2007 at the age of something incredible like 99. I think you would like his first novel, written when he was still affiliated with the Surrealists, The Castle of Argol. I have an anthology from the "View" folks (Charles Henri Ford's magazine) which is dedicated to the novel itself!

Gertrude Huston was the wife of New Directions' founder and publisher James Laughlin (they're both now dead). She designed a lot of their covers.

Naomi Savage seems to have been famous for photocopying and manipulating images, which I think is a viable form of artistic expression. Gracq and her uncle Man Ray were surely good friends, and I have no doubt she had the novel in her collection, photocopied and manipulated it. I bet she even knew Laughlin and Huston, and felt her work was an appreciation of the original book cover.

Will Schofield

credit for Naomi Savage image:  Flexible Images: Handmade American Photography, 1969–2002  by Robert Hirsch at  Light Research