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GROOM, Jon

Man And The Sea Shell

Munich: Edition X, 1994

Folio. Original brown boards, lettered in grey on spine. Double-thick pages, unopened but with blank inners. A fine copy in the original card slipcase.

First edition, SIGNED BY THE ARTIST, AND WITH A CORRESPONDENCE FROM HIM LAID IN.
This livre d'artiste, whose images accompany an English translation of Paul Valéry's essay L'Homme Et La Coquille, was issued in two series of 115 copies, one in English and one in German. This is an unnumbered, hors de commerce copy from the English series. Very scarce: only one copy shows in institutional libraries [Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich].
The accompanying correspondence runs to four items, all from the early 1990s: two handwritten postcards, and two ALS on Groom's distinctive notepaper. The recipient of all four was David Gothard, co-founder of the Riverside Studios in London. In 1978 the Riverside staged Groom's first solo exhibition, and the following year Groom worked as a carpenter there to pay the rent on his first studio. He quickly graduated to become an artistic collaborator, working with the choreographer Rosemary Butcher to create Shell, Forcefields And Spaces for the Riverside in 1981. Groom's letters to Gothard look back fondly on past times there: 'I am rereading Beckett with whom I peed with [sic] in the convenience next to the kitchen and between the bar at those old studios in Hammerscmitt [sic].' Also laid in are two handwritten postcards to Gothard from Groom's then partner, the book artist and printmaker Sonja Landberg, and three exhibition fliers -- including one for Groom's solo debut at the Riverside.
A rare book, in fine condition, and with a unique association.

£650.00


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