Books

1. Laudes Creaturarum.



1992

 

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Unbound, protected by a wrapper. Housed in a handmade drop-spine box covered in esparto grass paper. Custom made plexyglass reading stand.

Original drawings, initials and signature seals by Stefan Arteni. Designed and printed by Myriam S.P. de Arteni. English translation by Barbara Carle. Sixteen folios 37.3 x 57.5 centimeters (15 x 23 inches). Edition of twenty-six. Colophon numbered and signed by the designer and artist.

Poem by St Francis of Assissi. Fifteen original sumi ink drawings interspersed within text and on wrapper. Text handset in Goudy Old Italian and printed letterpress on handmade Papel Zepia. Handcarved initials and signature seals hand impressed with Chinese red seal paste.

Everything that remains to our world of the man knows to us as St. Francis of Assisi is addressed to our most intimate nature. His words illuminate such fundamental concerns as the nature of existence, life, death, the self, and what is beyond the self. As a focus for meditation, Laudes Creaturarum, known also as The Canticle of Brother Sun, conveys through archetypal symbols the ultimate visualization of the serenity and joy of the world.

 

The imagery of the sumi drawings must be approached in terms of the endless juxtaposition, contrast and harmony of signs and symbols: an Egyptian hieroglyphic, the American Indian sign for abundance, an imperfect circle as the expression of the inexpressible. Things are not what they seem, nor are they otherwise.




2. A Small Book Of Engraved Mountain Stone Seals



1993

Seal engravings by Stefan Arteni imprinted by hand through the application of vermillon seal paste. Bound in shuincho format. Housed in a handmade cloth covered box, designed by Myriam S.P. de Arteni. Accompanied by a blank stone seal to be engraved by the artist with the collector's name. 3 1/2 x 5 inches. One-of-a-kind book, signed by the artist.

Seal, or chops as they are commonly called by Westerners, were favored by the Chinese literati as a cultivated pursuit. Ancient script styles were seen in a non-continuum in which the artist should achieve an inner response to the model, rather than imitate it.

"A small book of engraved mountain stone seals" an album of seal impressions, contains the traditional complete collection of the artist's signature seals up to 1993.




3. Encountering Sorrow



1993

Gold edged shikishi boards,with seal engravings by Stefan Arteni, impressed by hand through the application of vermillon seal paste. Bound in orihon format between boards covered in silk brocade. Protected by a maruchitsu wrap-around case. Housed in a handmade box designed by Myriam S.P. de Arteni containing a blank seal to be engraved with the collector's name by Stefan Arteni. 7 x 9 1/2 inches. One-of-a-kind book, signed by the artist.

Seal engraving, or seal cutting, and important aspect of the literati's tradition, is a combination of literature, calligraphy, engraving, and tactile experience.

"Encountering Sorrow" is a variation of speech for the title of the masterpiece by Ch'u Yuan, immortalyzing the quintessential spirit of the many personal and metaphysical implications of dissident loneliness, within the conceptual framework of a meditation on art, life and knowledge. The text, in the ancient form of seal script, has been engraved in a variety of compositional schemes.




4. A Large Book Of Recently Engraved Stone Seals



1993

Seal engravings by Stefan Arteni impressed by hand though the application of vermillon seal paste. Bound in shugacho format between boards covered in silk brocade. Housed in a box designed and made by Myriam S. P. de Arteni containing a blank seal to be engraved by Stefan Arteni with the collector's name. 6 1/2x10 inches. One-of-a-kind book, signed by the artist.

Seal cutting or engraving is an aspect of Chinese art, little known in the West. The same word (yin) is used for both printing and seals or chops.

"The Large Revealed In The Small" and "All Quite At Random," two intimate poems of respectively five and seven characters verses, have been compiled by Stefan Arteni mainly from inscriptions on classical Chinese paintings, as a deeply personal response paralleling the individualism of 17th century monk painters in an era of trouble and grief. The book, whose subtitle might be "Word as Image", unfolds in time and space revealing unexpected thoughts on art and life.




5. The Large Emerging from the Small



1994

Foreword by Myriam S. P. de Arteni. Suite of fifteen sumi ink drawings by
Stefan Arteni on handmade Papel Zepia. Three letterpress pages handset in Goudy Old Italian and printed on Handmade Papel Zepia. Bound in orihon format. Housed in a handmade box. Designed and printed by
Myriam S.P. de Arteni. 12 1/2 x 15 inches. One-of-a-kind book. Colophon signed by designer and artist.

Brush work is not conceived of simply as a decorative device. It is meant to exemplify a view of being. The brush strokes follow subtle principles of positive and negative design. They are diagrams of the dynamic but harmonious balance of the universe. Expressing oneself through calligraphic brushwork, one borrows from the insight that understanding is wordless.




6. A Book Of Collected Seal Script Carvings



1994

Seals engraved by Stefan Arteni, impressed by hand through the application of vermillon seal paste, with cicada - wing rubbings of side inscriptions. Bound in shugacho format. Housed in a box designed and made by
Myriam S. P. de Arteni. 7 1/4 x 10 3/4 inches. One-of-a-kind book. Signed by the artist.

The East, with its deep-rooted effacement of the individual, accomplishes through allusion the resonance with classic texts, moving to another dimension of awareness and release, when all has been silenced. Symbols are personalized. The carved words explore the wavering between urbanity and self-immersion in the norm of quiet, the forgotten vow for a reclusive life in an age of dislocated identity. It is the music of a silence.




7. The Thinker as Poet



1994

Twelve poems by Martin Heidegger translated into English by A. Hofstadter. Original calligraphy and drawings in sumi ink on Japanese handmade paper by Stefan Arteni. Unbound, protected by a wrapper. Housed in a handmade box designed by Myriam S. P. de Arteni. Fifteen folios 16 x 22 inches. One-of-a-kind book. Colophon signed by designer and artist.

Man has withdrawn so far from himself that he no longer sees himself at all. Knowledge has progressed to the point of cancelling itself out. Man's history appears as data at once incomplete and yet too abundant. The flight of the gods, the destruction of the earth, the standardization of man, are nothing less than signs of this darkening. To say: saga. Man possesses language in order to say who he is and to give testimony. All of man's creation testifies to his dwelling on the earth. The task of cultivating and caring (Colere, Cultura) finds its avatars in the artist, the poet and the thinker. They are the sayers who more daringly say.




































8. Casual Writings By A Window



1995

Original calligraphy and seal engravings by Stefan Arteni. Seals impressed by hand through the application of red seal-paste. Bound in accordion format. Housed in a handmade box designed by Myriam S. P. de Arteni. 11 x 16 inches. One-of-a-kind book. Signed by the artist.

The basis for this meditation on art and life is the way of the pilgrim drifting from place to place, searching for a way to apprehend truth directly. The text uses mainly five and seven characters for each line.




 

9. Ai Tai I's Carvings



1995

Seal engravings by Stefan Arteni impressed by hand through the application of vermillon seal-paste. Bound in accordion format. Housed in a handmade wrapper designed by Myriam S. P. de Arteni. 6 5/8 x 10 inches. One-of-a-kind book. Signed by the artist.

This album of seal-impressions (yinpu) contains the complete collection of engraved stone seals carved by Arteni to date.




10. Wandering



1995

Poem by Muso Soseki translated into English by W. S. Merwin and
Soiku Shigematsu. Sumi ink monotypes by Stefan Arteni. Two letterpress pages printed by Myriam S. P. de Arteni. Bound in accordion format. Housed in a handmade box designed by Myriam S. P. de Arteni. 9 1/2 x 10 3/4 inches. One-of-a-kind book. Signed by the artist.

This album of sumi monotypes, based on variations on the characters for pilgrim (unsui: clouds and water), is inspired by Muso Soseki's poem about the wandering seeker. They are assemblages of pictures having an improvisation character, heightening the awareness of emptiness by compositional cohesiveness and varying textures.




11. Cantique de Saint Jean



1996

Poem by Stephane Mallarme. Original calligraphy and monotypes interspersed within text by Stefan Arteni. Paper hand made in China, Mexico, and the Philippines. Designed and bound by Myriam S. P. de Arteni. Box made by
Myriam S. P. de Arteni. Edition of 2. 12 1/2 x 15 1/2 inch (31.7 x 39.2 cm.) Signed by designer and painter.

The echo of an inexpressible can be heard in CANTIQUE DE SAINT JEAN, the last part of Mallarme's Herodiade. He sings of the nearness of the power of the word. The word appears as the mysterious wonder. It rings out in silence.

In a dark and deprived time the poet utters the holy: a language that responds to and recalls the unspoken. Images are bidden to come to this place of meeting. Rhythm, that what forms the movement of dance and song and poem, fittingly reemerges in the essential schemata of Byzantine painting tradition.




12. Democratie



1996

Poem by Arthur Rimbaud. Sanguine etching ink calligraphy and monotypes by
Stefan Arteni. Bound in a flutter format. Housed in a handmade box designed by Myriam S. P. de Arteni. 16 x 12 1/2 inch. One of a kind. Signed by the artist.

A historical crisis produces an age of uniformity. It happens that the superficial framework of our civilization finds the mass-man possessed of no truth of his own.

An intense and fast dream, this fragment from the "Illuminations" discloses images in a pure state.




13. Fool of a Cat



1997

Haiku by Issa, translated into English by Lewis Mackenzie. Original linoleum cuts by Stefan Arteni. Design, mounting and handmade drop-spine box by
Myriam S. P. de Arteni. 7 1/2x 12x 1/2 inches (accordion book)
7 1/2x 54 1/2 inches (hanging scroll) Edition of 9.

Contrary to common belief, each cat has its own personality, thrives for purrfection and has a strong sense or purrpaws. There were many important cats in history and culture: Purricles of Athens; Cato the Roman; Leopardo da Vinci, artist; Will Shakespurr, writer; etc.




14. Coda



1997

Poem by Daniel Simko. Sumi ink monotypes and calligraphy by Stefan Arteni. Bound in accordion format. Housed in a handmade box designed by
Myriam S. P. de Arteni. 9 1/2 x 10 3/4 inches. One-of-a-kind book. Signed by the artist.

With few words, the poet achieves a quiet lucidity, a minimalist presentation that is paradoxically resonant with levels of interpretation. Zao Wou Ki said: "There is in the word 'nature' a notion of a cosmic world, a melange, a mixing of space and silence." In its elegant simplicity, the imagery functions on both the descriptive and the symbolic levels at once.

The historical knowledge of mental and physical dislocation and thus the mutation of heritage through a strategic appropriation of the signs and techniques of Oriental calligraphy, enables the painter to freely improvise a movement born of meditation.


























15. River Bank



1997

Poem by Tu Fu, translated into English by Rewi Alley. Sumi ink monotypes and callygraphy by Stefan Arteni. Bound in accordion format. Housed in a handmade box designed by Myriam S. P. de Arteni. 9 1/2 x 10 3/4 inches.One-of-a-kind book. Signed by the artist.

Tu Fu, the wandering scholar-artist, forced into hermit-like existence, turned to poetry as a form of psychic self-defense, in a movement from one time of pain into another. Through symbiosis of calligraphic abstraction and painting, Arteni's monotypes suggest ceaselessly reinvented, renewed spaces, perpetually vibrating. The dispersal or dark masses, blacks and greys, amplify the transparencies and make the whiteness of the paper resound more.

© 2001 Stefan Arteni
& Myriam S.P.de Arteni
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