From the Collection: Redfoxpress
The globe-trotting, mind-bending books of Francis Van Maele and Antic-Ham consistently inspire vocal reactions from our visitors.
Artists’ books, simply put, are works of art created in the form of a book. Letterform Archive shows work from our artists’ book collection in every tour we lead. We like to think of each as a complete thought — a thoroughly considered work from start to finish. The materials used to create the book and how the reader interacts with it are equally as important as the images or text the reader sees.
We’re delighted to have several works by Redfoxpress in our artists’ book collection. Originally founded in Luxembourg in 2000 by Francis Van Maele, Redfoxpress is now located on Achill Island (Ireland) and has been co-run by duo Francis Van Maele and Antic-Ham — or Franticham — since 2005. They are creators of screen prints, photographs, stationary, zines, and especially artist books. Redfoxpress participates in book fairs all around the world, including the Bay Area’s very own Codex, which is where we first learned of their work in 2013.
Redfoxpress’ C’est mon dada is a collection of incredible little books “dedicated to experimental, concrete and visual poetry, or any work combining text and image” paying homage to the early artists’ books created by Futurists, Dadaists, and Fluxus artists. Each is handmade, and they feature work by artists from Europe, Asia, Australia, and the US. Letterform Archive has a copy of almost every one of the 116 books.
Like many artists’ books, their works are small-run or limited edition. Bauplan Teilchenzoo (or Blueprint Particle Zoo) by Hartmut Andryczyuk is one of 70. This screen printed accordion book is part of their Blue Fox Collection.
Their city-themed books Berlin, Paris Metro Affiches, and Tokyo Umbrella are beautifully screen printed, small-run treasures giving readers new perspectives of cities and sneak peeks of Franticham’s travels.
You can learn more about Franticham and Redfoxpess’ history, printed works, and on-going projects (like Polaroid Madness) on their website. Also worth checking out is Antic-Ham’s picture diary on Facebook, which captures simple, everyday moments in illustration.
Archive visitors often make requests for books with interesting bindings or formats, books that use hand lettering, things with collage, or “something unexpected.” Pulling material from our artists’ book collection is one way we fulfill such requests. This part of our collection contains important resources for nearly every guest that visits us. Redfoxpress’ books are a major reason for that — Maele and Ham are expert screen printers, using high-quality, unusual materials and a variety of letterforms. We are always excited to show their work.
— Kate Long, Assistant Librarian