January 11 – March 3, 2001
Andrew Roth is pleased to announce Apotheosis, published by Fulvio Ferrari.
Apotheosis (2000) is dedicated to the life’s work of Carlo Mollino (1905-1973). It is published in a limited-edition of 18 copies, each consisting of 18 signatures. The unbound book is oversize in folio proportions: 15 by 11 inches, made from Italian rag paper, typeset in letterpress, and encased in a felt chemise secured with a purple velvet tie that wraps around a gold disc mounted to the cover. The black-and-white and color reproductions are printed in the extravagant stochastic technique, which produces vivid, saturated tones. In addition, there are a variety of unconventional materials employed: green and red velvet, lace gloves, objects embedded in Plexiglas, a miniature bronze cast of a horse, mirror, feathers, red enamel car paint, and gold leaf.
Each of the 18 signatures addresses an aspect of Mollino’s creative output, conceived as a suite of short printed performances. Mounted on the cover of the folded case that holds the loose sheets is thick black glass on which is printed (in real gold type) a statement written by Mollino that sets the tone for the cacophony of events that ensue: “As a Chinese of rank adorns his mausoleum during his lifetime, so I am preparingóin this late maturity of mineóa corridor in my home, as a kind of sunset road, with a succession of photographs and other souvenirs of my life: all are beautiful, or almost all.” As the book unfolds, we confront Mollino’s obsessions and creations. Highlights include a reproduction of the special round, wooden frame Mollino designed to exhibit his butterfly collection (a mirror mounted to the back reflects the view of the reverse side of the butterfly); a photograph from the interior of the Miller House (named after Lee Miller), which he designed in Torino to use exclusively as his photographic studio; a photograph of the surrealist plaster capital (designed to fit the shape of a nude torso) produced with his close friend, the artist Italo Cremona; photographs of the renowned ski instructor Leo Gasperl traversing the slopes in the Alps (Mollino published the first photographic book in 1950 on skiing techniques — it was shot in the ’30s prior to the advent of ski lifts); a color photograph of Mollino himself seated behind the wheel of the bright-red race car (the Bisiluro) he designed and drove in the 1954 Le Mans race; and a suite of semi-erotic, heavily retouched Polaroids of women he produced in the ’60s.
Accompanying the book, we will present an array of original Mollino works: a selection of rare vintage black-and-white photographs from the ’30s and ’40s; 20 original Polaroids from the ’60s; the original plaster capital; an unusual door designed for a public building in Cervinia from the ’50s; and an oversize photographic panel (created as a mural for a private residence) picturing an 18th-century German engraving of a tree.