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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Leanne Shapton's NATIVE TREES OF CANADA; Montreal, Toronto & NYC Events

When the Native Trees of Canada arrived in the office this week, I was struck by how simple a book can be, and yet so beautiful. This book pretty much encapsulates what we set out to do with the Petit Livre imprint--showcasing beautiful artwork, perhaps not even comics, in an unassuming format with an equally unassuming price. This book is nothing short of fascinating with page after pager of gorgeous renderings of trees, leaves and seeds in rich tones of deep reds, greens, teals and purples.

If Leanne Shapton's name sounds familiar it should, she is the author of two of my most favorite (non-D+Q, natch) books from the past few years. With Farrar, Straus & Giroux, she created two fascinating uncategoriazble books Was She Pretty? and Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry.

Important Artifacts in particular is mind bending in its unfolding of a love story that was so right and then goes wrong told in the pages of an auction catalogue. While the story seems so particular to the couple in the catalogue, one can't help to mentally compose their own catalogue of stray items, mementoes or cultural references that instantly take you back to memories of a former love or even just a state of mind.

You can also find Leanne's artistry on the cover of books, whether officially like this season's Skippy Dies or unofficially like her book covers of classics for the NYTBR (above), there is also the NY Times Op Ed Page, her publishing company J&L books, and even her writing in the NY Times T Magazine, where she has an ongoing column, "We Three Things", to write about subjects far and wide. To name a few: jello, Atlanta, tabletops, marmalade. Last week, she described her love of empty rooms and the artists who depict them well and how an empty room can be "wait{ing} in quiet anticipation" She also mentions her penchant for looking at shelter magazines such as The World of Interiors {which coincidentally I have on my desk as I like to look at it while on hold!}. I also particularly enjoyed Leanne's segment from last Spring for T Magazine on lips. I think her first sentence of this essay says it all "If the eyes are window to the soul, then the mouth is window to the gut, revealing anxieties, turmoil and hidden appetites."

So what inspired Leanne to create The Native Trees? Leanne happened upon a dusty old government reference book (which I hopes she brings to Montreal this week!) and found beauty in the technical details of indigenous trees of the Great White North. She found this book at the great curio used bookstore the Monkey's Paw in Toronto, where she'll have a launch for the book, after stopping by Montreal. Here are the details:

Thursday, October 28th, 7:00 PM
D+Q Librarie, Montreal
A joint book launch with Sheila Heti

Saturday, October 30th, 6:00 PM
Monkey's Paw, Toronto
A joint book launch with Jason Logan

Sunday, November 7th, 11:30AM-1:00PM
NY Art Book Fair at PS1 Long Island City, NY

Saturday, December 4th
Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival


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