2017 ‘Pests of Public Importance’ at International Print Center New York

Pests of Public Importanceon view at IPCNY’s New Prints 2017 Winter exhibition

Pests of Public Importance, 2017, edition 126, $100 ($65 pre-publication)
3 x 2.25 inch woodcut and letterpress boustrophedon accordion book
April Vollmer: woodcut
Esther K. Smith: concept, book structure, design
Dikko Faust: letterpress, typesetting
Publisher: Purgatory Pie Press
With an eponymous poem by Georgia Luna Smith Faust
available from Purgatory Pie Press
Dikko Printing on his Vandercook
Also available uncut as a flat print in an edition of 50

For Pests of Public Importance Vollmer worked closely with Esther K. Smith on the idea and structure of a letterpress printed book. The Pests of the title are mosquitoes, carriers of a multitude of diseases beginning with but not ending with zika, yellow fever, dengue and malaria. The importance of these pests has increased exponentially this century because of the combination of transcontinental travel and global warming. There seems to be a mosquito species perfectly evolved for every small ecological niche in the ever more interconnected world. The power of these pests is in their numbers and their power of replication, which is reflected in the woodcut print with its rhythm of insects framed with a repeating classical palmette frieze.

Everything is handmade in this project: the detailed cutting was done with special Japanese tools and a magnifying light; the block was printed with oil-based ink by master letterpress printer Dikko Faust. Georgia Luna Smith Faust’s poem is a perfect compliment to the block print, resulting in a satisfying collaboration that is as elegant as it is disconcerting.

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Pests of Public Importance

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Author: adminapril

April Vollmer is a New York artist who studied mokuhanga after receiving her Master of Fine Arts in printmaking at Hunter College. Her work has been shown widely and she teaches Japanese woodblock regularly at the Lower East Side Printshop. She has participated in many residencies including the Nagasawa Art Park in Japan, and was on the board of the first and second International Mokuhanga Conferences. Her book "Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop" was released in 2015 by Watson-Guptill.