Illuminations, Published in 2014, $4500
Marking twenty years of the Double Elephant Press Michael Kuch is publishing ILLUMINATIONS -- An Acrostic Martyrology. Modeled after an illuminated manuscript, it contains mezzotints of invented martyrs with marginalia of illuminated relief-etchings.
The work revolves around thirteen images of imaginary icons who are martyred by their own enlightenment. One is impaled by shafts of ineluctable light, and another, lifted to glory by the stones of critics. These images are mezzotints with further etching -- hence Kuch is calling them "mezzo e mezzotints."
In the manner of an illuminated manuscript, the thirteen martyrs are surrounded by tangential marginalia. This decorative imagery predominantly reference post-enlightenment science. The marginalia and text are composed of nearly 100 small relief etchings a la Blake. These are hand water colored by Kuch using hand-made watercolors from Kramer pigments.
The marginalia and text appear on the page preceding each mezzo e mezzotint martyr with a window cut in it. This allows for viewing of the martyr with the colorful marginalia as well as on its own in stark black and white when the page is turned.