Booklyn Artists Alliance

Emily K. Larned, Red Charming, Bridgeport, CT

see also Red Charming

Search Results, 2006

Parfait 2, 2005

Galois Fields, 2004

Parfait 1, 2003

Thrift Store, 2003

Walking Middletown, 2002

Syntax Machine, 2001

Seeing Trilogy, 2000

About Red Charming


Selected Exhibitions

Search Results


2006, edition 50, 8.5 x 6.5 x 1 inches, 32 pages, printed silkscreen & letterpress, bound back to back in Corx covers & anti-static bag sealed with industrial numbered stickers.


For this book, the artist conducted searches-by-title on LEO, the New York Public Libraryís online catalogue, by formulating questions such as How do and Where are. The resulting lists of book titles are at once funny, poignant, strange, sad, earnest, remarkably current, and urgent. It is the age of information and everyone is looking for answers.


The titles are paired with an excerpt from Isaac Asimovís 1984 book How did we find out about computers?, which was located by the artist in the stacks of the NYPL. The text anticipates all the technologies of convenience we use today, from internet shopping to search-within-a-book to to RSS feeds. Asimovís optimism puts in relief the undercurrent of dark anxiety inherent in the titles of the books.

Search Results was produced using two technologies, that of the book and that of the computer. The book titles are handset in Stephenson Blake Grotesque no. 18 and printed letterpress. The Isaac Asimov text was designed on a Mac, and then outputted onto transparency and printed silkscreen on caution-yellow Fabriano Ingres paper. The book is bound back-to-back, with corrugated plastic Corx covers, and opens as a laptop.

Why Dogs Smile and Chimpanzees Cry
Why donít haircuts hurt?
Why donít it look like the way that it talk?
Why donít sheep shrink when it rains?
Why donít they give them guns?
ĎWhy donít they learn English?í
Why donít we go somewhere and love
Why donít we try staying home?
Why donít you carve other animals
Why donít you do right (Get me some money, too)

Who is a Jew?
Who is a Sikh?
Who is a stranger, and what should I do?
Who is afraid of Adam Smith?
Who is afraid of the dark?
Who is afraid of Virginia Ham?
Who is Ayn Rand?
Who is baseballís greatest hitter?
Who is baseballís greatest pitcher?
Who is black?
Search Results can be found in the collections of Library of Congress, Wesleyan University, University of Washington, Multnomah County Public Library, Scripps College, University of Southern California, University of Vermont, and Chapman University. It is reviewed by Clifton Meador in JAB 21.


Parfait 2


Winter 2004-2005, edition 285, 5.5 x 4.25 x .25 inches, 96 pages, letterpress cover, photocopied interior, coptic bound

An artist's workbook of ideas: essays, creative nonfiction, pictures, & experiments. Topics include (but are by no means limited to): Paul McCartney's solo records, Norwegian knitting patterns, natural history museums, Alain Delon vs. Jean-Paul Belmondo, category mistakes, modernity in the mid-19th century, reviews of out-of-print books, Red Pandas, grammar workbook errors, and the relative scariness of dry vs. wet monsters.


Issues of Parfait are collected by Tate Britain, Yale University, London College of Printing, University of Pennsylvania, University of New Mexico, Amherst College, Wells College, Trinity College, Indiana University, University of Colorado, Trinity College, Otis College of Art + Design, University of Kansas, University of Iowa, Multnomah County Public Library, University of Washington, Wesleyan University, University of Vermont, Connecticut College, and University of Missouri.


Galois Fields


Revolution. Love. Death. Mathematics.

2004, edition 55, 9 x 9 x 1 inches, 32 pages, silkscreen & letterpress, Frost-inspired binding, title stamped in 22 karat gold

Before he was 21 years old, the 19th century French mathematician Evariste Galois failed classes and experienced his fatherís suicide, published a revolutionary treatise and was expelled from school, joined the National Guard and threatened the life of the king, narrowly escaped cholera and died in a duel. He also discovered the mathematical concept of Group Theory, which has served as a model for the solution to the Rubikís Cube and the World War II Enigma Code, as well as the crucial background theorem for Einsteinís General Theory of Relativity.

Galois Fields tells both these stories: the life lived as well as the life of the ideas, living on, even now, 172 years after the death of young Galois. It is a romance of ideals & ideas told in three ways: through a stunning biography, a fascinating exploration of Group Theoryís many applications and implications, and also a gorgeous visual illustration of Group Theory in 13 unique silkscreens created especially for this book.

On each page, the fantastical events of Galoisí brief life unfold in paragraphs set in Garamond Bold, printed in black, illuminated by Dutch Initial caps printed in dusky gold. Simultaneously, an explanation of Group Theory, set in Stephenson Blake Grotesque no.10 and printed in deep magenta, develops in long lines at the bottom of the page. Also on every double-page spread is a full-bleed pattern of fleur-de-lys, silkscreened in white, which radically transforms into 12 different mathematical patterns with each turn of the page.
galois cover.jpg

Galois Fields is in the collections of the Library of Congress, Temple University, Wesleyan University, Lafayette College, University of Missouri Columbia, Multnomah County Public Library, Reed College, Stanford University, Yale University, Smith College, Skidmore College, Columbia University, University of Washington, University of Louisville, Bucknell College, Wellesley College, UCLA, Scripps College, and the University of Vermont.


Parfait 1


2003, edition 250, 5.5 x 4.25 x .25 inches, 84 pages
letterpress cover, photocopied interior, coptic bound. OUT OF PRINT; available to standing order subscribers only.

The first installment of Parfait has 84 pages of decorative initials, drawings, & creative nonfiction: the value of things, pit bulls in sweaters & sharks in mittens, Goodwillís Fashion Forecast, childhood games, 12 merits of the Pika as articulated by a fictional ESL fan, Harveys Bristol Cream, used books to stop buying, a 1950s life insurance companyís promotional item, the things lost in moving, wax museums, the claws of crabs, various NYC locations of interest, and the recipe for the best chocolate cake. Ever. See Parfait 2 for collections.


Thrift Store: The Past & Future Secret Lives of Things


2003, edition 50, 3.25 x 5.5 x .25 inches, 40 pages, letterpress cover, photocopied pages, screw post bound. OUT OF PRINT; available to standing order subscribers only


24 striking 35 mm color photographs of the objects and interiors in thrift stores: a close-up of a rack of colored leather jackets, a stuffed animal next to spatulas, rows and rows of couches, piles of paintings and picture frames. Illuminating the photographs are four new essays (two of which extend in fold-out pages) exploring the topics of Organization & Entropy as a Model for the Universe, Narratives of Material Culture, the Relativity of Value, and the Metaphysics of Object-ness within the context of a thrift store. Color-copied photographs and black & white photocopied text; front & back hardcovers printed letterpress in two colors; stab bound with aluminum screw posts.

Thrift Store can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Library of Congress, University of Colorado, Otis College of Art + Design, Occidental College, Multnomah County Public Library, Reed College, University of Washington, Wesleyan University, Oberlin College, Long Island University, and Williams College.

We are thrilled to report that the limited edition Thrift Store has been expanded and published as a full color, hardcover, 96 page book published by Ig Publishing. You can buy a signed copy from Booklyn on the Buy Booklyn portion of this site, or an unsigned copy from wherever books are sold.


Walking Middletown


2002, edition 50.

A portrait in 24 Polaroids of one of the 14 Middletowns in the USA. It happens to be Connecticut, but the sad shabbiness of the sagging porches, peeling paint, innocuous architecture, abandoned factories, and gutted cars could be anywhere. A true Anytown, USA.


The book is presented folded up, 3.25 x 3.25 x 1.25 inches, in a sleeve. Slipped out of the sleeve, the bookís 24 panels open, slowly, in many different directions, such that unfolded (to 17 x 38 inches) on a flat surface it takes the shape of a town's geography, with its blocks and dead-ends. The unpredictable process of unfolding guides the viewer through the town, as she doubles back, turns right, looks closer, turns left. The color photocopies are mounted on black Mulberry covered museum board, and hinged with the same Mulberry. The title page and colophon are printed letterpress on handmade brown St. Armand paper. The sleeve is also printed letterpress in two colors on handmade blue Khadi paper.

Walking Middletownis in the collections of Tate Britian, Victoria & Albert Museum, Library of Congress, Connecticut College, Wesleyan University, Smith College, Swarthmore College, Williams College, University of Washington, University of Colorado, Arizona State University, University of Vermont, Indiana University, Maryland Institute College of Art, Long Island University, University of Missouri Kansas City, Library of Alexandria, and Multnomah County Public Library.


Syntax Machine


2001, edition 35, 8 x 6 x .5 inches, 20 pages. OUT OF PRINT; available to standing order subscribers only.

Letterpress printed from handset type & commercial cuts of electrical parts, aluminum cover. A lyrical meditation on the precise and nearly mechanical structure of both the synthetic and the natural worlds, from the composition of cities to that of novels, from skeletal structure to that of DNA.


Machines and the machines of things, their gears and flywheels, pistons and rods: the mechanical parts, and their mechanization. Not just the round blackness of letters, but also the pontificating points of punctuation. Not just the strings of sentences, but that order of them, the what after the who.

Syntax Machine can be found within the collections of the Getty, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Walker Art Center, Library of Congress, Hofstra University, Scripps College, Stanford University, Swarthmore College, Mount Holyoke College, Williams College, University of Minnesota, University of California Santa Barbara, New York University, Wesleyan University, Yale University, Multnomah County Public Library, Reed College, University of Washington, Dartmouth College, Carnegie Mellon, Florida Atlantic University, Athenaeum Music and Arts Library, Harvard University, University of Southern California, and Ohio University.


Seeing Trilogy


2000, edition 25, box measures 6 x 5.5 x 6 inches. OUT OF PRINT; available to standing order subscribers only.

The Seeing Trilogy, a boxed set of 3 letterpress artist books, investigates how the way we see fundamentally shapes human experience. Titles include Look See Language, Forgetting the Visual Field, and The Eye is A Camera (shown).

Seeing Trilogy was the artist's senior thesis at Wesleyan University, and has been collected by the Smithsonian Institution, the Getty, Library of Congress, New York Public Library, University of Connecticut, Middlebury College, University of Washington, California College of Arts and Crafts, University of Wisconsin, and Wesleyan University.



Amherst College; Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, La Jolla; Brooklyn Museum; Bucknell University; California College of Arts and Crafts; Carnegie Mellon University; Chapman University; Columbia University; Connecticut College; Dartmouth College; Duke University; Florida Atlantic University; Getty Research Institute; Harvard University; Hofstra University; Indiana University, Bloomington; Lafayette College; Library of Alexandria, Egypt; Library of Congress; London College of Printing Elephant & Castle, UK; Long Island University; Middlebury College; Mills College; Mount Holyoke College; Multnomah County Public Library; Museum of Modern Art; New York Public Library; New York University; Oberlin College; Occidental College; Ohio University; Otis College of Art & Design; Pacific Northwest College of Art; Reed College; Scripps College; Smith College; Smithsonian Institution; Stanford University; Swarthmore College; Tate Britain, UK; Temple University; Trinity College; University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, Santa Barbara; University of California, San Diego; University of Colorado, Boulder; University of Connecticut, Storrs; University of Iowa, Iowa City; University of Kansas, Lawrence; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; University of Missouri, Columbia; University of Missouri, Kansas City; University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; University of Southern California; University of Vermont, Burlington; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Wisconsin, Madison; Victoria & Albert Museum, UK; Walker Art Center; Wellesley College; Wesleyan University; Williams College; Yale University


Selected exhibition history

Poetry Books: Reading Books, Broekhuis Bookshop, Enschede, the Netherlands

Evolution of Cut + Paste, Asheville Bookworks, NC

100 Artists' Books, University of Southern California

Spotlight on Special Collections, Occidental College

Artists' Books Exhibition, Smith College

Construct, Florida Atlantic University

Euclid to e-books: ideal books moving ideas, Hofstra University

Treasures of the John Wilson Special Collections, Multnomah County Public Library

The Artist Turns to the Book, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles

Retrospective Red Charming, Parsons School of Design Library, New York City

History of Artist Books, The Seoul International Book Arts Fair, South Korea

Open House: Working in Brooklyn, Brooklyn Museum, New York

Making Meaning: the Artist Book, Kansas City Art Institute, Missouri

Binding Structures: Book Artists Look Back, Swarthmore College Library, Pennsylvania

(Self)Publish or Perish, Open Space Arts Society, Victoria BC, Canada

bibliocosmos, Reed College, Portland, Oregon

Page Me, SPACES Gallery, Cleveland, OH

(Re)Readings: Artists' Books Now, Gallery Lux, San Francisco

Rare Books of the Future, Center for Book Arts, New York City


About Red Charming

Red Charming is the production label for all projects by Emily K. Larned. The name is an imaginary bad translation, meaning "an object or an aesthetic that combines the viusally pleasing with the cerebral."

Books are manufactured objects that have been the primary receptacles of human knowledge for the past 2,000 years. The status of the book as both product of culture and producer of culture makes it a particularly poignant form in which to explore the idea that knowledge itself is produced, not an a priori fact. Engaging this concept, most Red Charming artist books are inquiries into history and science: how we know what we know... When RC books are not directly epistemological, they focus on acute observation and assist the reader in seeing an environment in a new way.

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