Vamp and Tramp Bookseller, LLC logo Home New Arrivals Broadsides Fine Press & Artists' Books Resource Books Search Instagram Contact Us/Order/Inquiry


John Gerard ~ Germany
(Gerard Paperworks)

Share this page: "John Gerard, an American artist and papermaker, has been working in the paper medium for over 25 years. Gerard’s dominant theme for his work is 'paper as image.' His images and handmade books are variations of the many sided possibilities of artistic expression within the medium of paper. The multitudes of thicknesses, inner structures, surfaces, its ability to assume subtle color nuances, as well as the unmistakable tactile qualities are integral parts of his work."

Last Judgements
Text and images by Fritz Best
Rheinbach, Germany: John Gerard & Fritz Best, 2010. Edition of 35.

8.5 x 6.1" (21.5 X 15.5cm); 84 pages consisting of 7 chapters, each 12 pages long. Text/image pages interleaved with semitransparent pages carrying watermarks. Processes: offset lithography, hand coloring, and relief printing. Embossed linen binding in a slipcase. All text and images by Fritz Best. Signed by Best.

John Gerard: "Last Judgements is a book about the 7 virtues and 7 deadly sins by 7 family members on 7 days of the week with 7 activities. Of course, there are seven watermarked (very complex) sheets in dark flax and seven complex watermarked sheets in white flax (these all correspond to the printed sheets behind them)."

Fritz Best: "The underlying narrative describes the anatomy of a family. This is interwoven with associated themes which deal with virtue, vice, and the passage of time."

Printmaker and bookmaker Fritz Best was born in London, but has lived in Berlin since 1997.

Fritz Best, About Books: "Looking at most visual works of art is a public experience. A book is private. Most paintings on the wall are looked at standing; head raised level with the horizon. Everything you see on the wall or gallery floor is read in relation to the horizon and surrounding physical space. Reading a book is an inward looking process. …

"Sometimes I make books because I want to hold your attention for a longer stretch of time than I could expect to do with my paintings. I use this environment to do something different and engage you with a series of images. I write a script to hold your attention and to persuade you to consider my images in a particular order. I can present graphic images alongside the images conjured by words.

"All this can be done to great effect with film and other new media but the increasingly historical medium of the book still holds a special fascination. You touch the work. Turning the pages makes a sound. You can even smell it. You decide when to continue following the linear narrative and the speed at which you unravel it. You can pick it up and put it away again and again, a pocket world."

Last Judgements book
Click image for more







[Wishing Wand]

By Joseph von Eichendorff
Rheinbach, Germany: John Gerard, 2009. Edition of 20 variants.

9.75 x 9.75" closed. Handmade papers within an embossed altar-folded cover. Handwritten text in ink. Text in German. Watermarked papers with nouns from each line. Hand sewn. Laid in a linen-covered drop spine clamshell box. Blind embossed titles on box cover. Numbered.

Poem by Joseph von Eichendorff (1788 - 1857) presented in handmade papers with watermarks created by John Gerard.


Wünschelrute book
Click image to enlarge

Click here for the link to Instagram

Schläft ein Lied in allen Dingen,
Die da träumen fort und fort.
Und die Welt hebt an zu singen,
Triffst du nur das Zauberwort.
A song sleeps in all things,
Which dream on and on,
And the world begins to sing,
If only you find the magic word.

By Rain
er Maria Rilke
Art design by Ati von Gallwitz
Rheinbach: 2008, John Gerard. Edition of 25 + 1 AP.

22” x 10.5”; 6 leaves. Leporello format. Text in German. Design by Ati von Gallwitz with paper paintings and cut-outs. Calligraphy by Rolf Lock. Six handmade papers by John Gerard. Bound in pale lemon cloth over board, with a copper leaf recessed into the front cover. Laid in a matching pale lemon cloth dropback box with black title on front and spine. Signed by Ati von Gallwitz. Numbered.

A stunningly lovely presentation of Rilke's poem — calligraphy, copper leaf-like element, paper cutting, and inspired design.

Alti Von Gallwitz: "Since I observe nature in its interaction with our environment, a statement comes inevitably – even if it is only about 'the beautiful form'. Enlarge, duplicate, strain – a new form emerges that can question everything. I see my artistic work in the confrontation of art and nature."


Herbst book
Click image for more
Click here for the link to Instagram

Poems by Patrick F. Durgin
Columbia College Chicago: John Gerard, 2008. Edition of 20.

10 x 14"; 32 unnumbered pages. Text set in 18 point Courier. Printed on an Epson 9800 inkjet printer. Made and printed at the Center for Book and Paper Arts, Columbia College Chicago. Handbound and laid in gray linen-covered drop spine clamshell box with embossed titles. Concept, images, and handmade paper by John Gerard with production assistance from Marian Runk and Brad Freeman. Signed by Gerard. Numbered.

The images are on the theme of metropolis with poems by Patrick F. Durgin. The illustrations by John Gerard are shadow-silhouettes of skyscrapers of Chicago, made as paper paintings and with photographs of the city.

In his book design Gerard used deckled, angled pages, and soft hard colors to reflect the cityscape. The pages were sewn then attached to a cloth spine. The windows on the spine, the granite gray of the cloth binding, and the sewn paper sections glimpsed as stairs introduce the architectural theme of the illustrations and poetry.

Patrick Durgin is a poet and artists' bookmaker who teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Relay book
Click image to enlarge
Die Kunst der Gesellschaft
By Durs Grünbein
Rheinbach, Germany: John Gerard, 2007. Edition of 25 variants.

14.5” x 11.5”; 16 leaves. Handmade paper and paper paintings by John Gerard. Typography by Juergen Foster, printed in the Copernicus Graphische Werkstatt, Alfter. Text in German. Bound in green cloth spine with black title label; pulp paper paintings over board sides. Black title on front board. Green cloth dropback box with title in black on spine and front. Signed by Gruenbein and Gerard. Numbered.

The illustrations are based on the original plans of the Friedrichshain Park of Berlin with paper paintings by John Gerard and typografical designs by Jürgen Forster. The artist uses pulp painting of the satellite view of the park to show the patterns of pathways. Watermarks behind the poetry are details of the patterns of the paths.

The poet lives on the border of the park. He looks down on its circumnavigating paths, its greenness, and its asphalt. The poetry, in German, reflects on the view above that allows a patterned view, a glimpse of bare skin, subdued voices, and humanity. "A poet of reunified Germany, Durs Grünbein was born in Dresden, lives with his family in eastern Berlin, and works in a room he rents in western Berlin. He has published numerous collections of poetry and essays in German, and has translated a variety of authors …"
Die Kunst der Gesellschaft book
Click image to enlarge

The Pit and the Pendulum
By Edgar Allan Poe
Illustrated by Thomas Rug
Rheinbach: 2005. Edition of 25 + 5 AP.

7.25 x 9"; 28 pages. Printed at the Copernicus Graphische Werkstatt Alfter in 12 pt. Garamond-Antiqua on paper handmade by John Gerard. Paper French folded. Open sewn binding with charcoal gray linen spine and black thread. Natural paper boards with black title on top board. In a charcoal gray linen dropback box with title in blind on front and spine. Signed by Thomas Rug and John Gerard. Numbered.

"The Pit and the Pendulum," first published in 1842, is here illustrated with 12 new etchings by Thomas Rug.

The Pit and the Pendulum book
Click image for more

shadows of myself
By John Gerard
Rheinbach, Germany: John Gerard, 2004. Edition of 16.

16 x 16.25"; ten leaves. Handmade sheets with pulp painting. Bound in full linen boards with blind-embossed titles. Signed and numbered by the artist.

John Gerard: "All handmade dark-gray papers depicting the deformed shadows of the artist's hand with an additional single word on growing older (broken, tired, feeble, alone, old ...)."


shadows of myself book
Und du erbst das Grün
[And you inherit the green]

By Rainer Maria Rilke
Rheinbach, Germany: 2002. Edition of 40 variants.

8. x 10" closed, extends to 122"; 12 leaves. Accordion structure extending from interior front wrapper. Handset in 18 pt Goudy. Printed by Klaus Raasch in Hamburg. Text in German. Wrappers of handmade paper with pulp paintings. Laid in drop spine clamshell box. Titles in gilt on front cover. Signed and numbered by Gerard.

Linear paper paintings by John Gerard accompany a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926).


Und du erbst das Grün book
Click image to enlarge

Und du erbst das Grün
vergangner Gärten und das stille Blau
zerfallner Himmel.
Tau aus tausend Tagen,
And you inherit the green
Pasty gardens and the quiet blue
Decaying sky.
Dew from a thousand days,

Colours of the Spirit
William Shakespeare: 16 Selected Sonnets

Paper Images by Mary Beth Schmidt Fogarty
Rheinbach: John Gerard, 2000. Edition of 40 variants + 3 AP.

8.5 x 11.5"; 20 leaves. Papers handmade by John Gerard. Six original double-page pulp paper images by Mary Beth Schmidt Fogarty. Handset in 20 pt. Baskerville by Offizin Haag-Drugulin/Leipzig. Printed by Klaus Raasch/ Hamburg. Bound with an original paper painting over boards. Red linen spine. Laid in red cloth dropback box with relief title on spine and front. Signed by Fogarty and Gerard. Numbered.

Joshua Heller: "Universal landscapes of vast horizons offer a varying prospect for subtle and poetical dreams of color as well as for dramatic scenarios. Love and beauty have been brilliantly interpreted in Shakespeare’s spirit with these sonnets spanning the vital range between youth and age. Gerard states: 'This is Fogarty’s fourth book made in my workshop; she has been coming to Germany since 1988, when she made her first book with Dickinson poems. Fogarty lives with the texts for months and prepares extensively before beginning her illustrations, which she paints with wet pulp on a freshly made sheet of handmade paper. In this technique, there is no chance for correction - the lines and washes of pulp must work immediately or a new sheet is made."

Mary Beth Schmidt Fogarty (1943-2002) was a Nebraska artist. She was known for collage, abstract forms, and sculpture.

Colours of the Spirit book
Click image for more

John Gerard SOLD / Out of Print Titles:  
Tau Blau / Dew Blue
By Barbara Beisinghoff
[Rheinbach, Germany]: Edition Die gläserne Libelle und Gerard Paperworks, 2013. Edition of 38 + 2 AP.

7 x 8.7"; 11 sections. Handset in 16 and 12 pt Diotima and letterpress printed by Wolfgang Blauert. Handmade paper from flax, cotton and hemp by John Gerard. Text collage, etchings, water beam drawing, paper font, watermarks, and paperwork by Barbara Beisinghoff. Text in German and English. Binding and box by Vera Schollemann. Accordion spine with sections sewn to the folds with illustrated paper covered boards. Laid in blue cloth-covered box with titles in German and English stamped in red on the front cover and spine. Signed on the colophon by Gerard and Beisinghoff. Numbered.

German artist Barbara Beisinghoff considers the flax plant from flowering to harvest through her art and text from several sources. Text collages in German and English with etchings, water stream drawings, paper paintings, and watermarks using handmade paper. The spine has sewn-on layers to correspond to the thrones of the flowers on the stems bending back and forth in the wind.

Barbara Beisinghoff: "John Gerard made the paper from pure flax. I had grown flax in the Lustgarten Kunstpfad around our house. I sowed it and the whole area came to visit to see the blue blossoms in the tail end of June. We tore the flax out in autumn and dew retted it which means we laid the bundles down on the ground; dew, rain, and sun let the fiber rot. The dew ret degrades the woody parts through bacterial action and destroys the natural gluey layers of the bark, and allows the separation of the bast fibers. We found an old couple in the neighboring village who still know how to break down the fiber. We got all the tools you need to prepare the flax and organized a 'flax festivity.' 200 people came! After the festivity I invited Dutch artist Hiltje Talsma, who did the breaking, skutching and hackling, so that the fibers are mechanically separated from all the other plant parts."

The title refers to the "die Tauröste und die zartblaue Blüte" (the delicate blue flower). Includes three watermarks: the golden triangle (indicates the leaf position around the stem); section of the flax stem shows the points around the center of the stem, the fibers; and, the third watermark shows the plant with the knots. The fibonacci numbers are drawn with water in freshly drawn flat paper.
(SOLD/Out of Print)

Tau Blau / Dew Blue book
Click image for more





Page last update: 02.19.2022


Home | About Us | Contact Us | New Arrivals | Fine Press & Artists' Books | Broadsides |Resource Books | Order/Inquiry

                                                          Copyright © 2021 Vamp & Tramp, Booksellers, LLC. All rights reserved.