Howard Munson ~ California

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Artist Howard Munson’s work demonstrates how much more nourishment arises from questions rather than answers. His work displays a reverence for the past – his own history and the history of art, especially Oriental art. His work delights in experimental forms while honoring traditional formats. The playfulness of his wit and vision never obscures his deep respect for the serious nature of play. Much of his work exudes a sense of peace, but a peace tempered by something decidedly unpeaceful, a sense of struggle perhaps, at least a sense of journey, and one with a bit of hullabaloo.



 

Asian Influenced Bookworks
Inspirations from music bookworks
Mexico inspired works

   
The Constructivists
By Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2017. Edition of 5.

11.5 x 8.25" closed, extends to 48". Accordion structure extending from back pastedown. Inkjet prints. Lenox 100% rag paper. Each book with original unique drawings as background. Cinch closure. In slipcase with paper title label on spine. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Howard Munson: "My inspiration was to construct accordion pop-up books that are viewed as theater. 'The Constructivists' is my venture into the Russian Avant Garde theater."
$650


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Maquettes
By Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2016. Edition of 4.

8 x 11.5" closed, extends to 44". Accordion structure extending from back pastedown. Media: drawing, collage, and inkjet printing. Lenox 100% rag paper. Slipcased. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Howard Munson: "Inspired by the maquettes designed by Carl Schlemmer in 1922 for the theater work 'Figural Cabinet.' I have altered the designs and added my own version of color. The book is a visual theater."
$750



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A Surreal Dream
By Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2016. One-of-a-Kind.

8 x 11.5" closed, extends to 44". Accordion structure extending from back pastedown. Drawings in permanent black felt tip marker. Lenox 100% rag paper and acid free colored paper. Slipcased with collage covers. Signed by the artist.

Howard Munson: "A Surreal Dream was an exercise in continuous drawing with no preconceived idea while in an awakened dream state."
$750


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Photo Booth Masks
By Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2015. One-of-a-Kind.

7.25 x 10.25"; 14 pages. Accordion extending from back pastedown. Mixed media. Includes both screen printing and inkjet prints. Book cloth over boards with paper title label on spine and illustrative elements on front cover. Signed by the artist.

Epigraph: "We all wear masks and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin. — Andre Berthiaume."

Munson's "photo booth" captures the essence of Berthiaume's observation with the artist's characteristic flair.
$400


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Karawane: Hugo Ball
By Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2013. One-of-a-Kind.

7.25 x 9.5", extends to 56"; 8 pages. Accordion structure. Mixed media. Bound in book cloth with title label on front board. Custom slipcase of paper over boards. Title label on spine. Signed and dated by Munson.

An artistic presentation of the poem by Hugo Ball (1886 - 1927), German author, poet, and in 1916 the creator of the Dada Manifesto. In that same year, he wrote "Karawane," a poem of nonsensical words, the meaning of which rests in its meaninglessness.
$450


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Occupied Walls
By Howard Munson
San Francisco: Howard Munson, 2013. Edition of 3.

7.75 x 11.25" closed; extends to 105". 14 images. Ink jet printed. Tipped on Lenox 100% rag paper. In unique slipcase. Paper title label on spine of box and book. Signed and dated by the artist.

When Howard Munson walks the streets of San Francisco, he takes along a camera. Occupied Walls documents the work of unknown Bay Area philosophers who have embellished city walls: "Occupied and rage speak out on silent walls!"
$550


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Tsunami
By Howard Munson
San Francisco: Howard Munson, 2013. One-of-a-Kind.

9.5 x 11.25" closed, extends to 90" from the back pastedown. Accordion book. Sumi-ink mixed media drawing. Paper: Lenox. Slipcased. Signed and dated by the artist.

On March 11, 2011, the north coast of Japan was hit by a tsunami after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake occurred 80 miles offshore. The tsunami waves caused major destruction with a death toll over 20,000. In bold black strokes the artist reacts to this major natural disaster.
$450


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Collaged Face
By Howard Munson
San Francisco: Howard Munson, 2012. Edition of 5.

8.5 x 11.25 x 1.25" closed, extends to 90"; 10 pages. Accordion structure extending from back pastedown. Inkjet printed. Nine collages including one double-page pop-up. Printed on 100% rag paper. Slipcased with title on spine.

Munson uses bits of found paper, much of it Asian, to create a series of collaged faces. Even the front cover is crafted to form an abstract profile. An exercise in whimsy, form, color, and design."
$550


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Defaced
By Howard Munson
San Francisco: Howard Munson, 2012. One-of-a-Kind.

8.25 x 10.625 x 1.375" closed; extends to 105"; 14 pages. Accordion structure bound into back board. 12 inkjet images tipped on Lenox 100% rag paper. Slipcased with title on spine. Signed.

Howard Munson: "While on a walk in San Francisco I came across a series of large poster-size black and white portraits of unknown persons on a wood barrier surrounding a storefront under construction. The person responsible for the work was A Global Participatory Art Project by JR, identified in small print at the bottom of the posters. I returned a few days later and saw that the participation continued with graffiti tags and torn areas. Several looked like they had been violently attacked. I wondered if this was expected and part of participatory art. I photographed them and became a participant myself in altering the images, a book artist approach. The web site of this group is www.insideoutproject.net."
$850

 


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Untitled Fragments
By Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2010. Edition of 5.

8.75 x 13.375" closed, extends to 103"; 11 pages. Color Xerox prints (from on original collage) on 100% rag Lenox printmaking paper. Accordion structure extending from back pastedown. Unique covers with collage of Mexican oilcloth and other colorful papers. Housed in slipcase with matching Mexican oilcloth sides and cloth edges. Paper title on spine of case and book.

Howard Munson: "Collage has been a long time interest for me. The play of color, forms, and texture unite in unknown situations with each element creating a visual harmony."

Untitled Fragments harkens back to early modernist collage, brought up to date by Munson's talents.
$850


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IMAGO
By Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2009. Edition of 5.

11 x 7.75" closed; 11 x 150" extended; 18 pages. Accordion structure. Color Xerox prints from original book of paintings Munson produced in 1997, printed on Lenox 100% rag print paper. Bound in book cloth and housed in custom slipcase with paper title on spine.

This is a relatively rare look at the influences of the Western art tradition on an artist who looks most often to the (far) East.

Howard Munson: "Inspiration came from a found Latin book with references to art."
$775

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Drawing on People
By Howard Munson
San Francisco: Howard Munson, 2006. Edition of 4.

8.75 x 15" closed; 15 x 102" extended; 11 panels. 100% rag Lenox paper.Paper title label on front board. Slipcased with paper title on spine and silk ribbon.

Howard Munson: "Photos were taken of guests at a party."
$400


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His work displays a reverence for the past - his own history and the history of art, especially Oriental art. Howard Munson: "Living near Chinatown in San Francisco inspires interpretation of sights and sounds."
 
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A Japanese Experience
By Howard Munson
San Francisco: Howard Munson, 2013. One-of-a-Kind.

10.5 x 11.75 x 1.25"; 34 pages including 8 foldouts which form a three-paneled display. Mixed media: collage, sumi ink, and inkjet printing. Printed on Lenox 100% rag paper. Pastedowns are a collage of found Japanese papers with calligraphy. Slipcased with title on spine.

Howard Munson: "Arriving before apricot and cherry blossoms burst with spring celebration, I watch in anticipation as buds grow large, then bloom. Sakura [Japanese cherry blossoms] arrives. Winter fades. For a few days all is white with splendor, joy and life. Soon the blossoms begin to fall on moss covered gardens and the 'Floating World' city waterways disappearing but not forgotten."

In the spring of 2008 Munson lived and worked in a small Japanese village outside Kyoto restoring damaged Oriental screens. He worked each morning, then caught the Number 17 bus into Kyoto to explore the former imperial capital. This book captures the spirit of that time, from rural peace to bustling city where temples offered havens of quiet.
$1,150

 

 


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Red
By Howard Munson
San Francisco: Howard Munson, 2013. One-of-a-Kind.

8.375 x 11.75 x 1.25"; 8 pages. Accordion fold extending from back pastedown. Collage with original papers. Mixed medium on Lenox 100% rag paper. In slipcase with title on spine.

Howard Munson: "While restoring Japanese screens I found many sheets of paper inside the screen that could be used for collage material. The paper included pages from ledger books, newspapers, books, drawings, and sheets of paper with what appeared as calligraphy practice."
$750


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Fragments Yase
[Digital Version]
By Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2011. One-of-a-Kind.

8.5 x 15.5 x 1"; 6 pages. Vertical accordion. Digital prints on Lenox 100% rag paper. Bound in patterned cloth boards with cord for hanging. Title label on cover. In paper-covered slipcase with paper title label on spine.

A smaller digital version of the original Fragments Yase with two additional panels (top and bottom) with design elements.
$625


Digital Version
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Japanese Calligraphy Collage
By Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2011. One-of-a-Kind.

8 x 11.5"; 12 pages. Accordion fold extending from back pastedown. Collage with original papers. Base paper Lenox 100% rag. Cloth-covered boards from Japanese kimono. Paper title on spine. Housed in slipcase with title label on spine.

Howard Munson: "This is from a series of books I am in the process of making inspired by Japanese screens. Collage materials were found inside or on the outside of damaged Meiji period [roughly 1868-1912] Japanese screens."
$750


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LEN-DONG
By Howard Munson, Paul Kwan, and Arnold Iger
San Francisco: Howard Munson, 2010. Edition of 2.

8 x 11.25" closed, 72.5" extended. Accordion structure. Pop-up frontispiece. Includes DVD. Lenox 100% rag printmaking paper. Bound in Korean silk. Matching slipcase.

Howard Munson: "I was a guest with Arnold Iger and Paul Kwan at a temple in San Francisco Victorian House, which has since burned down. The ritual consisted of a woman who would go into many trances becoming various spirit gods. They ranged from princess, kings, and warriors. Along with the traditional live Vietnamese music, there was also much sharing of food and drink."

Leslie Evans, "Spirit Possession Religions and Popular Rituals Flourish in Vietnam" (posted 6/8/2004 on the UCLA Center for Asian Studies website): "One of the largest and most widespread of the belief systems is Dao Mau, the Mother Goddess religion. One of its central practices is the Len Dong spirit possession ritual, where spirit mediums channel various gods and goddesses connected to the cult. When in trance for communication with the other world, the mediums don a red veil which facilitates manifestation of the spirit in their bodies.

"The Len Dong 'going into trance' ritual, despite its otherworldly trappings, is generally sought out by petitioners to achieve very down-to-earth goals: a good business, a better job, curing a health condition, or passing university entrance exam."


The photographs of the ceremony were taken by Munson then reproduced for the artist book. The video of the ceremony on DVD was produced by Paul Kwan and Arnold Iger.

Persona Grad Productions: "Arnold Iger and Paul Kwan are co-founders of Persona Grata Productions, an interdisciplinary production company based in San Francisco, that create videos, theatrical performances, and art exhibitions. The duo directed, produced and wrote ANATOMY OF A SPRINGROLL, PINS AND NOODLES and A WOK IN PROGRESS (A Springroll Family Trilogy). They have won awards from the American Film Institute, National Endowments for the Arts, California Arts Council, National Asian American Telecommunications Association, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, and the Independent Television Service."
$650

 

 

 

 


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Chinatown Collage
By Howard Munson
San Francisco: Howard Munson, 2009. Edition of 3.

7.875 x 11.25" closed; 11.25 x 95.5" extended. Accordion structure with last leaf attached to back board. Lenox 100% rage paper. Unique hand painted cover. Slipcased.

Accordion book of color Xerox images (of an original collage) tipped onto brilliant red Lenox 100% rag print paper. Collages are presented as two-page spreads. These spreads are connected across the valley folds (the gutter) by hand-drawn links, which appear like unobtrusive hinges, and the two-page spreads are connected across the mountain folds by a delicate steaming cloud-bubble motif.

Howard Munson: "Living near Chinatown is enough inspiration for many books. A collage culture of color, graphics, calligraphy, ounds, and smells."
$550


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Realization Path
By Howard Munson
San Francisco: Howard Munson, 2009. One-of-a-Kind.

7.5 x 11.5" closed; 11.5 x 58" extended; 8 panels. Accordion structure. 100% rag Lenox paper. Mixed media. Collage of found Japanese calligraphy papers.Bound in patterned cloth with paper title label on front board. Slipcased with paper title on spine.

Howard Munson: "A meditative exercise with ink and brush."
$575


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Japanese Calligraphy Landscape
By Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2008. Edition of 10.

14.25 x 7.25" closed, 56" extended; 8 panels. Accordion book. Each panel is a separate collage that has been copied by color xerox, which was then scanned and printed by color inkjet onto archival 100% printmaking rag paper. Silk cloth covered boards with paper title on front board. Housed in slipcase with matching cloth and title label on spine.

Howard Munson: "This is from a series of books I am in the process of making inspired by Japanese screens. Collage materials were found inside or on the outside of damaged Meiji period [roughly 1868-1912] Japanese screens."
$475


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Fragments No. 5.
By Howard Munson
San Francisco: Howard Munson, 2008. Edition of 5.

7.5 x 11.25" closed; 11.25 x 120" extended. Accordion structure. Color Xerox printed on Lenox 100% rag print paper. Bound in Korean Silk. Housed in matching slipcase with paper title label.

Howard Munson: "Fragments are very small compositional areas taken from paper found inside old Japanese screens, which are then enlarged. The [original] paper is approximately 130 years old."
$475


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Calligraphy Collage
By Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2011. Edition of 3.

8.25 x 10.75"; 25 pages. Non-sewn section hardcover book. Slipcased. Both slipcase and cover collaged with original papers. Interior pages are digital reproductions of Munson collages.

Howard Munson: "Paper for the collage works come from discarded paper I saved from damaged Japanese screens I was restoring while in Japan."
$775


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Munson is a frequent visitor to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, a tourist mecca and home to many US retirees. Despite frequent and prolonged visits, Munson says he is "always a stranger in a foreign country." It's the Mexican heart of San Miguel he focuses on in his bookworks.
   
The Colors of Semana Santa
By Howard Munson
San Francisco: Howard Munson, 2011. Edition of 5.

8 x 10.75"; 88 pages. Printed on Lenox 100% rag printmaking paper. Color copies from the original photographs. Bound in canvas covers painted by Munson. Housed in slipcase covered with Mexican oilcloth on sides and paper title label on spine. In the edition of five, each will have unique covers.

Munson often visits San Miguel de Allende. Mexico. On these trips he photographically documents the town and activities of the people. This photographic essay of double-page spreads shows San Miguel during Holy Week 2011.

Howard Munson, introduction: "The cobblestone streets of San Miguel have been worn smooth by the processions of generations. Some walk shod in sandals or barefoot, and some on their knees humbly celebrating festivities or funerals, a cycle of life. From the rituals of Semana Santa to La Dia de Los Muertos the working man and woman have paraded with spirit through a history woven with pride in traditions, living from the land against a backdrop of poverty, corruption, crime and political instability."
$475



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Walking on Cobblestones
San Miguel, Mexico
By Howard Munson
San Francisco: Howard Munson, 2010. Edition of 5.

8.25 x 11 x 1.5"; 88 pages. Digitally printed photographs taken by Munson. Non-sewn section book. Bound in illustrated fabric. In slipcase with digital print and title label on spine.

Howard Munson, title page: "Around every corner an unexpected sensual experience awaits the perceptive visitor."

Howard Munson has developed a photo journal series that pays homage to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, a tourist mecca and home to many US retirees. Despite frequent and prolonged visits, Munson says he is "always a stranger in a foreign country." It's the Mexican heart of San Miguel he focuses on in Walking on Cobblestone" – from the streets to the ceremonies.
$460 (Last two copies)


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Buenos Dias Daruma
By Howard Munson
San Francisco: Howard Munson, 2009. One-of-a-Kind.

8.25 x 11.25" closed; 11.25 x 66" extended. Accordion structure with last leaf attached to back board. Lenox 100% rag paper. Collage, painting, and ink. Oriental silk cloth pastedowns. Title page board covered in yellow cloth with title handwritten in script plus the artist's signature and stamp. Half bound in Oriental silk cloth and illustrated Mexican material of the Madonna. Slipcased with paper title on spine.

Howard Munson: "On arriving in Mexico I was still carrying Japanese experiences and found it difficult to work on books inspired by Mexico. This book is an illustration of my introduction to Daruma with the color of Mexico."

(Note: Daruma, or Bodhidharma, was a Buddhist monk associated with the founding and spread of Zen Buddhism. The wide-eyed bearded figure in Munson's Buenos Dias Daruma is akin to the Daruma doll, considered a talisman of good fortune to the Japanese. The mix of Zen symbology, Munson's Japanese calligraphy, and the vibrant colors of Mexico perhaps indicates the state of the artist's mind as he was moving through different cultures.)
$900

 


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That an artist could and would garner inspiration from music is not a new – certainly Picasso, Kandinsky, Matisse, and Chagall are well known examples in the last century. How many of them listened to the music as they created their art? Howard Munson does. Working quickly and in the moment like a Japanese calligrapher, Munson translates music across long sheets of paper and then assembles the results into accordion books. As he says about Stravinsky / Rite of Spring: "The emotional power of music is inspiration for letting go and breaking habits for visual art. …. It is an exercise in participation with the composer's music to experience sound with its rhythm and patterns for a drawing with an unknown final result."
   
Improv No. 1
Brush work to Japanese Folk Music
By Howard Munson
San Francisco: Howard Munson, 2013. One-of-a-Kind.

8 x 11.5" closed, extends to 95" from the back pastedown. Accordion structure. Sumi ink with mixed media drawing. Lenox paper. Slipcased. Signed and dated by the artist.

Howard Munson: "Improv No. 1 is an experiment in the use of a Japanese brush and sumi ink to perform and make visible the feelings of the fluidity from music."
$450

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To Music
By Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2012. One-of-a-Kind.

8 x 11.375" closed, extends to 75"; 10 pages. Accordion structure extending from the back pastedown. Mixed media with sumi ink. Lenox printmaking paper. Bound in black cloth with paper title label on front cover. In matching slipcase with title on spine.

Munson's inspiration was the 100th anniversary of John Cage – hence, a chance book. While listening to music he performs his own extemporaneous artist's dance with paint and ink on paper - a chance method of visual design.
$ 600


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Dark Clouds
By Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2011. One-of-a-Kind.

8 x 11.25" attached, extends 60"; 8 pages. Accordion structure extending from back pastedown. Sumi ink and mixed media. Lenox printmaking paper. Bound in cloth covered boards of cotton fabric with ink and paint drawing by the artist. Paper title on front cover. In slipcase with paper covered sides with ink and paint drawing. Slipcase spine cloth covered with paper title on spine.

Howard Munson, Colophon: "The emotional power of music is inspiration for letting go and breaking habits for visual art. While listening to a recording of a rain storm, I was inspired to make this book. It is an exercise in participation with nature's music to experience sound with its rhythm and patterns for a drawing with an unknown final result."
$675

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Fusion
By Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2011. One-of-a-Kind.

8.25 x 12 x 1.5"; 12 pages. Accordion structure extending from back pastedown. Sumi ink on Lenox printmaking paper. Black cloth boards and silver cloth spine with paper title label on front board. In slipcase with paper title on spine and artistic embellishments on cloth sides.

Howard Munson, colophon: "The emotional power of music is inspiration for letting go and breaking habits for visual art. The music from Fusion Odyssey was the inspiration for this book. It is an exercise in participation with the composer to experience sound with its rhythm and patterns for a drawing with an unknown final result."
$ 625

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Howard Munson Out of Print Title:  
   
Arab Spring
Poem by Abu al-Qasim al-Shabi
Artwork and book design by Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2011. One-of-a-Kind.

10.25 x 14.5"; 8 pages. Accordion. Sumi ink and acrylic paint. Lenox 100% rag paper. Ink drawing. Text in English and Arabic. Bound in black cloth boards and housed in painted slipcase.

Howard Munson: "Inspired by events in Middle East. Chaos and bloodshed."

The poem by Tunisian poet Abu al-Qasim al-Shabi (1909 - 1934) To the Tyrants of the World became a popular slogan-chant during the 2011 Tunisian demonstrations and again during demonstrations in Egypt.
(SOLD)


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The Artist's Reunion with Charlotte Moorman on Cello

By Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2016. Edition of 5.

8 x 12" closed, extending to 54". Accordion extending from back pastedown. Pop-ups. Sumi ink and ink jet prints. Lenox paper. In slipcase. Initialed and numbered by the artist.

Howard Munson: "This being the centennial of the DADA movement, 1916-2016, I have been inspired by the happenings that took place at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, Switzerland, the cafe where the artists and poets escaping the war that spread throughout Europe would, would often meet leading to chaos. I see the shadow of that era over the times we live in now. I relive in the making of the books the creative times and artists that sought out a creative means to react and maintain some sanity."

The New York Times, A Cellist in Avant-Garde Works, November 9, 1991: " Charlotte Moorman, the cellist, avant-gardist and performance artist … was called 'The Jeanne d'Arc of New Music' by the composer Edgard Varese. Ms. Moorman was arrested on Feb. 9, 1967, by two policemen who interrupted her performance at the Cinematheque in Manhattan of 'Opera Sextronique' by Nam June Paik, a composer, video artist and performance artist. She was performing nude, as the score had dictated, before an audience of 200 invited guests. Although Mr. Paik was released from custody and not charged, Ms. Moorman was tried and convicted for partial nudity. Later, the sentence was suspended.

"When asked during an interview how she had become interested in the avant-garde, Ms. Moorman said that one day she had grown [tired] of a Kabalevsky cello piece and someone had suggested that she try playing John Cage's '26 Minutes, 1.499 Seconds for a String Player,' which, among other things, requires the performer to prepare and eat mushrooms."

(SOLD)


 

 


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Cabaret Voltaire
By Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2015. Edition of 3.


8 x 11" closed, extending to 49". Accordion structure. Mediums: collage, silk screen, and inkjet printing. Archival rag paper. Covers for each book unique: Book 1 cover inspired by the Dada artist Jean Crotti's painting "The Clown"; Book 2 and 3 cover collages inspired by Dada. A DVD disc containing Munson's original videos inserted in pocket on back pastedown. Housed in customized slipcase. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Howard Munson: "Inspired by the Dadaists who gathered at the cafe Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1917. The cafe was started by Hugo Ball. It was a refuge from the surrounding war in a neutral country. The cafe attracted artists, writers, musicians, and poets. Outrageous happenings were the nightly entertainment with poetry readings and theater.

"The two videos included in this artist's book are my own impressions of the times and the experimentation in film."

(SOLD)

 

 


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Calavera Catrina /
Dia de los Muertos
By Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2012. Edition of 5.

8.75 x 10.5"; 26 pages. Accordion structure extending from back pastedown. Includes double page pop-up. Digital prints on Lenox 100% rag paper. Bound in orange and red boards. In slipcase covered in Mexican oil cloth with title on spine.

Ten double-page spreads feature Munson's photographs featuring the riotous color that marks Day of the Dead celebrations. La Calavera Catrina (The Elegant Skull) began as a 1910 zinc etching by Mexican printmaker José Guadalupe Posada. The etching of the skeleton of an upper class woman was one of a series of calaveras (skulls), poking fun at contemporary figures. The image has become a staple of Mexican imagery.

Howard Munson: "The fashionable lady, La Catrina, made popular by the artist Posada is often seen in art and crafts throughout Mexico during the Dia de los Muertos."
(SOLD)

 


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Chinatown 2
By Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2008. Edition of 5.

11.25 x 8" closed; 11.25 x 60" extended; 8 pages. Accordion book of color Xerox images of original collage tipped onto brilliant red Lenox 100% rag print paper. Collages are presented as two-page spreads. These spreads are connected across the valley folds (the gutter) by hand-drawn links, which appear like unobtrusive hinges, and the two-page spreads are connected across the mountain folds by a delicate steaming cloud-bubble motif (which is echoed on the front cover). Bound in book cloth and Korean silk with paper title label on front board. Housed in matching slipcase with paper title label on spine.

Howard Munson: "All collaged images were found in San Francisco's Chinatown. ... Living near Chinatown in San Francisco inspires interpretation of sights and sounds. This is one in a series of books influenced by the Chinese culture."
(SOLD)


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Constructivism Between the Folds
By Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2012. Edition of 5.

8.75 x 11.75 x 1.5"; 12 pages. Accordion structure extending from back pastedown. Pop ups. Printed ink jet on Lenox 100% rag printmaking paper. Quarter red cloth with patterned cloth on boards. In matching slipcase with paper title on the spine.

Howard Munson, SOGA: "Cut and fold forms - chance design. An experiment in the space in an accordion book structure with free form designs."

The underlying sense of order created with basic geometric forms belies Munson's allusion to "chance design" and "free form designs."
(SOLD)


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Damn the Torpedoes
Full Speed Ahead
By Howard Munson
San Francisco: Howard Munson, 2011. One-of-a-Kind.

8.5 x 10.75"; 52 pages. Codex structure. Bound in military green bookcloth with embellishments by the artist. In slipcase with matching cloth and handpainted design. Paper title label on spine.

Howard Munson, Introduction: "Crossing the Bay by ferry boat from San Francisco and approaching the US Navy's Mare Island, [one senses] a history book begin[ing] to open.

"On April 1, 1996, the island was officially closed, beginning of a new chapter in its long 142 years of ship building. What remains is a surreal landscape of boarded up and decaying buildings ravaged by time, fire, and vandalism on a carpet of chemical toxins. Once the proud base for building the nation's defense ships, it now harbors the memories of those who worked there and the sailors who died manning many of the ships now buried at sea. Walking through the buildings, graffiti covered rooms filled with file cabinets, chairs, blackboards, and tables tossed about in heaps on broken glass, wire, and scraps of wood, I cannot help feeling I am not alone."
(SOLD)

 

 


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The Day After Dia De Los Muertos
San Miguel, Mexico
By Howard Munson
San Francisco: Howard Munson, 2009. Edition of 5.

8 x 10.75"; 44 pages. Printed by Xerox color printer on Lenox 100% rag paper. Photographs and drawings by artist. Bound in painted on cotton cloth. Housed in slipcase covered with Mexican oilcloth on sides. Paper title label on spine. In the edition of five, each will have a unique hand painted cotton cloth cover.

Howard Munson: "I arrived the day after the Dia del los Muertos on November 3 [2009] in San Miguel. The several weeks of activities were over. At the cemetery, the flowers were still fresh, and the throngs of visitors were gone. I got the feeling that everyone was exhausted , even the dead."

A quotation by Octavio Paz introduces this series of photographs and drawings: "... death revenges us against life, stripping it of all its vanities and pretensions and showing it for what it is: some bare bones and dreadful grimace ..."
(SOLD)

 


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Fragments Yase
By Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2011. One-of-a-Kind.

10.75 x 19"; 4 pages. Vertical accordion. Original papers tipped on Lenox 100% rag printmaking paper. Bound in patterned cloth boards with cord for hanging. Title label on cover. In paper-covered slipcase with paper title label on spine.

Munson worked in an Asian antiquities shop in San Francisco for several years. One of the areas he became adept at was repairing Japanese screens. Several times the owner asked that Munson travel to Japan to repair screens there. He would work in the morning then venture out in the afternoons to see the cities and towns in the area. On these forays he would visit temples, shops, and markets looking for little treasures.

Munson: "Collage material collected while working at an Asian antique store in Japan. …Yase is the village where I was working repairing Japanese screens."
(SOLD)

 

 
Geometric Opus #1
By Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2013. One-of-a-Kind.

10.5 x 11.25" closed, extends to 140"; 11 pages. Accordion structure extending from the back pastedown. Paper: Lenox. Bound in red bookcloth with geometric design of inlays. Slipcased with paper title on spine. Signed by the artist on colophon.

Geometric Opus is an experiment in color and shape.

Howard Munson: "I learn something new every single time I make a book. And I always like to try new things. I get bored fairly quickly, so I have to make books that are always different."
(SOLD)
   

HOGEJAKA
By Howard Munson
San Francisco: Howard Munson, 2009. One-of-a-Kind.

8 x 11.5: closed; 11.5 x 80" extended; 10 panels. Accordion structure. Pop-ups. 100% rag Lenox paper. Paper title label on front board. Slipcased with paper title on spine.

For many getting rid of clutter takes on increasing importance as the years progress. Munson here tackles the issue visually.

Howard Munson: "Hogejaka in Japanese means to let go. The book was the result of creating space and letting go of things in life."
(SOLD)


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The Impermanence of Human Life
Poem by Yamanoue Okura
Book design by Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2014. One-of-a-Kind.

10 x 9.5 closed, extends to 120"; 12 pages. Accordion structure extending from foreedge of back pastedown. Mixed media. Materials: book cloth, bamboo paper, original papers. Bound in leather and bamboo wallpaper boards. Matching slipcase.

Howard Munson: "The book was influenced by the simplicity of Japanese esthetics and the temple gardens."

The title page is an original 100-year-old drawing taken from a Japanese screen. The opposite page has "The Impermanence of Human Life" by Japanese poet Yamanoue Okura (c 660 - 733) tipped on. Tipped on throughout the book are pieces of original Japanese calligraphy from found papers. One spread contains an abstract black ink wash image by the artist.
(SOLD)

 


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Karawane Dada Collage
By Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2016. One-of-a-Kind.

8 x 12" closed, extending to 54". Accordion extending from back pastedown. Pop-ups. Acid-free colored stock paper. Lenox 100% rag paper for the accordion pages. Mixed media. Signed by the artist.

Howard Munson: "Inspired by the Dadaist Hugo Ball reading his sound poem."

German artist, poet, and pioneer in development of sound poetry, Hugo Ball, was a leading Dada artist, who is 1916 was responsible for the Dada Manifesto. In the same year, he published "Karawane", a poem in which the meaning rests in its meaninglessness (a major premise of Dadaism). See Karawane: Hugo Ball (Howard Munson, 2013, one-of-a-kind).
(SOLD)



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In Time
By Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2010. One-of-a-Kind.

8 x 11" closed, opens to 11" x 60". Accordion structure. Lenox 100% rag printmaking paper. Slipcased.

Howard Munson: "The collages come from a book created after a trip to Kassel, Germany, visiting the Documenta in 1982 (circa) where I encountered Joseph Beuys at the Free University. The selected images in the recent new book, made in 2010, are from the original book. The collage images are not influenced by the trip; they show more the surge of creativity I had on my return."
(SOLD)

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Japan Assemblage No. 2
By Howard Munson
San Francisco: Howard Munson, 2010. One-of-a-Kind.

8 x 10.75 x 1.875 "; 20 leaves. Accordion structure extending from back board pastedown. Mixed media with pop-ups. Lenox 100% rag paper. Bound in Japanese illustrated cotton fabric with red fabric spine. Cloth and bone closure. Slipcased with paper title collaged matching book fabric tipped on spine.

Howard Munson: "This is a second version, smaller and with some different images, of the first assemblage [Japan Assemblage (2010)]. Found photos, my photos, and drawings inspired by words that related to my experiences in Japan." [In 2008 Munson spent several months living and working in Japan.]
(SOLD)


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Kyoto Collage
By Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2009. Edition of 5.

12.2 x 8.8" closed; 64" extended; 8 pages. Accordion structure. Xerox prints of collage of found papers. Printed on Lenox 100% rag print paper. Korean silk-covered boards with paper title label on front board. Slipcased with paper title label on spine.

Howard Munson: "Collage material from fragments of old Japanese screens and a children's' game called Dump."
(SOLD)


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Mexican Mannequins
Photography by Judy Roberts
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico / San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2011. Edition of 5.

10 x 12" closed; 16 pages. Accordion structure. Digital prints tipped onto Lenox 100% rag paper. Bound in unique cloth covers. Slipcased. Photography by Judy Roberts. Book production and design by Howard Munson.

Judith Roberts, photographer and collector of Mexican folk art, has lived in San Miguel de Allende for years, running a shop selling folk art, jewelry, and clothing - including her own line. This sparked her interest in mannequins, and hence the photographs in this book.

Judy Roberts, introduction: "The narrative of these portraits of 1940's Mexican mannequins is about you and I. We are these portraits. I'm not sure the photographic lens is the best way to observe our soul but I think the photos are suited to see humanitie's [sic] emotional expressions before we put them behind a facial mask. It is not enough to just photograph these mannequins I encounter throughout Mexico, it is necessary to understand the Mexican social cultural aspect of them. It is not an act of nihilism to
repaint the make-up but an acceptable female custom to use very colorful facial make-up daily. The make-up re-applier is shaping culture she is also shaped by."

(SOLD)

 

 

 

 
Painted Faces: Chichimeca Spirits
By Howard Munson
San Francisco: Howard Munson, 2013. Edition of 5 variants.

7.5 x 11" closed. Binding structure varies; images the same (although sequencing may vary). Lenox 100% rag. Ink jet printed. In slipcase. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Howard Munson: "Dancers from different neighborhoods and other communities converge along the narrow cobblestone streets of San Miguel de Allende toward the Parrogia. They are the shadow ancestors of the Chichimecas that lived in the area during the conquest. An encounter proceeded the procession where tribes forgave each other for conflicts and misunderstandings between them. wearing elaborate feather head dresses they dance to the beat of drums bringing alive the spirits of the past.”
(SOLD)
 
   
Prayer Sticks
By Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2012. One-of-a-Kind.

8.375 x 11.75 x 1.25" closed, extends to 82.5"; 5 pages. Accordion structure from back pastedown. Collage. Pop ups. Lenox 100% rag paper. Boards covered in kimono fabric. Slipcased.

In the spring of 2008 Munson lived and worked in a small Japanese village outside Kyoto restoring damaged Oriental screens. He worked each morning, then caught the Number 17 bus into Kyoto to explore the former imperial capital. He would visit shrines and temples as part of his discovery of the city.

Howard Munson: "A bow before I begin walking under the tori entrance on the path toward a Shinto shrine in Kyoto, staying close to the side of the path leaving room in the center for the Kami. I approach the shrine and pass a large alter box filled with Goma prayer sticks on which are written prayers and desires to be burned in a fire ritual performed in esoteric Buddhism to lead people to a spiritually higher realm."
(SOLD)

 


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Sons of the Rising Sun
By Howard Munson
San Francisco: Howard Munson, 2012. Edition of 5.

5.625 x 10.25"; 22 pages. Accordion structure from back pastedown. Digital prints on Lenox 100% rag paper. Boards covered with photo print overlaid with grainy see-through material. In slipcase with matching digital print and title label on spine

Howard Munson, introduction: "On a recent spring visit to Japan I came across a large box filled with photos and albums in an antique dealer's warehouse. Amongst this treasure was an album of teenage school boys in their school uniforms. These were not the usual rigid portraits seen in most Japanese school albums. A hint of individual personalities."

As always Munson carries the theme throughout the presentation. The interior pages are individual pictures of the young men in their school uniforms. The first opening of the book reveals a sepia class photo taken evidently in the courtyard of the school with the boys in cap, coat, and uniform. The picture on the cover and slipcase is one taken without cap or coat, just of bareheaded young men inside the school in time for tea.
(SOLD)

 


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Sumi Structure A/1
By Howard Munson
San Francisco: Howard Munson, 2012. One-of-a-Kind.

8.25 x 8.75" closed, extends to 66"; 8 pages. Accordion structure extending from the back pastedown. Three double-page pop-ups. Mixed media with sumi ink. Lenox printmaking paper. Bound in painted boards. In matching slipcase with paper title on spine.

Howard Munson: "This book was a Sumi ink exploration in pop-ups and Japanese calligraphy."

Forms, color and contrasting elements play across the paper like music. The exercise of using brush and ink based on Japanese calligraphy results in free flowing marks with no meaning, small compositions with a striking visual impact.
(SOLD)

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Spirits in the Forest
By Howard Munson
San Francisco: Howard Munson, 2010. One-of-a-Kind.

8 x 10.75" closed, 10.75 x 90" open; 12 leaves. Accordion structure. Mixed media on Lenox 100% rag paper. Original ink drawings from damaged Japanese screens. In slipcase with paper title label on spine.

The accordion is prefaced by Munson's poem "Sprits in the Forest."

Howard Munson: "All papers, including cover material, are original ink drawings taken from discarded Japanese screens that are about 100 years old.

"I restore damaged Japanese screens and in the process all material that is discarded I use to create new screens and artist books. While working in Japan I lived in an area of mountains and forests where the tales of historical battles inspired me."
(SOLD)

 


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Stravinsky / Rite of Spring
By Howard Munson
San Francisco: Howard Munson, 2011. One-of-a-Kind.

8 x 11.375" closed, extends to 60"; 10 pages. Accordion structure extending from the back pastedown. Mixed media with sumi ink. Lenox printmaking paper. Bound in black cloth with paper title label on front cover. In matching slipcase with title on spine.

Howard Munson, colophon: "The emotional power of music is inspiration for letting go and breaking habits for visual art. Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, was the inspiration for this book. It is an exercise in participation with the composer's music to experience sound with its rhythm and patterns for a drawing with an unknown final result."
(SOLD)


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The Way of the Brush
By Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2005. Edition of 10.

11.2 x 7.75"; 12 pages. Accordion book on 100% rag Lenox paper. Original brush work color copied, and images tipped in. Cloth-covered boards with paper title label inset in front board. In slipcase with cloth- covered edges and paper title label on spine.

Howard Munson: "This book was an exercise in the use of the Japanese brush and ink; free flowing marks with no meaning, small compositions, in reference to the art of Japanese calligraphy."
(SOLD)


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Years of the Modern
Poem by Walt Whitman
Book design and graphic art by Howard Munson
San Francisco, California: Howard Munson, 2015. One-of-a-Kind.

7.25 x 8.75"; 12 pages. Accordion extending from back pastedown. Pop ups. Lenox 100% rag paper. Inkjet printed. Bound in bookcloth over boards. In slipcase. Signed by the artist.

"Years of the Modern," a poem by America's 19th-century visionary, is at home with and here surrounded by Howard Munson's more contemporary graphics and pop-ups.
(SOLD)

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Page last update: 02.13.17

 

   
  
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