Thorsten Dennerline and Susan Sgorbati

Edition Review

  • Thorsten Dennerline and Susan Sgorbati, Emergent Forms: Visual Improvisation (2017)

  • Letterpress, woodblock and stone lithography, with linen, foil-stamped cover and elements resting on a CNC basswood-milled box, 9 1/2 x 15 1/4 inches. Edition of 30 sets, plus 10 as individual volumes. Includes Pattern, letterpress flip book, 3 x 6 inches; Memory, woodcut and letterpress folded paper sculpture, 8 x 6 inches; Landscape, five–page book, stone lithography, 3 3/4 x 8 1/2 inches (closed), 37 inches (open); and Dream, letterpress on gampi paper, 6 x 12 inches. Printed and published by The Bird Press, Bennington, VT, with additional letterpress by Tank Graphics, Hadley, MA. Price on request.

The artist Thorsten Dennerline has a particular vision and vocabulary—visceral, dreamy and intentionally open-ended. “I try to deal with unexpected, grotesque and/or poetic subjects,” he explains.1 Painfully personal, and also surreal, his work can take the form of naked anguished figures contorting in space, disconnected body parts, sinister animal heads and menacing housewares.

The format of a book calms and organizes this pain, and requests engagement. Books beg to be touched, their contours examined, their pages turned. Dennerline likes to create this temptation. He revels in the details of fine paper, texture, edge and the gathering of all into a whole. His books frequently involve other contributors (his treatment of the poetry of Vladimir Mayakovsky won Art in Print’s 21st Prix de Print (Jan–Feb 2017). His new work, Emergent Forms, is a collaboration with the choreographer Susan Sgorbati, whose work has focused on “emergent improvisation”—the way structures arise spontaneously in certain complex systems. (She cites evolution as one example.)2

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  1. Artist’s Statement: http://centralbookingnyc.com/galleries/gallery-1-artist-books-prints/artists-work/thorsten-dennerline/ []
  2. http://emergentimprovisation.org/Essay-on-Emergent-Improvisation.html []