Thursday, September 18, 2014

Beautiful Book #14

Creation by Gerald McDermott. Dutton, 2003.

Noted illustrator and folklorist, Gerald McDermott came to book publishing after first developing his craft and his sensibilities in film and animation. His first and best known book, Anansi the Spider (1972) began life as an animated film in the 1960s. When McDermott passed away almost 2 years ago, he left a body of 28 illustrated works, most of which were not only illustrated by him but written or adapted as well. He was always rigorous in his research and both allusive and innovative in his art. The most beautiful of his books, in my opinion, is Creation, a work that is spare on text, bold in design, and a culmination of so many of his stylistic elements.

I do not have the technology to adequately reproduce illustrations from this book and it is hard to find digital reproductions online, so I am going to direct you to its Amazon page where you can take a peek inside at the first few pages. The book, like the first book of Genesis itself, moves from darkness to light, from emptiness to abundance. To see what I mean about the later pages, you'll get have to get yourself to the library or order a copy. And if you aren't familiar with McDermott's work, then please seek it out. A quick Google image search will show you what you've been missing.

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