JF Ptak Science Books Post 2342
Okay, so, this may only be a detail of a cover of a quietly-uncommon and proto-bizarre pamphlet on bricks, but when you look at it in a certain way, it may suggest a bit of found abstract expressionist art. Or even a Cubist-something. I can see it as a color field--a very, very hard-edged Rothko detail comes to mind. Perhaps if Pollock arranged entire bricks as his medium rather than dripped paint, he may have come upon an expression such as this. Or not.
The pamphlet comes from my collection of fantastically-titled and creatively naive pamphlets and books. After considering their reaching, speculative, bizarre, and surreal titles, they fall into a number of sub-categories, including:
- titles with question marks “?” (like the two wonderful pamphlets simply entitled "What ?" and of course the two that have no titles but question marks);
- titles with exclamation points “!” (these two marks actually don’t occur very often at all in titles, especially when the title itself already has a built in question/exclamation mark);
- titles that include the phrase “the history of…” or “the story of….” so long as that history/story is (very) unusual;
- titles that demand something or other of “America” (i.e., “Will America be Invaded?” or “America, Mussolini or Moscow” or "Sandbags, Worms and America");
- title pages with American flags.
This excludes a lot of the general naïve-surreal and historical pamphlet collection, but these, I think, would make a great exhibition of book of books, simply because so many of them have an unquestionable “what in the _” reaction capacity to them.
The found-abstract detail comes from Mud, its Romantic Story, (by Richard G. Collier, for the Common Brick Manufacturer Association of America, Cleveland, Ohio) and is a prime example for the collection: a terrific title and a beautiful design that offers a lot more than a simple story about bricks (even though it does contain a lively little history of brick making in America--the good content almost takes away from the fantastic title, but so it goes).