The Rome Project
A Reading Room exhibition
February 17 through
April 7, 2012
Alice Austin is a Philadelphia printmaker and book artist.
She is a lecturer at the University of the Arts, teaching book structures, and also works as a book conservator at the Library Company of Philadelphia, a rare book library founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin. Her work is widely held in private, public and special collections worldwide.
Abecedarian Gallery has carried Austin's work since opening in 2007. Her work can be purchased at Abecedarian's online shop.
The Rome Project reflects my experiences while a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome in 2009 and 2010, studying the 1748 map by Giambattista Nolli, the Piante Grande di Roma. My intent was to synthesize the character of this historic map with the layers, patterns and textures of modern Rome through photographs, drawings and paintings made at locations highlighted in Nolli’s map. The results took many forms — an offset-printed book, hand-made paper pulp paintings, watercolors, drawings, linoleum prints and etchings.
— Alice Austin, February, 2012
A map-book exploring the textural layers of Rome through watercolors, drawings and photographs, is an offset-printed edition of 60, printed on a Heidelberg Kors single color press at the Borowsky Center for Publication Arts at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia.
Nolli is a collaboration with Philadelphia photographer and graphic designer Jon Snyder.
Each book is signed by the artists and numbered.
© 2010, 5” x 5½” x ¼”
Portfolio of Nine Drawings
This portfolio set of nine 22” x 30” drawings of Rome, together make one large map arranged in the same manner as Nolli's Piante Grande, measuring 66” x 90.” Each drawing is executed on semi-translucent hand-made linen paper, made at the Dieu Donné Paper Mill, utilizing ink, crayon, relief prints, and transfer drawings. Each sheet contains pulp paper painting indicating the Aurelian wall, made with natural Italian earth pigments, and was hand-painted by the artist using a mylar stencil. Various linoleum prints on Japanese paper embedded into the sheet are inspired by the Cosmatique marble floors of Roman churches. Watermarks were created on the screen, or using a blowout technique. The drawings were completed in 2010 - 2011.
66” x 90”
A series of three folded Rome Maps are presented as books, containing one sheet of hand-made Dieu Donné paper, folded into a pamphlet binding. The covers are of handmade flax paper from Cave Paper Mill. They are either printed from linoleum and sewn, printed on vellum and sewn, or pierced to create a pattern.
© 2010 - 8” x 6” x ½”
Rome Panorama is a series of five accordion books with cut floating panels printed and painted on Rives BFK. The cover is inset with a linoleum print on vellum, or paper.
© 2010 - 9½” x 5½” x ¾”
This book is a combination of prints, etchings, and linoleum prints on different papers, including hand-made Dieu Donné linen paper. The cover is hand drawn in ink on natural vellum, bound in a traditional limp-vellum style.
© 2009, 9” x 6” x ½”