Petite Ode à Jean-François Champollion. Ron Padgett, Bertrand Dorny. N.p., 1990.

Petite Ode à Jean-François Champollion.

N.p., 1990. Item #542

Comb-bound, with triangular pages measuring up to 7 in. Original collage throughout, with text in mostly French. The book can be configured to form a pyramid, or read flat with triangle-shaped pages—an homage to Champollion, the scholar who first deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphs. This is from an edition of 24 copies, numbered and signed by Padgett and Dorny. Fine.

Ron Padgett and Paris-based French visual artist Bertrand Dorny (1931–2015) were brought together by the publisher Gervais Jassaud to work on Aristotle’s Coffee Shop (Collectif Génération) in 1988. Since then, they have made 50 small editions (49 books and one print, usually fewer than 10 copies) entirely by hand using simple bindings and collage with Padgett’s text sometimes in holograph, though often set and printed using rubber stamp letters. Dorny employed an impressive range of colorful and tactile materials with great skill and imagination to create beautiful variable editions in which each copy is unique.

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