Recommended Reading

Unfortunately there is very little written about Warja Lavater. This is part of the reason why we’ve created this site. If Lavater does have a champion out there, perhaps it is the Printed Matter bookstore/gallery/institution in New York City. On April 23rd 2011, through May 28, Printed Matter staged an exhibition of works of Lavater from the collection of Tony Zwicker. The accopanying essay and bibliography has since fallen off the internet, but we’ve managed to archive a PDF copy (click here). Here is an excerpt:

Exploring the fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm, Charles Perrault and Hans Christian Andersen, Lavater produced a series of books that abstract and distill the original story into movements of color and form. Characters and objects are translated into dynamic symbols (a legend on the first page of each book lays out the equivalencies—Little Red Riding Hood is, for instance, a little red dot) and the familiar story emerges through her arrangement and repetition of these shapes. The result is a playful Structuralist reading into representation and the nature of storytelling— a Borgesian map as rich and strange as the world it describes.