Claire Van Vliet, The Janus Press

Newark, Vermont

W. R. Johnson, Narcissus, 1990

Based on the accordion fold, Narcissus incorporates laser printed visual as well as a Mylar mirror in which the reader virtually sees oneself on the periphery while reading. A meditative experience is presented, reading the poem before turning to the series of cloud images, then moving through layers of violet clouds, to which the words refer, ending, however, with an earth iron oxide. The box for Narcissus is covered in papers made by MacGregor-Vinzani (who also made the text paper) from colored pulp reflecting and suggesting the violet clouds referred to in the text. The box’s interior is fitted with a wooden structure that snugly houses the book’s truncated diamond shape. 24 x 29 x 1 centimeters. Created 1990.

Claire Van Vliet was born in 1933, and in the course of her career has received many honors. She was awarded a MacArthur Prize Fellowship in 1989 and Honorary Doctorates from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 1993 and from San Diego State University in 2002. In 1995 she was elected to The National Academy of Design in New York City. She has been the proprietor of the Janus Press since 1955, and has also had fifty solo shows of her prints and paperworks. Large collections of her prints are held by the Bates College Museum of Art and the Boston Public Library Print Collection, and she is also represented in the collections of Library of Congress, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Montreal Museums of Art. Claire Van Vliet is represented by Mary Ryan Gallery in New York City.