Jess: “A page-turning and lingering joy” (New York Times)

News Section, Reviews

February 26th, 2013


(Gift Recommendation) O! Tricky Cad & Other Jessoterica

The New York Times

Between Two Covers, Wide Worlds of Art


Originally published November 21, 2012


Photo: Fred R. Conrad/New York Times

And for a gift in which reading and looking are in perfect sync? Head straight for JESS: O! TRICKY CAD & OTHER JESSOTERICA, a book of art jampacked with words and images by another American master collagist, Jess Collins (1923-2004), or, as he preferred to be called, just Jess. He started his long and productive life as chemist, working during World War II on the production of plutonium for the Manhattan Project. But soon, aghast at the growth of the postwar military-industrial complex, he dropped out, went to art school, met a kindred-soul partner (the poet Robert Duncan) and never looked back.

Luckily, he left a lot to look at, and Siglio Press in Los Angeles has selected choice material to reproduce, its mix of verbal illogic, Victoriana, vintage sci-fi and homoerotic high jinks a page-turning and lingering joy.

Read more New York Times 2012 art book recommendations

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