Printed Matter

Blue Icons

Day edition & Night edition

A new publication by Dan Walsh

Published by Printed Matter, Inc.



JW Anderson Workshops has teamed up with New York publisher Printed Matter, Inc to present and sell a hand-stitched conceptual book project known as Blue Iconsby painter and independent publisher Dan Walsh.


Across thirty-two pages, Blue Icon (Day edition) explores a minimalist conceit shaped by two progressions of form. Each sheet has been trimmed to a different size and is composed of small ‘halftone’ dots that shift across the color spectrum, from greenish to violet-y blue. Turning through the book these two variances are played against each other as the reader moves toward smaller pages and deeper hues, and then back out with the sequence in reverse. When laid open at the center stitching the book’s pages are nested in ascending order, radiating outward with a brightening auric effect.


While Blue Icon (Day edition) is an exploration of color, composition and texture, the range of the project takes on additional nuance when we learn that the work is, at least in part, derived from the iconic logo of American film production studio Columbia Pictures. For the purposes of Walsh’s book, the Icon herself - a woman draped in robes, in neo-classical posture - has been removed. We are left with the space around her; a framework for a dramatic sky, a receding a depth of field, the torchlight/sunburst piercing through. The thin white trim along the bottom of each page gestures toward something like the temple steps/Greek crepidoma which holds 'Columbia' in the original image, and defines the space of the book as an architectural and cinematic one. Without the figure on hand, blueness itself seems to become the focus of the pedestal, shaped by the pull between brightness and darkness, lightness and heaviness, narrative and abstraction.


A second version of the book – Blue Icon(Night edition) – transfers the halftone shades of the Day edition into the background, and places black dots on top of that. The outcome is a second view of an approaching dusk now turned into a darker nighttime sky.


Blue Icons is digitally printed, hand-stitched with tape cloth binding, and features a foil stamped cover.


Design by Stephen Sprott. Production by Uses of Literacy. Printed by Conveyor Arts, Jersey City, NJ

Dan Walshis represented by Paula Cooper Gallery, New York