Aspern Papers


THE ASPERN PAPERS is a classic tale by Henry James of duplicity foiled and love denied. Taking place in Venice, this print version is a gleaned set of eight prints developed and further opened up from the earlier 18 drawings portfolio of 1990-92. 

I was intrigued by the question of how the images might benefit from the highly refined layering approach I had been exploring from my decade's adventure of working with Adobe Photoshop. My challenge was to stay true to the touch and textures of the original graphite drawings, and to remain equally resistant to the more facile or pre-programmed filtering that can so often de-personalize an artist's intentions, as intriguing as those effects can be.

I am including an accompanying link of the detailed chapter I wrote for my 1993 drawing catalogue raisonné, The Primacy of Touch. It follows my Venetian adventures, among which were the photographing and drawing of the now cat-infested derelict palazzo, and the ravishing Lake Como sojourn of three months at the Rockefeller Foundation's Serbelloni Villa in  Bellagio, Italy. It was a career's high point for me with its dream pursuit of the intricacies of this tale of sly guile and of a love's labors lost.

The original Aspern Papers drawings portfolio was my second commissioned project of a Henry James novella following The Jolly Corner, suite of 21 prints of 1969-71. One sportive ambition of the present print set is for each of the eight prints to contain images of the Master himself, strolling, brooding, or stalking his literary prey.

The eight print suite is an archival digital edition of 75, measuring 14 x 22" on 22 x 30" paper.