Inscribed by the artist on the back cover in white paint (oil?) along top "A PAINTER'S DAY BOOK;" and at bottom proper left "GEORGE DEEM 95." Book title on spine: LIONEL BARNETT THE GREEK DRAMA. Embossed on front cover around an emblem of a Pegasus: THE TEMPLE CYCLOPEDIC PRIMERS.
Gift of George Deem to Guillermo Alonso, August 29, 1998. "When he gave the book to Alonso, George explained the facture of the altered book thus: At the end of a day of painting he cleans his palette by scraping the residual oil paint with a spatula, which in turn he cleans on the clean page of a book. When he fills a page he turns to the next clean page. In this manner he fills all pages of the book. The pages stick together with blobs of paint of various colors oozing from the edges. Over time the paint hardens. The book is not a note book but a published book, in this instance "The Greek Drama" by Lionel Barnett." (Note by Guillermo Alonso 9.11.03)
Dear Larry: if you ever scout books again, George Deem...keeps a lovely ongoing book in which he wipes the paint from his brushes. His book is as Jean Cocteau thought the choreography of Parade should be: "Leur demarche doit etre comme un accident organise qui dure." (William S. Wilson, letter to Larry Shopmaker, re. exhibition A Private Reading: The Book as Image and Object,Senior & Shopmaker Gallery, New York, September 13 - November 10, 2001.)
| Artist's Notes
In my library I have books printed in languages that I cannot read: Japanese, Hebrew, Polish. These books are for looking at, but not with the focus of reading.... One of my books in Hebrew has facing pages in English, a small thick prayer book with the English title The
Festival Prayers. At the end of the day I clean my palette with a palette knife, wiping the leftover oil paint across an open page of this book. I have done this with many books: Scott's Ivanhoe,Greek Drama, Immensee. I turn a new page each day; the paint oozes out from the pressed pages; when it dries it creates a striated record of the colors I am using in my paintings at the time. Within about a year the book is thick with paint, and weighs more than one would expect. I date these books and give each one the title A Painter's Daybook. (George Deem, "Self Covered Buttons,"Let George Do It, The Post-Apollo Press, 2009, 15).