Sonnenzimmer is the Chicago-based art and print studio of Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi.
This time last year about, we were gearing up our satellite print shop at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. The experience of designing and printing a poster in public was totally amazing and a even a little stressful at times. Who knew screen printers could have performance anxiety! That milestone would not have been possible without the help of all the people who got us there. We remember clearly.
It was in this setting, surrounded by practically every poster we've ever made, where we had the chance to be challenged by museum visitors and reflect on our practice, all while printing. Classic! That experience led to some interesting questions, the most common question being, "What are these?". Flash forward, and that question has stuck with us. What is it exactly, that we do here at Sonnenzimmer? Since last summer, we've been asking ourselves how we could shed more light on our poster work; the abstract compositions, the collaborative process, our color choices, and, ultimately, how we arrive at our final product. After much talk, we believe we have the answer, a book!
We want to create a different kind of poster book—one that has an instructional and educational arm, one that embraces abstract imagery as a precise vehicle to create visual impressions. What kind of poster book goes beyond just reproducing the artifact? This question got us geared up to envision a publication that breaks down the visuals, gets concrete with process and visual cues from art history, and also addresses, not just concept, but form! Dissecting the compositions, opening up the decision making process of how we got to the end result, perhaps this will be a way to create a real dialogue for solutions that are outside the established notions of representational art.
This proposed project, Warp and Weft: Poster Construction by Sonnenzimmer, is a book exploring the compositional approach, historical influence, and individual story behind 30 of our favorite screen printed posters. Pairing each of the 30 prints chosen for the book with focused writing, we'll have the opportunity to give insight into our collaborative working process, as well as our thoughts on contemporary visual culture. In addition, each featured poster will be accompanied by a single-color wire frame breakdown of the composition. This break down will help in communicating the role of composition in our work and will function as a talking piece in our text.
Preface: Michael Cina, Book Design: Alex Fuller, Photography: Nathan Keay, Editing: Zach Dodson and Jonathan Messinger, Video: Gus Gavino
$5,300.00 Printing (for 500 books offset printed), $2500.00 contributors (preface, editing, photography, design, video), $6,375.00 (estimated mailing), 1725.00 handling fees
The Book specs:
8.5 x 10.25" size, 84 pages interior offset, split up in b/w and 4-color signatures, soft cover 4-color offset matte lamination, limb bound.
- (31 days)