Pictograms. By Warja Lavater. Nieves, 2008. 124pp., illustrated throughout, 19,5x25,5cm.
"An early progenitor of the artist's book genre, Warja Honegger-Lavater was born in Winterthur, Switzerland in 1913. She worked as an illustrator for the magazine 'Jeunesse' from 1944-1958, and moved to New York shortly thereafter where she began a wonderful series of artist's books.
These books were published between 1962 and 1971, an exceptionally ripe time for artists to turn to the bookform, a time when the most often cited "first" artist's book also appeared, 'Twentysix Gasoline Stations' (1962) by Ed Ruscha.
All of Honegger-Lavater's books were made using the accordion-fold binding. Her aesthetic has been aptly described as "very clean, very Swiss." Each book tells a story, sequentially, like traditional books, but varying from them by rarely using words. Instead she chooses a symbol to represent, for example, a character, as in the red dot standing in for Red Riding Hood in 'Little Red Riding Hood'.
Nieves is delighted to release this previously unpublished collection of 60 ink pictograms, drawn between 1976 and 1996, originally printed individually as A2 plane prints."