When I started drawing letterforms, I was looking at actual, three-dimensional sign lettering salvaged from building demolitions and sold as decorations or as scrap metal. Looking at the letters as a simple still-life, I became interested in the proportional relationships between parts of a letter and the whole, and the rhythms found among the different forms as they appeared in arrangement. Later on, I saw that arranging these letters produced what could be seen as new and unusual words, a lost language of "incantations". Recent works repeat letters, creating new forms and rhythms. Later works in this series are drawn from type samples – raised letters on their characteristic blocky support – and having so few samples to draw, I imagine other letterforms based on the examples I have in my possession. All of these works play with language and its abstract relationship to reality – exploring how language changes reality, and asking how words and letters themselves change language.
Type Improvisation on n, 2017, silverpoint with white gouache on prepared paper,
10 x 10 inches
Type Improvisation on G, 2017, silverpoint with white gouache on casein-prepared paper,
9 1/4 x 13 3/4 inches
Type Improvisation on f, 2017, silverpoint with white gouache on casein-prepared paper,
10 3/4 x 11 7/8inches
Cube³, 2016, silverpoint with white gouache on prepared paper, 16 x 16 inches (sheet size).
Z Ring, 2015, silverpoint with white highlight on prepared paper, 12 1/4 x 14 inches. Private collection.
D-Tower, 2012, silverpoint on prepared paper, 15 x 12 inches
MMMMMMM, 2012, silverpoint on prepared paper, 12 x 24 inches
HERUM, 2006, silverpoint with white casein on prepared paper, 10 x 20 inches
OU, 2010, silverpoint with white casein on prepared paper, 12 x 9 inches
UR, 2006, silverpoint on prepared paper, 10 x 12 inches
© 2023 Tom Mazzullo