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43, According to Robin Price, with Annotated Bibliography

Artist book by Robin Price, Publisher
Standard edition, 86 copies, 2007-08
Deluxe edition, 12 copies, 2009
8 x 11.75 x 1.5 inches
Accordion book opens to 20 ft wide


Text excerpts from 86 books significant to Robin Price—mostly other artist’s books—were gathered using formulas based on the number 43, which was Robin’s age at the genesis of the project. Paper maps from locations along the 43rd parallels are bound in an accordion that structurally supports the main text, which is printed on graph paper and also hinged together as an accordion.

A legend card and supplemental annotated bibliography are included. 43 was directly inspired by the fifty-volume Zweite Enzyklöpadie von Tlön, by Ines v. Ketelhodt and Peter Malutzki, and Arplines by Harry Reese. A river, borrowed from the Ninja Press book The Real World of Manuel Córdova, flows through the text sheets.

With the book 43, According to Robin Price, with Annotated Bibliography, the press offered a deluxe edition for the first time. The deluxe edition provided an opportunity to expand upon some of the concepts within the book and to have a close collaboration between Robin Price and Daniel E. Kelm.

Themes of systems, pathways, and order are paralleled with chaos and the unknown; meaning is conveyed through movement, visuals, and objects, in contrast to the text-laden book.

The fundamental difference between the two editions is the elaborate container housing the deluxe. A tumbling motion occurs when one opens the case, mimicking the river that visually flows through the text pages. Along the way, one encounters a compass, fractal patterns and labyrinths, and a large-scale grid that echoes the maps inside.

A unique collage of various map tidbits is recessed on the cover. The goatskin leather exterior vibrates with two intensely-colored greens and a painted turquoise river.

Printing by Robin Price.

Binding and enclosures for the standard and deluxe editions co-designed by Daniel E. Kelm and Robin Price. Kylin Lee, a mechanic at the Wide Awake Garage at the time, was instrumental in executing the leather work for the first four copies of the deluxe edition.

Double-layer accordion, standard edition housed in a printed cloth-covered clamshell box, deluxe copies are wrapped in an elaborate leather enclosure.

The typefaces are hand-set ATF Garamond and Kabel. Six colors printed letterpress. All additional printing within the structure is letterpress, except for the laser-printed text sheets of the 32-page bibliography.

Techniques used to work the leather include sandblasting, hand painting, and die stamping (blind, colored foil, and genuine gold leaf).

Copies of the deluxe and standard edition of 43 are held in private collections.

You may request to see the deluxe edition of 43 at: 

  • Boston Athenaeum, Rare Books
  • Indiana University, Lilly Library
  • Library of Congress

You may request to see the standard edition of 43 at:

  • Bibliothèque Nationale de Luxembourg
  • California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo, Robert E. Kennedy Library, Special Collections
  • Carleton College, Gould Library, Special Collections
  • Claremont Colleges, Honnold/Mudd Library, Special Collections
  • Colorado College, Tutt Library, Special Collections
  • Dartmouth College, Rauner Special Collections Library
  • Deutsche Nationalbibliothek
  • Lafayette College Library, Special Collections
  • Messiah College, Murray Library, Artists’ Books Collection
  • Phoenix Public Library, Burton Barr Central Library, Rare Book Room
  • Rhode Island School of Design, Fleet Library
  • San Francisco Public Library, Special Collections
  • Savannah College of Art & Design, ACA Library of SCAD-Atlanta Artists' Books
  • Smith College, Neilson Library, Mortimer Rare Book Room
  • Swarthmore College, McCabe Library, Rare Book Room
  • Texas Tech University Libraries, Southwest Collection, Special Collections Library
  • Universitätsbibliothek Basel
  • University of California, Santa Barbara, Davidson Library
  • University of Connecticut, Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, Archives and Special Collections
  • University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
  • University of Denver, Penrose Library, Special Collections
  • University of Iowa Libraries, Special Collections
  • University of Pennsylvania,Van Pelt - Dietrich Library Center, Rare Book & Manuscript Library
  • University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott Library, Special Collections
  • University of Vermont, Bailey/Howe Library, Special Collections
  • University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections, Rare Books
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, Special Collections Library
  • Wellesley College, Clapp Library, Special Collections
  • Wesleyan University, Olin Library, Special Collections & Archives
  • Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Stuttgart
  • Yale University, Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library, Special Collections

As you unwrap the folder and follow the river, you discover new elements of the design including the extraordinary folder liners.