Springtime in Byzantium press release





Springtime in Byzantium by luke kurtis

bd-studios.com is proud to announce Springtime in Byzantium by luke kurtis, the latest entry in an ongoing line of artists’ books. It is the first book in the lineup by the series editor. Also available is marble paintings, a postcard set of photos from the book, and three poster-sized prints. The book, postcards, and prints will be available to purchase on May 28th.

The book reflects the interdisciplinary practice of kurtis, combining writing, photography, collage, video, performance, and design. The motif that pulls everything together is the bookmatched marble panels of the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy. ”Its kaleidoscope-like forms are so captivating, yet they’re overshadowed by the famous mosaics,” says the artist. ”If you stop and think about it, the bookmatched marble isn’t out of place in a contemporary design sense. You could take the panels out of the church and put them in a modern building, and no one would bat an eye. I wanted to use my photographs to remove the panels conceptually, put them in your hands in the form of a book, and draw a line through hundreds of years to connect the past with the future.”

The works were created independently over several years and only conceived as a whole specifically for this book. ”A big part of what I do is collect thoughts, words, and images,” explains the artist. ”I’ve snapped thousands of photos, written hundreds of texts. Much of that work is diaristic in nature. I document where I’ve been and what I’ve experienced. And then those things get filed away in my archives.”

Eventually, kurtis recognizes connections between what he’s collected and starts to pull his ideas together to create bodies of work. ”I think about the big picture. Most of the time, I’m not making something to exist here and now. I’m making individual parts. The whole will be completed in the future, even if I don’t always know what that whole will be.”

Springtime in Byzantium is one such whole, pulling together a poem from 2011, photographs and a performance from 2014, and digital collages from 2015. The book itself, published in 2021 but edited and designed over the past few years, means the project spans an entire decade. Though kurtis has published several poetry books, all of which feature his visual work, this is the first book where his visuals are the focus.

Springtime in Byzantium will be available in both print and eBook formats on May 28th. You can purchase the book from bd-studios.com or your favorite bookstore. The postcards and prints are available exclusively from bd-studios.com.

luke kurtis is an interdisciplinary writer and artist. His other books include Angkor Wat: poetry and photography, an homage to Cambodia and its ancient temples, and the immeasurable fold, a collection of selected poems. He also makes experimental films and music, including seance, released earlier this year.

bd-studios.com is the art and publishing studio by luke kurtis. Springtime in Byzantium is the latest title in our line of artists’ books. Earlier titles include The Animal Book by Michael Harren, The Male Nude by Michael Tice, and Just One More by Jonathan David Smyth. Selected poetry titles include (This Is Not A) Mixtape for the End of the World by Daniel M. Shapiro, Train to Providence by William Doreski and Rodger Kingston and Route 4, Box 358 by Dudgrick Bevins, among others.

Springtime in Byzantium by luke kurtis
ISBN 978-0-9992078-8-8
Paperback, 86 pages, 10 x 8 inches (eBook also available)
Published 28 May 2021

marble paintings
Set of 15 postcards (5.8″ x 4.1″) printed in full color on 16pt premium paper housed in handmade packaging

marble painting (bookmatched)
Print (16″ x 20″) printed on 175 gsm fine art paper with three designs sold individually